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Ellen Terry

  • Imagination, industry, and intelligence — 'the three I's' — are all indispensable to the actress, but of these three the greatest is, without any doubt, imagination.

  • Imagination! Imagination! I put it first years ago, when I was asked what qualities I thought necessary for success upon the stage.

  • Not until we have learned to be useful can we afford to do what we like.

  • The tragedian will always be a limited tragedian if he has not learned how to laugh. The comedian who cannot weep will never touch the highest levels of mirth.

  • Coroners' inquests by learned societies can't make Shakespeare a dead man.

  • There is all the difference in the world between departure from recognized rules by one who has learned to obey them, and neglect of them through want of training or want of skill or want of understanding. Before you can be eccentric you must know where the circle is.

  • Applause is an instinctive, unconscious act expressing the sympathy between actors and audience. Just as our art demands more instinct than intellect in its exercise, so we demand of those who watch us an apppreciation of the simple unconscious kind which finds an outlet in clapping rather than the cold intellectual approval which would self-consciously think applause derogatory. I have yet to meet the actor who was sincere in saying that he disliked applause.

  • They talk in New York of a man who lost both his sons — 'One died and the other went to live in Philadelphia.'

  • Ideas he had in plenty — 'unpractical' ideas people called them; but what else should ideas be?

  • What is a diary as a rule? A document useful to the person who keeps it, dull to the contemporary who reads it, invaluable to the student, centuries afterwards, who treasures it!

  • Security is mortal's chiefest enemy.

    • Ellen Terry

Ellen Terry, English actor

(1847 - 1928)

Full name: Alice Ellen Terry Watts Kelly Carew. Also: Dame Ellen Terry.