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Celebrity

  • Plot and melodrama were in every life; in some so briefly as hardly to be recognized, in others—in that of certain men and women in the public eye, for instance—they were almost in the nature of a continuous performance.

  • The modern world is not given to uncritical admiration. It expects its idols to have feet of clay, and can be reasonably sure that press and camera will report their exact dimensions.

    • Barbara Ward,
    • "First Lady, First Person," in The Saturday Review ()
  • Those who are formed to win general admiration, are seldom calculated to bestow individual happiness.

  • If I am a star, it was the people who made me one — not the studio, but the people.

  • ... Americans respect talent only insofar as it leads to fame, and we reserve our most fervent admiration for famous people who destroy their lives as well as their talent. The fatal flaws of Elvis, Judy, and Marilyn register much higher on our national applause meter than their living achievements. In Amerca, talent is merely a tool for becoming famous in life so you can become more famous in death — where all are equal.

  • ... I am not famous for anything in particular. I am just famous.

  • ... a celebrity is someone who no longer does the things that made him a celebrity.

  • So this was fame at last! Nothing but a vast debt to be paid to the world in energy, blood, and time.

  • Authentic stardom ... is a gift which, if it is to have any permanent significance, must be bestowed by a public rather than a manager.

  • This whole celebrity-fame thing is interesting. I'm the same person I always was. The only difference between being famous and not being famous is that people know who you are.

    • Oprah Winfrey,
    • in Nellie Bly, Oprah: Up Close and Down Home ()
  • Sophia became a celebrity (someone who ... is famous for being famous).

  • You don't get to choose what you get famous for and you don't get to control which of your life's many struggles gets to stand for you.

  • ... we Princes are set as it were upon stages, in the sight and view of all the world. The least spot is soon spied in our garments, a blemish quickly noticed in our doings.

    • Elizabeth I,
    • 1581, in Frederick Chamberlin, The Sayings of Queen Elizabeth ()
  • Whoso appears before the public should expect no consideration and demand none.

  • ... why will friends publish all the trash they can scrape together of celebrated people?

    • Maria Edgeworth,
    • 1821, in Augustus J.C. Hare, ed., The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, vol. 2 ()
  • The crowning evil which arises from the system of 'lionism' is, that it cuts off the retreat of literary persons into the great body of human beings. They are marked out as a class, and can no longer take refuge from their toils and their publicity in ordinary life. ... the author has to do with those two things precisely which are common to the whole race, — with living and thinking. He is devoted to no exclusive department of science; and the art which he practices, — the writing what he thinks, — is quite a subordinate part of his business. The very first necessity of his vocation is to live as others live, in order to see and feel, and to sympathize in human thought. In proportion as this sympathy is impaired, will his views be partial, his understanding, both of men and books, be imperfect, and his power be weakened accordingly.

  • I thought success in show business was everything. It isn't. I don't know what is.

  • It is strange what society will endure from its idols.

  • We have the reverse of the Puritan work ethic in America now. No one ever becomes a star by plugging along year after year. What is needed is flair, talent, 'an eye,' contacts, charisma, and, most of all, naturalness.

  • Celebrity is just obscurity biding its time.

    • Carrie Fisher,
    • in Leslie Bennetts, "Carrie on Baggage," Vanity Fair ()
  • We movie stars all end up by ourselves. Who knows? Maybe we want to.

    • Bette Davis,
    • in Christopher P. Anderson, The New Book of People ()
  • How dreary — to be — Somebody! / How public — like a Frog-- / To tell one's name — the livelong June — / To an admiring Bog!

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • c. 1861, in Thomas H. Johnson, ed., The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson ()
  • Fame is a fickle food / Upon a shifting plate.

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • in Thomas H. Johnson, ed., The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson ()
  • Fame is a bee. / It has a song — / It has a sting — / Ah, too, it has a wing.

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • 1898, in Thomas H. Johnson, ed., The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson ()
  • Show business can be an addiction. ... An audience would laugh at me one night, and I would chase that high for another three months.

    • Joan Rivers,
    • with Richard Merryman, Still Talking ()
  • It's such a corrosive chemical: fame.

    • Gertrude Berg,
    • in David Bailey and Peter Evans, Goodbye Baby and Amen ()
  • All the famous people had had an awful time. One of them had a drunken father. Another had a stammer. Another had to wash hundreds of dirty bottles. They had all had what was called a difficult childhood. Clearly you had to have one if you wanted to become famous.

  • ... it takes very little fire to make a great deal of smoke nowadays, and notoriety is not real glory.

  • Long life will sometimes obscure the star of fame.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1675, Letters of Madame de Sévigné to Her Daughter and Her Friends, vol. 3 ()
  • I never claimed to be famous. Notorious I have always been.

    • Lola Montez,
    • c. 1856, in Edward B. Marks, They All Had Glamour ()
  • Celebrities used to be found in clusters, like oysters — and with much the same defensive mechanisms.

  • ... the moment a person ceases to be obscure he is catapulted straight into the big time, and after only a minute or two of the good stuff, and after only five or six minutes of denial, he's looking directly at the underbelly, right into the maw. Staring straight back at him are thousands of journalists who, having just made him famous, are now ready to follow up by trashing him and making his life a misery. They'll print anything whether it's true or not, nothing personal, that's how it is, they have space to fill, nobody asked you to become famous so don't blame them, what goes up must come down and the sooner the better.

    • Nora Ephron,
    • "Famous First Words," Nora Ephron Collected ()
  • [Her life with Tony Curtis in 1961:] We were beginning the climb to a higher plateau. Acceptance. Recognition. Status. Security. We only had to hold on and hope the thin air didn't make us dizzy and cause a tumble. We also needed to remember that the inside had to ascend together with the outside.

  • After a taste of stardom, everything else is poverty.

  • To be a star is to own the world and all the people in it.

  • ... those who live a public life no longer are seen as 'real persons' — human beings. Rather they are objects to be examined, manipulated, ridiculed.

  • What happened to me was this. When the success began and it was a success I got lost completely lost. ... for the first time since I had begun to write I could not write and what was worse I could not worry about not writing and what was also worse I began to think about how my writing would sound to others, how could I make them understand, I who had always lived within myself and my writing. And then all of a sudden I said there that it is that is what was the matter with all of them all the young men whose syrup did not pour, and here I am being just the same. They were young and I am not but when it happens it is just the same, the syrup does not pour.

  • I often think how celebrated I am. / It is difficult not to think how celebrated I am. / And if I think how celebrated I am / They know who know that I am new / That is I knew I know how celebrated I am / And after all it astonishes even me.

  • Fame, or notoriety, whichever that special noise may be called when the world like a hound 'gives tongue' and announces that the quarry in some form of genius is at bay, is apt to increase its clamor in proportion to the aloofness of the pursued animal ...

  • A celebrity is one who works all his life to become well-known and then goes through back streets wearing dark glasses so he won't be recognized.

    • Jane Powell,
    • in Lester Gordon, Let's Go to the Movies! ()
  • 'Out of sight, out of mind' applies with even greater force to entertainers than to lovers ...

    • Arlene Francis,
    • in Arlene Francis, with Florence Rome, Arlene Francis: A Memoir by Arlene Francis ()
  • I, personally, liked the legend.

    • Marlene Dietrich,
    • 1959, in Steven Bach, Marlene Dietrich: Life and Legend ()
  • Minor renown takes up major amounts of time.

  • Fame is a boomerang.

    • Maria Callas,
    • in Arianna Stassinopoulos, Maria Callas: The Woman Behind the Legend ()
  • The penalty of success is to be bored by people who used to snub you.

  • Wanting to meet an author because you like his work is like wanting to meet a duck because you like paté.

  • I have decided that while I am a star I will be every inch and every moment the star. Everyone from the studio gateman to the highest executive will know it.

    • Gloria Swanson,
    • in Gary Herman, ed., The Book of Hollywood Quotes ()
  • ... once you start you can't stop; you've got to go on doing things to keep famous because an ex-famous person is better off dead. ... My Dad told me that. He was a hurdler in his youth, and then someone jumped higher than he did and people acted funny toward him all his life. They couldn't forget and he couldn't jump any higher.

  • Success means only being exposed to more people.

  • ... they were famous: demands were made upon them. Solitude meant escape from the importuning of strangers.

  • By the very fact of public life, one seems to lose humanity in people's eyes.

  • Elvis is bound to be dead. Look at all the vultures in his vicinity.

  • There are very few persons who would think of inquiring into the private life of the newspaper dealer at the corner, or the druggist, or the doctor, or even a Mah Jong partner, but the moment one belongs to the theatrical profession, the public usually feels cheated unless it knows one's inmost thoughts of love.

  • You're only as good as your last picture.

    • Marie Dressler,
    • in Hedda Hopper and James Brough, The Whole Truth and Nothing But ()
  • Once you grow accustomed to being famous, you do not realize it, but you are never quite your humble, honest self. No matter how tightly you keep the lid on, there is some watered stock of vanity inside. You are always in danger of the thing's coming off and of giving yourself an air or two. No man or woman was ever so distinguished that this exhibition did not make him ridiculous, especially to those of meaner minds.

  • Not everything you hear about yourself can be considered good publicity. And if you have delicate sensibilities, the currycomb of public imagination frequently rubs your vanities the wrong way.

  • I defy any newcomer not to believe his or her publicity at the very beginning. It's only natural. At least it was for me.

    • Susan Hayward,
    • 1938, in Kim R. Holston, Susan Hayward: Her Films and Life ()
  • ... for some people life outside the spotlight is death.

    • Nadia Comăneci,
    • in Barbara Grizzuti Harrison, The Astonishing World ()
  • We live in a culture where people are famous for doing nothing other than being a personality.

  • I have yet to see one completely unspoiled star, except for the animals — like Lassie.

    • Edith Head,
    • in C. Robert Jennings, "Body by MacLaine--in Originals by Edith Head," Saturday Evening Post ()
  • I never go out unless I look like Joan Crawford the movie star. If you want to see the girl next door, go next door.

  • What's nice about my dating life is that I don't have to leave my house. All I have to do is read the paper: I'm marrying Richard Gere, dating Daniel Day-Lewis, parading around with John F. Kennedy, Jr., and even Robert De Niro was in there for a day.

  • The Press blew, the public stared, hands flew out like a million little fishes after bread.

  • There may be wonder in money, but, dear God, there is money in wonder.

  • I won't be happy until I'm as famous as God.

    • Madonna,
    • in Trevor Hunt, Words From the Stars ()
  • Alas, how wretched is the being who depends on the stability of public favour!

  • The press frequently sneers at the hype devoted to a superstar, but the press itself is responsible for all the hype.

    • Beverly Sills,
    • in Beverly Sills and Lawrence Linderman, Beverly ()
  • I can't draw, I can't paint, but put a piece of fabric in my hands and magic happens.

    • Pauline Trigère,
    • in Maxine Block, Anna Herthe Rothe, and Charles Moritz, Current Biography Yearbook ()
  • Every star knows you step on some toes to get where you're going — and some more after you get there. Nobody means to hurt anybody else, it just happens. You always keep saying in the back of your mind that one day you will be able to right all the wrongs. That someday almost never comes.

  • No public character can escape without criticism, just and unjust ...

  • I have always been dogged by the paradox of being a star before I was a beginner. I have had to go through all my apprenticeships in full public view and with top billing. ... I found myself in even more complex difficulties: the necessity of working for perfection while being expected to have it. Here I was, the ingénue lead in a musical, but with the limitations of a novice in a high-school play.

  • If so many people love me, how come I'm alone?

    • Doris Day,
    • in A.E. Hotchner, Doris Day: Her Own Story ()
  • ... in the press, my sex life was something else again. I was Lady Bountiful of the Sheets. Some of the best fiction of the Sixties was written about my amorous adventures with an assortment of lovers who could have only been chosen by a berserk random sampler.

    • Doris Day,
    • in A.E. Hotchner, Doris Day: Her Own Story ()
  • And a Famous Film Star who is left alone is more alone than any other person has ever been in the whole Histry of the World, because of the contrast to our normal enviromint.

  • I like being very busy. I think that's the definition of stardom, really. It's energy. It really is.

  • Our English people are much addicted to raising idols, and then revenging themselves on their own idolatry by knocking down and demolishing the poor bits of wood and stone that they had worshipped as gods. How many literary reputations have been so treated!

    • Mary Russell Mitford,
    • 1850, in Henry Chorley, ed., Letters of Mary Russell Mitford, 2nd series, vol. 2 ()
  • ... someone had tried to warn me of the kind of catastrophe that is likely to occur when you involve yourself too closely in one of those destinies that is ringed around by the transient tinsel of human applause.

  • ... any star can be devoured by human adoration, sparkle by sparkle.

  • A star is only as good as her last picture.

  • We are riveted by the soap operas of public lives. We admire the famous most for what makes them infamous: it reassures us that they are not better and no happier than all the people with their noses pressed hard against the glass.

    • Maureen Dowd,
    • "No Grand Illusion," in The New York Times ()
  • Celebrity is the religion of our time.

  • If you're famous enough, the rules don't apply.

    • Maureen Dowd,
    • "Hankering for a Hero," in The New York Times ()
  • Almost anyone who has ever attained any kind of public stature in his or her profession can expect sometimes to see a reflection in a cracked mirror.

  • [On celebrity journalism:] Go back to that wonderful Alan Jay Lerner song in Camelot, the one about 'I wonder what the king is doing tonight.' We really want to know what the king is up to. It must be something bred into us from peasantry.

    • Liz Smith,
    • in James Brady, "In Step with Liz Smith," Parade ()
  • Scandal is as good as an early death for a great artist.

  • Stardom can be very destructive — particularly if you believe in it.

  • Acting is the developing of one's own personality, too, you know. That's what the public buys in a star, shall we say, the personality thing.

    • Shelley Winters,
    • in Lewis Funke and John E. Booth, Actors Talk About Acting ()
  • The trouble with marrying an actor is they grab you in their arms, hold you close and tell you how wonderful they are.

  • The rich plankton of pop heroes and pop villains on which we Americans are accustomed to feed, the daily media soup of sports figures, ax murderers, politicians, and rock singers, the ever-running river of celebs, heavies, and oddballs that we use to spice up our own relatively humdrum lives has of late become a very watery gruel. Where have all the good guys and bad guys gone? Why does everyone out there look so gray?

  • Those who are chosen by fate to act on the stage of public life should be provided with thick skins or with preoccupations that help them to ignore the millions of eyes that are always following every move.

  • Jealousy is the fear of losing the thing you love most. It's very normal. Suspicion is the thing that's abnormal.

  • People who want to be famous are really loners. Or they should be.

  • Remember to negotiate thickness as well as height on the lettering of your name.

  • It's not easy living up to Janis Joplin, you know.

  • People seem to have a high sense of drama about me. Maybe they can enjoy my music more if they think I'm destroying myself.

  • I love being a star more than life itself.

  • We're harmless megalomaniacs, fanatic in our devotion to a profession which rarely rewards us with a livelihood. Since we court public display we're the foes of privacy. The glass house is our favorite residence.

  • Everybody likes to gossip. But it can be a little scary to have people knowing secrets about me when I don't know anything about them. It's not exactly a two-way street there.

  • Celebrity was a long time in coming; it will go away. Everything goes away.

  • [On a high school visit by Destiny's Child:] Then they appeared, golden Glamazons resplendent in hot pants the size of a dryer sheet and gold stiletto boots. The kids in the front row, clearly on funkiness overload, had the walleyed look of the Today's Catch section of the supermarket.

  • ... our contempt for the culture of celebrity is outstripped only by our continued dependence on it.

  • Celebrity and status are not naturally occurring forces; they are things we, as a society continue to grant certain individuals even as our stories, both fiction and nonfiction, grapple with the inevitable peril of doing so.

  • When you look past the image, a celebrity is merely a person you know nothing about.

  • You know, people can get certain good things out of fame, but until it killed a princess nobody ever talked about how bad it can be.

  • One of the first times I was papped they caught me stand-up paddle boarding in Hawaii. I didn't even recognize myself. I saw the shots and thought, 'Oh cool, Alfred Hitchcock is alive and likes water sports.' But nope. It was me.