27 Unforgettable Katharine Hepburn Quotes

Actress Who Played Roles of Strong Women

black and white portrait of Katharine Hepburn

Ernest Bachrach / Getty Images

Katharine Hepburn, actress, was best known for roles in which she played strong, sophisticated women.

Selected Katharine Hepburn Quotations

"I never realized until lately that women were supposed to be the inferior sex."

"Life is to be lived. If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting. And you don't do that by sitting around wondering about yourself."

"If you give an audience a chance they will do half your acting for you."

"Acting is the most minor of gifts and not a very high-class way to earn a living. After all, Shirley Temple could do it at the age of four."

"When I started out, I didn't have any desire to be an actress or to learn how to act. I just wanted to be famous."

"Everyone thought I was bold and fearless and even arrogant, but inside I was always quaking."

"If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased."

"If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun."

"Without discipline, there's no life at all."

"Enemies are so stimulating."

"Loved people are loving people."

"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get—only what you are expecting to give—which is everything. What you will receive in return varies. But it really has no connection with what you give. You give because you love and cannot help giving."

"Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then."

"Marriage is a series of desperate arguments people feel passionately about."

"If you want to sacrifice the admiration of many men for the criticism of one, go ahead, get married."

"Plain women know more about men than beautiful women do."

"If you’re given a choice between money and sex appeal, take the money. As you get older, the money will become your sex appeal."

"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."

"It'd be a terrific innovation if you could get your mind to stretch a little further than the next wisecrack."

"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 to not forget to laugh."

"If you survive long enough, you're revered—rather like an old building."

"There are no laurels in life...just new challenges."

"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."

"Life is hard. After all, it kills you."

"I don't think that work ever really destroyed anybody. I think that lack of work destroys them a hell of a lot more."

"I never lose sight of the fact that just being is fun."

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Lewis, Jone Johnson. "27 Unforgettable Katharine Hepburn Quotes." ThoughtCo, Aug. 29, 2020, thoughtco.com/unforgettable-katharine-hepburn-quotes-3525396. Lewis, Jone Johnson. (2020, August 29). 27 Unforgettable Katharine Hepburn Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/unforgettable-katharine-hepburn-quotes-3525396 Lewis, Jone Johnson. "27 Unforgettable Katharine Hepburn Quotes." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/unforgettable-katharine-hepburn-quotes-3525396 (accessed June 3, 2023).