Barbara Stanwyck Quotations

I'm a tough old broad from Brooklyn. I intend to go on acting until I'm ninety and they won't need to paste my face with make-up.

Eyes are the greatest tool in film. Mr. Capra taught me that. Sure, it's nice to say very good dialogue, if you can get it. But great movie acting - watch the eyes!

Put me in the last fifteen minutes of a picture and I don't care what happened before. I don't even care if I was IN the rest of the damned thing - I'll take it in those fifteen minutes.

My only problem is finding a way to play my fortieth fallen female in a different way from my thirty-ninth.

The boy's got a lot to learn and I've got a lot to teach.
– in 1932 when she was 32 about Robert Taylor who was four years younger than Barbara when they married.

It's perhaps not the future I would choose. I still think it's possible to make a success of both marriage and career, even though I didn't. But it's not a bad future. And I'm not afraid of it.

I couldn't remember my name for weeks. I'd be at the theater and hear them calling, 'Miss Stanwyck, Miss Stanwyck,' and I'd think, 'Where is that dame? Why doesn't she answer? By crickie, it's me!'
-- about her name change.

Egotism - usually just a case of mistaken nonentity.

There's nothing more fun in the whole world than seeing a child open a present at Christmas. To have a six-year-old boy stroke a bicycle with his eyes and, not daring to touch, turn and ask, 'Is it mine, Missy? Really mine?' That's part of my future. The rest is work. And, I hope, some wisdom.

Career is too pompous a word. It was a job and I have always felt privileged to be paid for doing what I love doing.

Attention embarrasses me. I don't like to be on display.

I want to go on until they have to shoot me.

The night we were making the scene of the dying ship in the outdoor tank at Twentieth, it was bitter cold. I was 47 feet up in the air in a lifeboat swinging on the davits. The water below was agitated into a heavy rolling mass and it was thick with other lifeboats full of woman and children. I looked down and thought: If one of these ropes snaps now, it's good-by for you. Then I looked up at the faces lined along the rail - those left behind to die with the ship. I thought of the men and women who had been through this thing in our time. We were re-creating an actual tragedy and I burst into tears. I shook with great racking sobs and couldn't stop.
-- on filming 'Titanic'.

There is a point in portraying surface vulgarity where tragedy and comedy are very close.

During Double Indemnity (1944), Fred MacMurray would go to rushes [viewings of daily completed shots]. I remember asking Fred, How was I? [Fred's response was] I don't know about you, but I was wonderful! Such a true remark. Actors only look at themselves.

I desperately wanted the part, I went after it. I knew what a role for a woman it was and I knew I could handle every facet of Mildred. I laid my cards on the table with Jerry Wald. After all, I'd done a dozen pictures at Warner's by then, including So Big and Meet John Doe. I'd paid my dues, and I felt Mildred was me. 
-- regarding the role in the film "Mildred Pierce".

No stench bomb ever made people walk out of a theater as fast as that picture did.
-- on her role in "The Locked Door".

The motion picture industry retired me five years ago, and the television people weren't knocking my door down. You've read about people being 'besieged with offers?' Well I wasn't one of them.
-- in 1961

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