The 128 Best Things Anyone Ever Said in People

updated 03/06/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/06/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST


"The worst part of me—the most boring part—is my guilt complex. I feel almost responsible for the fall of Adam and Eve."
—Laurence Olivier (1/10/83)

"There are two sorts of women, the female and the broad. The female marries for security. The broad is more forthright. I'm a broad."
—Bette Davis (3/4/85)

"I was a shy, ugly kid who led a big fantasy life. I thought I was an angel sent from heaven, sent to cure polio. When Dr. Salk did it, I was really pissed off."
—Cher (7/1/85)

"I am tough, ambitious and know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay."
Madonna (3/11/85)

"My status symbol is me."
—Mario Andretti (8/28/78)

"I always thought, bluntly, that I was a glamorous, goddamned exciting woman."
—Louise Nevelson (4/8/74)

"I'd feel guilty if I didn't have so mud because then I wouldn't be doing myself justice."
—Rick James (3/21/83)

"We'll always have a public. The Beach Boys are inseparable from white middle-class karma."
—Mike Love (8/23/76)

"There are only a few who will be the Fords, the Edisons, the Carnegies, and I think I 'm in that number.
—Philip Michael Thomas (12/9/85)

"I think if I weren't so beautiful, maybe I'd have more character."
—Jerry Hall (2/27/78)

"If I were a boat, I'd be a tugboat. Squat, hardworking, homey, with a touch of whimsy. I've always thought of myself as the Tugboat Annie-type."
—Bette Midler (11/14/83)

"I want to be more than big, I want to be tremendous. My goal is to be like—I wanna be like the Beatles, man."
—Eddie Murphy (1/31/83)

"I want power, power to express myself—I want to be somebody, but I don't want to have to screw anybody over to get there."
—Richard Gere (11/13/78)

"I am King...and the King can do no wrong!"
—Henry Ford II, to himself every morning while looking in the mirror (6/23/86)

"I know there are nights when I have power, when I could put on something and walk in somewhere, and if there's a man who doesn't look at me, it's because he's gay."
—Kathleen Turner (11/3/86)

"I was so ambitious I didn't even know I was ambitious. I believed so thoroughly that I was going to be a star that whenever I got turned down for something, I thought—'My God, when are these people going to wake up?' I never felt that humiliation, that rebuff, or I would have freaked out completely."
—Richard Dreyfuss (8/21/78)

"Before, I was Imelda, the First Lady. Now I am Imelda, the deprived, the crucified. Suddenly now I am a human being."
—Imelda Marcos (11/21/88)

"I am Jesus Christ. I am omnipotent. I am here to announce the end of the world."
—Mehmet Ali Agca, while on trial for shooting Pope John Paul II (12/23-30/85)

"God had to create disco music so that I could be born and be successful. I was blessed. I am blessed."
—Donna Summer (2/4/80)

"I wish I had been Bob Geldof."
—Prince Charles (10/31/88)


"I think a man can have two, maybe three affairs while he is married. But three is the absolute maximum. After that, you are cheating."
—Yves Montand (5/24/82)

"I would get into my car, drive through the kitchen, take a left at the bedroom and run him over."
—Dr. Joyce Brothers, about what she'd do if her husband left her for a younger woman (3/18/85)

"Men are shits. It hit me when I realized that I wouldn't take myself out or go to bed with me."
—Dustin Hoffman (1/17/83)

"Generally women are better than men-they have more character. I prefer men for some things, obviously, but women have a greater sense of honor and are more willing to take a chance with their lives. They are more open and decent in their relationship with a man. Men run all the time. I don't know how they live with themselves, they are so preoccupied with being studs."
—Lauren Bacall (9/4/78)

"I wish I were impotent...I've had enough of women. Who wants to go through all that anymore?"
—Omar Sharif (9/11/78)

"He feels that marriage isn't a happy, productive way of life. He prefers not to be involved. He prefers shallow, meaningless relationships—he thinks they're healthier, or at least the only kind that he can have. I don't respect his life-style, but I don't try to judge him."
—Michelle Phillips, about ex-beau Warren Beatty (10/2/78)

"I knew I was going to take down my old boyfriends' pictures and ask him what he wanted for breakfast."
—Susan Saint James, about meeting her husband, Dick Ebersol (3/21/83)

"A home run is better than being with a beautiful woman."
—George Brett (9/15/80)

"Pia has a lot of sex appeal, and it would be crazy not to flaunt it. When I see a girl onstage, I want my tongue to hang out and my body to quiver."
—Meshulam Riklis, husband of Pia Zadora (2/2/81)

"[TV reviewers are] the sorriest journalists in America, writing their pseudoscholarly bulls—. I'd like to include in that group my cousin [New York Times television columnist] John J. O 'Connor. He's a fathead. "
—Carroll O 'Connor (3/27/78)

"I gave God a prayer...and He gave me Tanya Tucker."
—Glen Campbell (6/30/80)

"The simple things are the best. The other night before we went to sleep, Harry said, 'Good nightpookey, lookie, cookie,' and I said, 'Good night rookie, schnookey.' "
—Leona Helmsley, about her husband (12/8/80)

"I'll do anything for him! I love him very much! Write that with very big letters!"
—Brigitte Nielsen, about Sylvester Stallone (7/22/85)

"Emotionally, spiritually and intellectually, she's a rare specimen of a woman."
—Stallone, about Nielsen (7/22/85)

"I took one look at her and said, This is it. I'll be back for you. Stick with me, kid, and you'll be farting through silk.' "
—Robert Mitchum, about meeting his wife, Dorothy (2/14/83)

"I married the first man I ever kissed. When I tell this to my children, they just about throw up."
—Barbara Bush (11/21/88)

"I didn't have a normal teenage life. A few girlfriends, a few dances, but mostly I was fighting, burning cars."
—Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega (12/22-29/86)

"I thought of sex as a duty, not a pleasure. You know, there should be a school to teach sex. It's so important, and yet we have no teachers, no classes."
—Debbie Reynolds (10/24/88)

"Toni has everything I like in a woman. She's beautiful, she's hilarious, she's a good friend..."
—Mets pitcher Ron Darling (10/13/86)

"...and she's got large breasts."
—Toni Darling, wife of Ron (10/13/86)

"One illegitimate child is fine, but two is, well, tacky."
—Gae Exton, who later had a second illegitimate child by Christopher Reeve (7/6/81)

'When I look at my children, I often wish I had remained a virgin.
—Lillian Carter (1/7/85)

"I used to get invited to 25 weddings a year. Nowadays I get no more than five. Couples probably think I'm a jinx."
—Marvin Mitchelson (9/8/80)

"Errol Flynn died on a 70-foot boat with a 17-year-old girl. Walter has always wanted to go that way, but he's going to settle for a 17-footer with a 70-year-old."
—Betsy Cronkite, wife of Walter (6/1/81)

"If I could have planned his weekend schedule, I think I would have scheduled it differently."
—Lee Hart, after her husband, Gary Hart, was discovered entertaining Donna Rice (5/25/87)

"Angie is quite humorless. If my memory serves me well, it was like living with a blowtorch. She has as much insight into the human condition as a walnut, and a self-interest that would make Narcissus green with envy."
—David Bowie, about his ex-wife (6/29/87)

"You must understand that our lives were raw, red bleeding meat."
—Caitlin Thomas, of life with husband Dylan (7/6/87)

"I've always said 10 points can solve a problem in any marriage."
—Bob Eubanks, host of The Newlywed Game (8/3/87)

"The poor wish to be rich, the rich wish to be happy, the single wish to be married, and the married wish to be dead."
—Ann Landers, about her readers' problems (11/24/86)

"I think we'll be the coolest grandma and grandpa in the world. We'll be like 85 or 90; I'll still be a rock pig, and Heather will still be gorgeous."
—Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee, about life with wife Heather Locklear (5/26/86)


"Bringing up children and training horses aren't so terribly different. With horses it's no good letting them boss you around in the stable and expect them to be saints outside. Same with children. It's no good letting them come home from school and rampage around the house and then express surprise that their school report says they're too boisterous. On the whole, animals are easier, because they don't answer back."
—Princess Anne (5/2/83)

"I don't actually like children."
—Princess Anne (2/3/86)

"Man, being a dad, it's a constant test on your nervous system."
—Former football hero and man-about-town Joe Namath (6/22/87)

"You have to really love your body to wear rubber."
—Dianne Brill (12/16/85)

"I just want to stick a pin in her and watch her deflate. "
—Andy Warhol, about Dianne Brill (12/16/85)

"Gary is a whining, bitching crybaby, walking around with a two-by-four on his shoulder and just daring people to nudge it off."
—Phillip Crosby, about his brother Gary, who wrote an exposé about Bing (3/21/83)

"As far as I'm concerned, Phillip's dead. He isn't worth the powder to blow him to hell."
—Gary Crosby (3/21 /83)

"I stopped dropping acid for a while after my daughter was born. It's hard to keep an eye on the kid while you're hallucinating."
—Grace Slick (8/28/78)

"My wife and children are liabilities, and I haven't sold them, have I?"
—Ted Turner, about not selling the Atlanta Hawks, even though they were losing money. He and his wife, Janie, later divorced (3/28/83)

"Being Ringo Starr's son is the biggest drag in my life. To be perfectly honest, it's a total pain."
—Zak Starr, son of Ringo (12/20/82)


"My idea of heaven is a great big baked potato and someone to share it with."
Oprah Winfrey (12/16/85)

"As a child I was a blond with blue eyes, but I thought, 'How boring, how conventional.' After high school I switched to my present exotic look."
—Rae Dawn Chong (11/18/85)

"When you get past 50, you have to decide whether to keep your face or your figure. I kept my face."
—Author Barbara Cartland (1/26/81)

"Girls use tape [to create cleavage] but if you are not careful, it will rip your skin. I do put Pro-Grip on my butt [an adhesive that helps keep her swimsuit down]. If you sit down you stick to your seat."
—Kellye Cash, Miss America 1987 (4/27/87)

"To manufacture only small sizes is a favor for humanity. I prevent ugly girls from showing off their bad figures."
—Fashion designer Elio Fiorucci (4/6/81)

"I eat airline food, I sleep standing up and I'm putting away a lot of money for a plastic surgeon."
—Diane Sawyer (8/18/86)

"I'd love to have my conk fixed. It's too big."
—Princess Diana, about her nose (8/8/88)

"If I come out of here with Erik Estrada's smile, you're dead."
—Michael J. Fox, to the dentist repairing his two chipped teeth (4/20/87)

"Kyle has dimples. I've got pleats."
—Clint Eastwood (1/10/83)

"When we lose, I eat. When we win, I eat. I also eat when we're rained out."
—Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda (7/13/87)

"I am between Tatum O'Neal and death."
—Victoria Principal, when asked about her age (12/17/79)

"I'm earning a ridiculous amount of money just being beautiful. I am the way God made me, and they splatter some paint on my face, and I get $3,500 a day for it."
—Paulina Porizkova (7/1/85)

"Women must look helpless."
—Fashion designer Bill Blass (3/11/74)

"Success has gone to my hips."
—Dolly Parton (1/27/86)

"If you want to stay young looking, pick your parents very carefully."
—Dick Clark (1/27/86)


"Work is the rent you pay for the room you occupy on earth."
—Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (8/19/85)

"I'd like to be a truck driver. I think you could run your life that way. It wouldn't be such a bad way of doing it. It would offer a chance to be alone."
—Princess Anne (10/31/83)

"The second half of the 20th century is a complete flop."
—Isaac Bashevis Singer (2/3/86)

"In archaeology you uncover the unknown. In diplomacy you cover the known."
—Thomas Pickering, American Ambassador to Israel (3/17/86)

"The apes were all homosexuals, eager to wrap their paws around Johnny's thighs. They were jealous of me, and I loathed them. "
—Maureen O Sullivan, who played Jane to Johnny Weissmuller 's Tarzan (4/14/86)

"I don't know how I consider death. So many of my friends have been doing it recently. I hope I do it well."
—Cary Grant (12/15/86)

"If you're going to be born and be in a rock and roll band, you may as well be in the Beatles."
—George Harrison (4/20/87)

"I can see stopping a car for a dog. But a cat? You squish a cat and go on. I think we're overcomplicating life."
—Iowa Democratic State Sen. James Gallagher, on whether drivers should be required to seek aid if they hit a domestic animal (4/14/80)

"I consider myself very human and very moral, and I would have been very excited to see one of those helicopters burn and the bodies inside melt."
—Sean Penn, about the photographers who flew over his and Madonna's wedding (12/22-29/86)

"Why shouldn't people who love God be successful?"
—Jim Bakker (4/10/78)

"I was wickedly manipulated by treacherous former friends who victimized me with the aid of a female confederate."
—Jim Bakker (5/18/87)

"Milan. What a beautiful place to die."
—John Carradine 's last words (12/12/88)

"People disappoint you. Lovers disappoint you. But theatrical memorabilia stay with you, as long as you keep it under clear plastic."
—Sylvia Miles (10/10/88)

"What makes you think you're not already dead?"
—William Burroughs, to a student who asked the novelist if he believed in an afterlife (5/20/74)

"Oh, my friend, it's not what they take away from you that counts—it's what you do with what you have left."
—Hubert Humphrey, after cancer surgery (1/30/78)


"I get satisfaction of three kinds. One is creating something, one is being paid for it and one is the feeling that I haven't just been sitting on my ass all afternoon:"
—William F. Buckley (11/18/85)

"One wants to tell a story, like Scheherazade, in order not to die. It's one of the oldest urges of mankind. It's a way of stalling death."
—Carlos Fuentes (3/3/86)

"I'm talented and flexible. I could play Hamlet, even thought look like King Kong."
—Mr. T (12/26/83-1/2/84)

"When I'm in a play, I can't do anything else. It's like the guys during football season—they don't mess around. Any man who tries to live with me will feel like he's naked and walking into a chain saw."
—Elizabeth Ashley (5/9/83)

"I give them things that belong to me. I give them my old black lace dress or my best friend's eyes or a poem I wrote a year ago or one of my old boyfriends or whatever I think they need."
—Ellen Gilchrist, about the characters in her novels (2/11/85)

"It 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 4."
—Katharine Hepburn, on acting (3/8/82)

"I'm a Methodist, but not in acting."
—James Gamer (4/22/85)

"I can't afford to die, not when I'm booked."
—George Burns, after signing a contract to appear at the London Palladium in 1996, when he will be 100 (5/27/85)

"A poet's mission is to make others confound fiction and reality in order to render them, for an hour, mysteriously happy."
—Isak Dinesen (2/3/86)

"We're all given some sort of skill in life. Mine just happens to be beating up on people."
—Sugar Ray Leonard(1/11/82)

"At night in my bedroom I hear the whoo-whoo of the little birds and I hear the dogs barking very sad. That's what I put in my records. I don't bark bow-wow, but I bark whoo, and I sing like the birdies."
—Yma Sumac (3/16/87)

"My career is a fascist state. I'm the dictator, the chief of police, the head of the army. Anybody who tries to interfere is put up against the wall and shot."
—Michael Cairn (5/4/87)

"When people asked me what I did for a living, I told them, 'I do pilots.' They all thought I was a stewardess."
-Suzanne Somers, who once filmed nine TV pilots in one year (2/8/82)

"I am not sending messages with my feet. All I ever wanted was not to come up empty. I did it for the dough and the old applause."
—Fred Astaire (7/6/87)

"I'm a salami writer. I try to write good salami, but salami is salami."
—Stephen King (8/24/87)

"Maybe it's in the nature of my talent to write highly inflammatory books. My intention, however, is just to write my books. If they inflame, they inflame. A hunchback doesn't go out on the streets with the intention of scaring little children. He is a hunchback. It's in the nature of his anatomy to scare. For me, my hump is my talent."
—Philip Roth (12/19/83)

"To the unwashed public, that woman is a star. But to those who know her, she's a commodity who would sell her own bowel movement."
—Anthony Newley, talking about ex-wife Joan Collins, after she tattled about their turbulent marriage in her autobiography (5/12/86)


"When she sang the blues, you felt so sorry for her, you wanted to kill the guy she sang about."
—Eubie Blake, about fellow blues great Alberta Hunter (11/13/78)

"When she sings a cheery song, it's like a pep rally, and when she sings a torch song, somewhere a hummingbird just dies."
—Burt Reynolds, about Liza Minnelli (4/20/87)

"Spencer was like a baked potato. He looked like that—and he gave good value."
—Katharine Hepburn, about Spencer Tracy (3/14/88)

"You can't be absolutely certain what he's going to say next. He's still semiwimpy but he's also semisexy. An oxymoron with verve."
—Norman Mailer, about George Bush (12/5/88)

"I think it would be the greatest tragedy our country has ever known if my father were to resign."
—Tricia Nixon Cox, five months before her father resigned as President (3/25/74)


"I am materialistic. I value money. I value my home. I do not like credit. I want to own things."
—O.J. Simpson (10/17/77)

"There's a lot to be said for being nouveau riche, and the Reagans mean to say it all."
—Gore Vidal (5/18/8l)

I never want to do anything for money. Anyway, I'm so naive about finances. Once when my mother mentioned an amount and realized I didn't understand, she had to explain: 'That's like three Mercedeses.' Then I understood."
Brooke Shields (7/8/85)

"My doctor convinced me that cocaine shrinks the membranes of the wallet."
—Cheech Marin (4/11/83)


"It's a good thing that I was born a woman, or I'd have been a drag queen."
—Dolly Parton (4/14/86)

"Pat, I want you to have an RCA transmitter."
—God, as quoted by Pat Robertson (8/11/86)

"Success is all it's cracked up to be. Life gets better, the work is nicer and I'm nicer."
—Daniel Travanti (2/22/82)

"My theory is, if I saw a star resentful of what he has, I 'd say, how dare he? God, if somebody is not going to live it to the fullest, why did you want it?"
—John Travolta, who then owned three airplanes, a 17-acre ranch, a Jaguar, a Rolls, a Mercedes and a Cadillac (6/24/85)

"I have never felt my coloring. I have always felt like a dark-haired person."
—Robert Redford (8/24/87)

"I'm bored with music between 1955 and 1980. I'm completely bored. I can't listen to a rock and roll record. I can't do it. I would rather listen to hogs screwing."
—Sting (5/16/88)

"All the records I buy are Motown records. Some of my best friends are black."
—Jockey Mary Bacon, after revealing she was a member of "a misunderstood organization," the Ku Klux Klan (5/19/75)

"The worst idea I've ever had."
—Robert Wagner, about helping to create Charlie's Angels (10/20/86)

—Jay Bernstein, Farrah Fawcett's Angels-era manager, assessing the attraction of her poster (10/20/86)

"It's not the most intellectual job in the world, but I do have to know the letters."
—Vanna White (8/25/86)

"At home, he never stops talking."
—Anne Marceau, wife of mime Marcel Marceau (8/28/78)

"I think greed is healthy. You can be greedy and still feel good about yourself."
—Wall Streeter Ivan Boesky, now serving a three-year prison term for insider trading (12/22-29/86)

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