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Ruth Gordon

  • The best impromptu speeches are the ones written well in advance.

  • ... he's seen so many plays he uses dialogue instead of conversation.

  • Lawyers should never marry other lawyers. This is called inbreeding, from which come idiot children and more lawyers.

    • Ruth Gordon,
    • screenplay, Adam's Rib ()
  • I think there is one smashing rule: never face the facts.

    • Ruth Gordon,
    • in The New York Post ()
  • Anything that begins 'I don't know how to tell you this' is never good news.

    • Ruth Gordon,
    • in John Robert Colombo, Popcorn in Paradise ()
  • Courage is very important. Like a muscle, it is strengthened by use.

    • Ruth Gordon,
    • in L'Officiel ()
  • Life is getting through the moment. The philosopher William James says to cultivate the cheerful attitude. Now nobody had more trouble than he did — except me. I had more trouble in my life than anybody. But your first big trouble can be a bonanza if you live through it. Get through the first trouble, you'll probably make it through the next one.

    • Ruth Gordon,
    • in Paul Rosenfield, "The Careerist Guide to Survival" in The Los Angeles Times ()
  • At seventy-four I'm getting minor raves on my looks, but I'm caught in the middle. Who knows what seventy-four looks like? Who cares? But if I'd listened to my friends, I could now lie and say I'm eighty-four. For eighty-four, the way I look is spectacular.

    • Ruth Gordon,
    • in Celebrity Research Group, The Bedside Book of Celebrity Gossip ()
  • I never 'faced facts' in life, so I survived. If I'd faced facts, I would have realized that I was a plain little girl with bow legs from Quincy, Massachusetts, and never gone on the stage. You must never face facts.

    • Ruth Gordon,
    • in Doug McClelland, Star Speak ()
  • Discussing how old you are is the temple of boredom.

    • Ruth Gordon
  • When you finally learn how to do it, you're too old for the good parts.

    • Ruth Gordon
  • How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?

    • Ruth Gordon
  • If you believe, then you hang on. If you believe, it means you've got imagination, you don't need stuff thrown out for you in a blueprint, you don't have to face facts. ... What can stop you? If you don't make it today, it'll come in tomorrow.

    • Ruth Gordon
  • In the old days, ptomaine poisoning was a cover-all. If you missed a show and you were young, it meant you were having an abortion. If you were old, it meant you were having a face lift.

    • Ruth Gordon
  • To get it right, be born with luck or else make it. Never give up. Get the knack of getting people to help you and also pitch in yourself. A little money helps, but what really gets it right is to never — I repeat never — under any condition face the facts.

    • Ruth Gordon
  • If you believe, then you hang on. If you believe, it means you've got imagination, you don't need stuff drawn out for you in a blueprint, you don't face facts — what can stop you? If I don't make it today, I'll come in tomorrow.

  • Sometimes what you want you don't get until you don't want it anymore.

  • Acting is the use of human experience with talent added ...

  • By the time you know how to act, you're too old to do it.

  • Despair is your friend in show business. I don't believe you can act if happiness is your lot. It's the ups that keep you living and the downs that mete out talent.

  • If you're thinking of becoming a critic, why not make other plans?

  • Live long enough and you'll come into pensions, a lovely thing. Presents every month from people you didn't know cared.

  • Get up early in the morning before everybody has breathed up all the good air.

  • Do people get moral when they don't get ahead?

  • Courage is like a strain of yoghurt culture, if you have some you can have some more.

Ruth Gordon, U.S. actor, scriptwriter

(1896 - 1985)

Full name: Ruth Jones Gordon.