Humorous Quotes attributed to Laurence Olivier
1907-1989, British Acting Legend
- A professional amateur (on Marilyn Monroe).
- Acting is a masochistic form of exhibitionism. It is not quite the occupation of an adult.
- Apart from her looks, which were magical, she possessed beautiful poise; her neck looked almost too fragile to support her head and bore with it a sense of surprise, and something of the pride of the master juggler who can make a brilliant maneuver appear almost accidental.(on Vivien Leigh)
- Autograph-hunting is the most unattractive manifestation of sex-starved curiosity.
- Bitchiness is the journalist’s handiest tool. (Confessions of an Actor)
- Except for playing light comedy to an enraptured audience, acting is not an enjoyable craft. It is interesting certainly, and absorbing almost to a point of mania in its difficulties and problems, but not enjoyable. (Confessions of an Actor)
- I am far from sure when I am acting and when I am not or, should I more frankly put it, when I am lying and when I am not. For what is acting but lying and what is good acting but convincing lying? (Confessions of an Actor)
- I like Paris. My problem is I don't like Parisians.
- I take a simple view of life: keep your eyes open and get on with it.
- I'd like (people) to remember me for a diligent expert workman. I think a poet is a workman. I think Shakespeare was a workman. And God's a workman. I don't think there's anything better than a workman.
- Lead the audience by the nose to the thought.
- My dear boy, why don't you try acting? (on the set of 'Marathon Man', to Dustin Hoffman, who had announced that he'd gone 3 days without sleep in order to 'become' his character)
- Noel Coward once said that the only real use of a director was to stop the actors from bumping into each other. (Confessions of an Actor)
- The actor should be able to create the universe in the palm of his hand.
- The title “art director” identifies the person who translates into large stand-up sets what the “designer” has scribbled on the back of an envelope. (Confessions of an Actor)
- We were like brother and sister, just as she always wanted. But fortunately, occasional incest was allowed. (on ex-wife Vivien Leigh)
- When troubles come they come not single spies but in battalions. They also have cutest way of pushing all other troops aside; troubles have not the faintest conception of what “being in turn” means. (Confessions of an Actor)
- When you're a young man, Macbeth is a character part. When you're older, it's a straight part.
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