77 Katharine Hepburn Quotes
Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get – only with what you are expecting to give – which is everything.
We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers – but never blame yourself. It’s never your fault. But it’s always your fault, because if you wanted to change you’re the one who has got to change.
[about Marlon Brando] I don’t think he’s a limited actor at all – I think he’s a very gifted actor. Although I’m afraid he may be a limited person.
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[on marriage] It’s bloody impractical. “To love, honor, and obey”. If it weren’t, you wouldn’t have to sign a contract.
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On personal power: As one goes through life one learns that if you don’t paddle your own canoe, you don’t move.
Once a crowd chased me for an autograph. “Beat it”, I said, “go sit on a tack!” “We made you”, they said. “Like hell you did”, I told them.
[on Hollywood] They didn’t like me until I got into a leg show.
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Listen to the song of life.
Enemies are so stimulating.
What makes you a star is horsepower.
Life is hard. After all, it kills you.
 The lack of work destroys people.
Cold sober, I find myself absolutely fascinating.
I don’t fear death, it must be like a long sleep.
I welcome death. In death there are no interviews!
On work: Without discipline, there’s no life at all.
Life is full of censorship. I can’t spit in your eye.
People have grown fond of me, like some old building.
[Describing Cary Grant] He is personality functioning.
There are no laurels in life . . . just new challenges.
Plain women know more about men than beautiful ones do.
It’s a bore – B-O-R-E – when you find you’ve begun to rot.
[reflecting on her performances] I think I’m always the same.
1993] I have loved and been in love. There’s a big difference.
I find a woman’s point of view much grander and finer than a man’s.
If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased.
I never realized until lately that women were supposed to be inferior.
[on director George Cukor] He has the ability to make me trust myself.
[on Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire] She gave him sex. He gave her class.
Who is Katharine Hepburn? It took me a long time to create that creature.
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If you survive long enough, you’re revered – rather like an old building.
Not everyone is lucky enough to understand how delicious it is to suffer.
I don’t regret anything I’ve ever done; As long as I enjoyed it at the time.
 I’ve made forty-three pictures. Naturally I’m adorable in all of them.
At my age, you don’t get much variety – usually some old nut who’s off her track.
I always wanted to be a movie actress. I thought it was very romantic. And it was.
[on Peter O’Toole] He can do anything. A bit cuckoo, but sweet and terribly funny.
[on Humphrey Bogart] Bogart was like Henry Fonda — proud and happy to be an actor.
Afraid of death? Not at all. Be a great relief. Then I wouldn’t have to talk to you.
Wouldn’t it be great if people could get to live suddenly as often as they die suddenly?
I never played with a sort of fancy accent of any kind. So, was I an actor? I don’t know.
[on fashion] I wear my sort of clothes to save me the trouble of deciding which clothes to wear.
Only when a woman decides not to have children, can a woman live like a man. That’s what I’ve done.
If you want to sacrifice the admiration of many men for the criticism of one, go ahead, get married.
I can’t say I believe in prizes. I was a whiz in the three-legged race – that’s something you CAN win.
Acting is a nice childish profession – pretending you’re someone else and at the same time selling yourself.
[When Barbara Walters asked her if she owned a skirt] I have one, Ms. Walters. I’ll wear it to your funeral.
With all the opportunities I had, I could have done more. And if I’d done more, I could have been quite remarkable.
I often wonder whether men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then.
“Isn’t it fun getting older?” is really a terrible fallacy. That’s like saying I prefer driving an old car with a flat tire.
I remember as a child going around with “Votes For Women” balloons. I learnt early what it is to be snubbed for a good cause.
Life’s what’s important. Walking, houses, family. Birth and pain and joy. Acting’s just waiting for a custard pie. That’s all.
It’s life isn’t it? You plow ahead and make a hit. And you plow on and someone passes you. Then someone passes them. Time levels.
I’m a personality as well as an actress. Show me an actress who isn’t a personality, and you’ll show me a woman who isn’t a star.
[on Humphrey Bogart] He was a real man — nothing feminine about him. He knew he was a natural aristocrat — better than anybody.
I can remember walking as a child. It was not customary to say you were fatigued. It was customary to complete the goal of the expedition.
I’m what is known as gradually disintegrating. I don’t fear the next world, or anything. I don’t fear hell, and I don’t look forward to heaven.
I’m an atheist, and that’s it. I believe there’s nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for people.
[asked what star quality is] It’s either some kind of electricity or some kind of energy. I don’t know what it is, but whatever it is, I’ve got it.
I’m an atheist, and that’s it. I believe there’s nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for each other.
I think most of the people involved in any art always secretly wonder whether they are really there because they’re good – or because they’re lucky.
 In some ways I’ve lived my life like a man, made my own decisions, etc. I’ve been as terrified as the next person, but you’ve got to keep going.
I have many regrets, and I’m sure everyone does. The stupid things you do, you regret if you have any sense, and if you don’t regret them, maybe you’re stupid.
My father, a surgeon and urologist, studied sex professionally all his life. Before he died at 82, he told me he hadn’t come to any conclusions about it at all.
[1954 comment on Judy Holliday] My, I like Judy Holliday! She looks like a Monet model. And she’s so — so defenseless. I like defenseless people. They’re the best.
If you can live for other people away from yourself you will be happy and if you live for yourself then you will not be happy and you won’t be able to sleep or do anything else.
[Observation, 1967] I think they’re beginning to think I’m not going to be around much longer. And what do you know. They’ll miss me like an old monument. Like the Flatiron Building.
[on remaining childless] I had such a wonderful upbringing that I had a very high standard of how a father and mother should behave. I couldn’t be that way and carry on a movie career.
Life is to be lived. If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well find some way that is going to be interesting. And you don’t do that by sitting around wondering about yourself.
On art: I think most of the people involved in any art always secretly wonder whether they are really there because they’re good or they’re because they’re lucky. If they have time to think.
Life can be wildly tragic at times, and I’ve had my share. But whatever happens to you, you have to keep a slightly comic attitude. In the final analysis, you have got not to forget to laugh.
If you have fame, you never feel that you have fame, if you have the brains of a flea. Because fame is something that’s over back of you. It ain’t ahead…. Not ahead at all. I mean, if you’ve done it that’s great, but “what are you going to do now?” is the *only* thing that matters.
When I tested for the movies, it was immediately a warm experience. Exciting but not scary. Why this is I do not know. I just find this medium sympathetic, friendly. It must be that there is no audience, and no critics, in the immediate situation. And the camera never talks back to you. It was fun.
[on selecting Virginia Weidler to play her sister in “The Philadelphia Story”] We got lucky again with the girl-this time little Virginia Weidler, who had me in stitches. She was so terrifyingly funny I truly had a difficult time doing scenes with her. Honestly, I couldn’t look at her, she was so funny.
[on good parts] If it interests you, they don’t have to pay you. It’s a fascinating business anyway–it’s very nice to be paid–but when you do *thrilling* material, it’s like buying a piece of furniture that’s really good. When you buy it, and it’s great, you get *enormous* pleasure out of seeing it, and you never remember how much it cost.
[about her first TV interview, in 1973] I thought, can you think of any really *good* reason not to do it? Except that, oh, I’m so shy, or oh, my private life, or oh, are they going to find out how boring I am? You know? And that was the only reason *now*, in a sense, *not* to do television. Because it certainly is a method of expression, which has to be accepted as these things come along.
[speaking in 1979] We must reform. We must reform. And I don’t know how we’re going to reform. We’re sitting looking at a lot of filth. And I’m disgusted with the movies. Disgusted. Because they’re kidding themselves into saying its a sort of intellectual past time. Bunk. Its 42nd street filth. Filth being sold for too much. And now its respectable to go and see them. And the critics I think have lost their minds.
Most people, I figure, have a reservoir that you walk into town with your little box of goodies, you know. And this is me, and this is what I have to offer. Then, after a while, you’ve *sold* all those goodies, and if you don’t go away and fill up another box … you’re just repeating. Then you’re just growing *old*, and then, for a you know, certain people, there’s a time when you’re switching from, uh, uh, you’re too old to do this, and you’re too young to do that, and you have to figure out: what are you? And what really interests you? You see, we’re *all* creatures of habit, and we get in a rut, and we run down that rut, happy as bugs. Well, sometimes you’re bloody sick of what you’re doing. And you haven’t got the brains to stop. You know. And you could change, change.
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