David Niven, about his Oscar moment:
“Irene Dunne opened the envelope and, after an interminable pause, read out my name. There was a roar. I didn’t wait to diagnose whether it was a roar of approval or rage. I kissed Hjordis, leaped to my feet, and with tailcoat flapping, I cantered down the aisle. I thought, ‘I’ve got to get there quick before she changes her mind.’
Such was my haste to get on that stage that I tripped up the steps and sprawled headlong. Another roar rent the air. Irene helped me up, gave me the Oscar, kissed me on the cheek, and left me alone with the microphone. I thought the least I could do was to explain my precipitous entrance, so I said, ‘The reason I just fell down was…’ I had intended to continue, ‘because I was so loaded with good-luck charms that I was top-heavy…’
Unfortunately, I made an idiot pause after the word ‘loaded’ and a third roar raised the roof. I knew that I could never top that, so I said no more on the subject, thereby establishing myself as the first self-confessed drunk to win the Academy Award.”
"So help me, this is an unposed picture. I was waiting for somebody to decide what I was to do next, stretching and enjoying the sun, when the photographer yelled ‘Hold it.’ So I did."
"My greatest virtue has always been that I never thought the grass was greener anyplace else.”
"She was wonderful. She was someone unique. She was real. She could do everything. She could do Shakespeare or other grand writers. She had it all. She was natural." Hubert de Givenchy [x]
UNDERRATED ACTRESSES: 1/? → JEAN ARTHURGladys Georgianna Greene (October 17, 1900 - June 19, 1991)Nominated for best actress in 1943 for The More the Merrier, Jean Arthur was one of the most overlooked actresses in the business. She changed her name to Jean Arthur, inspired by two great heroes, King Arthur and Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc). Jean had a high pitch voice that was hidden for seven years after her film debut until her first talkie in 1929. Her voice almost kept her from being casted in bigger roles, but her acting was irresistible. She was so irresistible that she was one of the leading contenders for the role of Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind. She did a screen test in 1938 for the film, but was soon turned down and was followed by a test from Joan Bennett and then Vivien Leigh. This allowed Jean to accept another film offer starring Jimmy Stewart called Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Arthur was known as being reclusive because she suffered from stage fright, and she refused to do interviews… “Quite frankly, I’d rather have my throat slit.”. Often stated as The Actress Nobody Knew, Jean Arthur was not only a screwball legend, she was a brilliant actress with unmistakable talent. Her most famous roles are in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), and You Can’t Take it With You (1938). Jean Arthur, in my opinion, deserved more recognition than what she received…“I guess I became an actress because I didn’t want to be myself.” - Jean Arthur
"All I wanted was just what everybody else wants, you know, to be loved."
Missy very quickly puts you at your ease. She makes you feel comfortable. It’s too much for her to put on an act, so she’s simply herself - real - and real means self-reliant. She’s more concerned with seeing to it that everybody else is happy than in worrying about her own happiness. I’ve seen her many a time bend over backwards to help someone else, and let herself sort of slide. She’ll read in the paper that somebody is going through something and she’ll try to help them without even letting them know she’s doing it. She’s a shy, sensitive person, and a lot of times she has to pick herself up by the bootstraps and make herself do things. And she makes her own decisions and works out her own problems.
- Harriet Coray (personal maid and friend)
When I’m doing a role, a good role, I’m being someone other than me. See, I’m a true Irishman, and I glide with the leprechauns. They say the Irish are brash, but there’s also a quietness. Sometimes I can sit a whole evening and say nothing - but I absorb everything. I happen to like being alone a lot. I’m called a little nuts. I call it concentration. So I have a shell I creep into. So? I marvel at people who have theories about acting. I just go and do the work. Frank Capra taught me that if you can think, you can make the audience know it. You can make them know what you are going to do. On the stage, it’s mannerisms. On the screen, your range is shown in your eyes.
- Barbara Stanwyck