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Fame

  • Fame compensates for a column of wants.

  • That's the trouble with hitching your wagon to a star — nothing happens when you say, 'Giddyap!'

  • Fame is a kind of death because it arrests life around the person in the public eye.

  • Fame separates you from life.

  • Fame to me certainly is only a temporary and a partial happiness ... fame is not really for a daily diet, that's not what fulfills you. It warms you a bit but the warming is temporary. It's like caviar, you know — it's good to have caviar but not when you have to have it every meal and every day.

    • Marilyn Monroe,
    • in Richard Meryman, "Marilyn Lets Her Hair Down About Being Famous," Life ()
  • I used to get the feeling, and sometimes I still get it, that sometimes I was fooling somebody. I don't know who or what — maybe myself.

    • Marilyn Monroe,
    • in Richard Meryman, "Marilyn Lets Her Hair Down About Being Famous," Life ()
  • Fame will go by and, so long, I've had you, fame. If it goes by, I've always known it was fickle. So at least it's something I experienced, but that's not where I live.

    • Marilyn Monroe,
    • in Richard Meryman, "Marilyn Lets Her Hair Down About Being Famous," Life ()
  • ...when you're famous you kind of run into human nature in a raw kind of way. It stirs up envy, fame does. People ... feel fame gives them some kind of privilege to walk up to you and say anything to you, you know, of any kind of nature — and it won't hurt your feelings — like it's happening to your clothing.

    • Marilyn Monroe,
    • in Richard Meryman, "Marilyn Lets Her Hair Down About Being Famous," Life ()
  • 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 ()
  • If you come to fame not understanding who you are, it will define who you are. It shouldn't change you. If you're a jerk, you just get to be a bigger jerk. What fame does is magnify who you are and puts that on a platter for the whole world to see.

    • Oprah Winfrey,
    • in Nellie Bly, Oprah: Up Close and Down Home ()
  • 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.

  • ... fame is merely the fact of being misunderstood by millions of people.

  • ... 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 ()
  • Fame is bought by happiness.

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

  • [On the 'Mae West' life jacket:] I've been in Who's Who, and I know what's what, but it's the first time I ever made the dictionary.

    • Mae West,
    • in Leslie Halliwell, The Filmgoer's Book of Quotes ()
  • Mere wealth, I am above it, / It is the reputation wide, / The playwright's pomp, the poet's pride / That eagerly I covet.

  • And the highest fame was never reached except / By what was aimed above it.

  • 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 ()
  • It's such a corrosive chemical: fame.

    • Gertrude Berg,
    • in David Bailey and Peter Evans, Goodbye Baby and Amen ()
  • Fame is a very good thing to have in the house, but cash is more convenient.

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

  • Fame is a pearl many dive for and only a few bring up. Even when they do, it is not perfect, and they sigh for more, and lose better things in struggling for them.

  • I asked for bread, and got a stone, — in the shape of a pedestal.

    • Louisa May Alcott,
    • 1875, in Ednah D. Cheney, ed., Louisa May Alcott: Her Life, Letters and Journals ()
  • 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 ()
  • ... 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 ()
  • And then, fame always brings loneliness. Success is as ice cold and as lonely as the north pole.

  • [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.

  • 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.

  • I know the voice of fame to be a mere weathercock, unstable as water and fleeting as a shadow.

    • Abigail Adams,
    • 1781, in Frank Shuffelton, ed., The Letters of John and Abigail Adams ()
  • 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! ()
  • Length of days has also told against her reputation; there is always sympathy for those who early leave the scene — always speculation as to great accomplishments cruelly missed ...

  • 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.

  • ... 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.

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

  • Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make famous.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • ... 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.

  • Fame is a possible end result. It isn't a goal.

  • 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 ()
  • 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.

  • He longed to make a mark, or, to express it more vulgarly, cut a figure. Now, fortunately or unfortunately, the number of figures which can be cut in the world is practically unlimited; the only difficulty is to cut precisely the kind of figure one would wish.

  • 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 ()
  • Fame nowadays is little else but notoriety ...

  • Awe consumes any brand that ignites it ...

  • ... the more visible my work became, the less visible I grew to myself.

  • That's what fame is: solitude.

    • Coco Chanel,
    • in Marcel Haedrich, Coco Chanel: Her Life, Her Secrets ()
  • One of the drawbacks of Fame is that one can never escape from it.

  • 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.

  • I always wanted to be somebody. ... If I've made it, it's half because I was game to take a wicked amount of punishment along the way and half because there were an awful lot of people who cared enough to help me.

    • Althea Gibson,
    • in Ed Fitzgerald, ed., I Always Wanted to Be Somebody ()
  • If so many people love me, how come I'm alone?

    • 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.

  • ... 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.

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

  • The fame you earn has a different taste from the fame that is forced upon you.

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

  • I love being a star more than life itself.

  • 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.

  • I sang for you, not for posterity. Fame for its own sake is vain, and what do I care for praise after death?

    • Sappho,
    • in George Wickes, The Amazon of Letters ()
  • Fame is one thing, notoriety is another.

    • Lana Turner,
    • in Jane Wilkie, Confessions of an Ex-Fan Magazine Writer ()
  • [When asked whether she had always hoped that her daughter, Helen Hayes, would grow up to be a great actor:] Doesn't everybody?

  • ... some of us just don't want to be famous ... anonymity cannot be bought for any price, once you have lost it ...