Title Image - Quotes by Author Tallulah Bankhead

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Wikipedia Summary for Tallulah Bankhead

Tallulah Brockman Bankhead (January 31, 1902 – December 12, 1968) was an American stage and screen actress. She was a member of the Bankhead and Brockman family, a prominent Alabama political family. Both her grandfather and her uncle served as US Senators; her father served as a US Representative in Congress for 11 terms, the final two as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Tallulah Bankhead's support of liberal causes, including the budding civil rights movement, broke with her southern contemporaries with their support of white supremacy and Jim Crow laws as championed by Southern Democrats; she often opposed her own family publicly.

Primarily an actress of the stage, Bankhead appeared in several films including an award-winning performance in Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat (1944). She also had a brief but successful career on radio and made appearances on television as well.

In her personal life, Bankhead struggled with alcoholism and drug addiction; she reportedly smoked 120 cigarettes a day and often talked openly about her vices. She also openly had a series of relationships with both men and women.

Bankhead supported foster children and helped families escape the Spanish Civil War and World War II. She was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1972, and the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame in 1981. During her career, Bankhead amassed nearly 300 film, stage, television and radio roles.

photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

The only thing I regret about my life is the length of it. If I had to live my life again I'd make all the same mistakes--only sooner.

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

Cocaine habit-forming? Of course not. I ought to know. I've been using it for years.

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

Say anything about me, darling, as long as it isn't boring.

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

I'm the foe of moderation, the champion of excess.

--Tallulah Bankhead

Longer Version:

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.'


photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

Working on television is like being shot out of a cannon. They cram you all up with rehearsals, then someone lights a fuse and -- .BANG! -- there you are in someone's living room.

--Tallulah Bankhead
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Whatever you have read I have said is almost certainly untrue, except if it is funny, in which case I definitely said it.

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

Will TV kill the theater? If the programs I have seen, save for Kukla, Fran and Ollie, the ball games and the fights, are any criterion, the theater need not wake up in a cold sweat.

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

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

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

My father warned me about men and booze but he never said anything about women and cocaine.

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

Of course cocaine is not adictive, darling. I should know, I've been doing it for years.

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

Too many of our countrymen rejoice in stupidity, look upon ignorance as a badge of honor. They condemn everything they don't understand.

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

In my lifetime I've been to bed with men, women, and odd pieces of furniture.

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

It's unlikely I'll ever submit to a psychiatrist's couch. I don't want some stranger prowling around through my psyche, monkeying with my id. I don't need an analyst to tell me that I have never had any sense of security. Who has?

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

I've had a man and I've had a woman, and there's got to be something better.

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

Do you know what my ambition is in life? To be without ambition. As far back as I can remember I've been absolutely hag-ridden. I'd like to attain the state of mind that the Indians call Nirvana. That, for me, would happen if I were free of ambition.

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

For acting, darlings, is the world's most perilous trade. Compared with actors, steeple jacks and deep-sea divers lead snug and placid lives.

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

Going down on a woman gives me a stiff neck, going down on a man gives me lockjaw and conventional sex gives me claustrophobia.

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

Fill what is empty, empty what is full, and scratch where it itches.

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

My progress reminded me of the horses in The Whip. They raced at the limit of their speed directly toward the audience. But they raced on a treadmill which canceled out their progress.

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

No man worth his salt, no man of spirit and spine, no man for whom I could have any respect, could rejoice in the identification of Tallulah's husband. It's tough enough to be bogged down in a legend. It would be even tougher to marry one.

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

If you know your Bible and your Shakespeare and can shoot craps, you have a liberal education.

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

I have been tight as a tick! Fried as a mink! Stiff as a goat!

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

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

--Tallulah Bankhead
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A frozen daiquiri of a scorching afternoon is soothing. It makes living more tolerable.

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

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 lounge as he attempts to negotiate the bathroom.

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

To the critic who wrote a negative review: I am sitting in the smallest room of the house. Your review is before me. Soon it will be behind me.

--Tallulah Bankhead
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I detest acting because it is sheer drudgery.

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

There have only been two geniuses in the world -- Willie Mays and Willie Shakespeare.

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

They say it's the good girls who keep diaries. The bad girls never have the time. Me, I just wanna live a life I'm gonna remember even if I don't write it down.

--Tallulah Bankhead
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All my life I've been terrible at remembering people's names. I once introduced a friend of mine as Martini. Her name was actually Olive.

--Tallulah Bankhead

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

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

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.

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

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.

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

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.

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

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

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

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

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

There is less in this than meets the eye.

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

Acting is a form of confession.

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

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

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

I'm as pure as the driven slush.

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

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

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

Nobody can be exactly me. Sometimes even I have trouble doing it.

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

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

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

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

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

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

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

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

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

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

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

My heart is as pure as the driven slush.

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

I'd rather be strongly wrong than weakly right.

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

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

--Tallulah Bankhead
photo of author Tallulah Bankhead with quote

(On seeing a former lover for the first time in years) I thought I told you to wait in the car.

--Tallulah Bankhead

We wish you a perfect day!