Tallulah Bankhead Quotes

Tallulah Bankhead (1902 - 1968)

Talullah Bankhead, 1932
Talullah Bankhead, 1932. Clarence Sinclair Bull/John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images

Tallulah Bankhead was the daughter of an Alabama Congressman and a mother who died of complications from giving birth to Tallulah. Tallulah Bankhead became an actress early. She became famous for her flamboyant personality and deep voice. Her acting career spanned stage, film, radio, and television, and she's remembered for her carefully nurtured wild reputation.

Selected Tallulah Bankhead Quotations

• Nobody can be exactly like me. Even I have trouble doing it.

• Let's not quibble! I'm the foe of moderation, the champion of excess. If I may lift a line from a die-hard whose identity is lost in the shuffle, "I'd rather be strongly wrong than weakly right."

• There is less in this than meets the eye.

• I'm not at my best when I start to moralize or philosophize. Logic is elusive, especially to one who so rarely uses it.

• I've been called many things, but never an intellectual.

• I'm as pure as the driven slush.

• If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner.

• The only thing I regret about my past is the length of it.

• They used to photograph Shirley Temple through gauze. They should photograph me through linoleum.

• I have three phobias which, could I mute them, would make my life as slick as a sonnet, but as dull as ditch water: I hate to go to bed, I hate to get up, and I hate to be alone.

• I have been absolutely hag-ridden with ambition. If I could wish to have anything in the world it would be to be free of ambition.

• I read Shakespeare and the Bible, and I can shoot dice. That's what I call a liberal education.

• I did what I could to inflate the rumor I was on my way to stardom. What I was on my way to, by any mathematical standards known to man, was oblivion, by way of obscurity.

• Acting is a form of confusion.

• It's one of the tragic ironies of the theatre that only one man in it can count on steady work -- the night watchman.

• If you really want to help the American theater, don't be an actress, dahling. Be an audience.

• Don't be taken in by the guff that critics are killing the theater. Commonly they sin on the side of enthusiasm. Too often they give their blessing to trash.

• Television could perform a great service in mass education, but there's no indication its sponsors have anything like this on their minds.

• I think the Republican party should be placed in drydock and have the barnacles scraped off its bottom.

• It's the good girls who keep diaries; the bad girls never have the time.

• Here's a rule I recommend: Never practice two vices at once.

• The less I behave like Whistler's mother the night before, the more I look like her the morning after.

• I'll come and make love to you at five o'clock. If I'm late start without me.

• I've tried several varieties of sex. The conventional position makes me claustrophobic and the others give me a stiff neck or lockjaw.

• A frozen daiquiri of a scorching afternoon is soothing. It makes living more tolerable.

• Drink reacts on its practitioners in conflicting ways.

One brave can knock off a quart of Scotch and look and act as sober as Herbert Hoover. Another, after three Martinis, makes two-cushion carroms off the chaise longue as he attempts to negotiate the bathroom.

• My father warned me about men and booze, but he never mentioned a word about women and cocaine.

• Cocaine isn't habit-forming. I should know -- I've been using it for years

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About These Quotes

Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. Each quotation page in this collection and the entire collection © Jone Johnson Lewis. This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.

Citation information:
Jone Johnson Lewis. "Tallulah Bankhead Quotes." About Women's History. URL: http://womenshistory.about.com/od/quotes/a/tallulah.htm . Date accessed: (today). (More on how to cite online sources including this page)