Consists of the ability to keep an audience from
coughing.  Jean-Louis Barrault

Acting is honesty. If you can fake that, you've got
it made.  George Burns

Acting is the expression of a neurotic impulse. It's a bum's life. Quitting acting, that's the sign
of maturity.
Marlon Brando (b. 1924)

A poor traditionary fame.  William Combe

A voluntary dream.
William Hazlitt

The art of speaking in a loud clear voice and the
avoidance of bumping into furniture.
Adapted from Alfred Lunt

To seem natural rather than to be natural.
Alan A. Milne

The lowest of art; if it is an art at all.
George Moore

Acting isn't really a creative profession. It's an
interpretative one.  Paul Newman

The ability to dream on cue.
Ralph Richardson

The art of persuasion. The actor persuades himself,
first, and through himself, the audience.
Laurence Olivier

Just one version of the unreal after another.
Jack Nicholson

Just one big bag of tricks.  Laurence Olivier

A masochistic form of exhibitionism. It is not quite the occupation of an adult.
Laurence Olivier

An art which consists of keeping the audience from coughing.
Ralph Richardson

Acting is characterization, the process of two  entities merging-the actor and the role.
George C. Scott

That attempt to find universality, reality and truth in a world of pretending.
George C. Scott

To hold as `twere, the mirror up to nature.
William Shakespeare

One of the imitative arts.
William Shenstone

A sad business where you crawl from hope to hope.
Walter Slezak

The moving picture of nature.
William Winter

An actor is something less than a man, while an actress is something more than a woman.
Richard Burton (1925-1984)

Dramatic art in her opinion is knowing how to fill a sweater.
Bette Davis (1908-1989)
on Jayne Mansfield

The first thing any comedian does on getting an unscheduled laugh is to verify the state of his buttons; the second is to look around to see if a cat has walked out on the stage.
W. C. Fields (1879-1946)

I may not be a great actress but I've become the greatest at screen orgasms. Ten seconds of heavy breathing, roll your head from side to side, simulate a slight asthma attack and die a little.
Candice Bergen (b. 1946)


The theatre is the best way of showing the gap between what is said and what is seen to be done, and  that is why, ragged and gaptoothed as it is, it has still a far healthier potential than some poorer, abandoned arts.
David Hare (b. 1947)
British playwright

Every now and then, when you're on stage, you hear the best sound a player can hear. It's a sound you can't get in movies or in television. It is the sound of a wonderful, deep silence that means you've hit them where they live.
Shelley Winters (b. 1922)
American film actress

Long experience has taught me that in England nobody goes to the theatre unless he or she has bronchitis.
James Agate (1877-1947)
British critic

Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.
Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980)
Anglo-American film director

To save the Theatre, the Theatre must be destroyed, and actors and actresses all die of the Plague they make art impossible.
Eleanor Duse (1859-1924)
Italian actress

Runs the gamut of emotions from A to B.
Dorothy Parker  1893-1967
Attributed theater review, comment on a player

Generally speaking, the American theater is the aspirin of the middle classes.
Wolcott Gibbs  1902-1958


The theater is like a faithful wife. The film is the great adventure the costly, exacting mistress.
Ingmar Bergman (b. 1918)
Swedish film and theater director

Movies are so rarely great art that if we cannot appreciate the great trash we have very little reason to be interested in them.
Pauline Kael (b. 1919)
American film critic

To survive (in Hollywood), you need the ambition of a Latin-American revolutionary, the ego of a grand opera tenor, and the physical stamina of a cow pony.
Billie Burke (1885-1970)

In Europe an actor is an artist. In Hollywood, if he isn't working, he's a bum.
Anthony Quinn (b. 1915)

I want a movie that starts with an earthquake and works up to a climax.
Samuel Goldwyn (1882-1974)

"Too caustic?" To hell with the cost, we'll make the picture anyway.
Samuel Goldwyn

You can fool all the people all the time if the advertising is right and the budget is big enough.
Joseph E. Levine (1905-1987)

You're not a star until they can spell your name in Karachi.
Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957)

If my film makes one more person feel miserable I'll feel I've done my job.
Woody Allen  1937-

Television is the first truly democratic culture the first culture available to everybody and entirely governed by what the people want. The most terrifying thing is what the people do want.
Clive Barnes (b. 1927)

Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn't have in your home.
David Frost (b. 1939)

I find television very educational. Every time someone switches it on I go into another room and read a good book.
Groucho Marx (1895-1977)

I hate television. I hate it as much as peanuts. But I can't stop eating peanuts.
Orson Welles (1915-1985)