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Shirley MacLaine

  • ... fear makes strangers of people who should be friends.

  • Fear is concealed in smiles and flashing teeth. 'Please say you still love me,' the kings and queens are really saying. And, when they fare badly, they return to their palaces and sleep fitfully.

  • ... if the talent or individuality is there, it should be expressed. If it doesn't find its way out into the air, it can turn inward and gnaw like the fox at the Spartan boy's belly.

  • Anything is possible if you believe you deserve it.

  • In some ways, America has grown up to be a masterpiece of self-concern.

  • Hollywood always had a streak of the totalitarian in just about everything it did. The old moguls were essentially hard-fisted authoritarians who had created a system of linked dictatorships to control the creative people. We were supposed to be the children; mad, tempestuous, brilliant, talented, not terribly smart children.

  • New York is the perfect town for getting over a disappointment, a loss, or a broken heart.

  • New York was the only city I knew in the world where you could be desperately lonely at nine in the morning, crossing the street for a bagel at Gristede's, and find that seven hours later you were drinking Irish coffee at P.J. Clarke's with all the friends you had inherited along the way.

  • The more sex becomes a non-issue in people's lives, the happier they are.

    • Shirley MacLaine,
    • in The Observer ()
  • I've made so many movies playing a hooker that they don't pay me in the regular way any more. They leave it on the dresser.

  • ... I've always thought I was looking for myself whenever I traveled. Like a journey anywhere was really a journey through myself.

  • Dwelling on the negative simply contributes to its power.

  • Maybe the tragedy of the human race was that we had forgotten we were each Divine.

  • You can't lie when you dance. It's so direct. You do what is in you. You can't dance out of the side of your mouth.

    • Shirley MacLaine,
    • in James Spada, Shirley & Warren ()
  • Friendship is not linear. It moves in all directions, teaching us about ourselves and about each other.

  • To dance at all is to confront oneself. It is the art of honesty.

  • On the stage you try to act real. On the screen you try to be real.

  • Sex is hardly ever just about sex.

  • We humans should never forget our capacity to connect with the collective spirit of animals. Their energy is essential to our future growth.

  • ... I think the world is in the mess it's in because we are spiritually ignorant.

  • ... the illusion never really dissipates that you can lose twenty pounds in one night by cutting out dinner.

  • ... when things get rough, a breakthrough is just on the other side of the pain.

  • The loss of magic is the denial of unlimited possibility.

  • I could be whatever I wanted to be if I trusted that music, that song, that vibration of God that was inside of me.

  • One should start with oneself / But never end with oneself.

  • Perhaps the longest journey is the journey within.

  • The person who knows how to laugh at himself will never cease to be amused.

  • One can become as intellectually arrogant about spirituality as about empirical science.

  • To release others from the expectations we have of them is to really love them.

  • Technology has outstripped our knowledge of self.

  • We cannot divorce what we are producing from what we are. We create technology out of the vision we have of ourselves. If we are blind in our conception of ourselves we will create a blind technology.

  • Prayer is speaking to God. Meditation is listening to God. Trust tranquility.

  • All life is a boomerang. We receive what we give.

  • None of this is a matter of life and death. It is much more important than that.

  • You think you have a handle on God, the Universe, and the Great White Light until you go home for Thanksgiving. In an hour, you realize how far you've got to go and who is the real turkey.

  • If we can genuinely honor our mother and father we are not only at peace with ourselves but we can then give birth to our future.

  • Being a dancer meant you nearly always thought about food.

  • ... bonding through dependence never works, whereas bonding through freedom always does.

  • ... no one ever really leaves Hollywood. No one really leaves unless they are called away by God. Even then, the impulse would be to come back again and make a movie about the experience.

  • ... the absence of evidence does not mean the evidence of absence.

  • I don't need a man to rectify my existence. The most profound relationship we'll ever have is the one with ourselves.

    • Shirley MacLaine,
    • in Trevor Hunt, Words From the Stars ()
  • It's useless to hold a person to anything he says while he's in love, drunk, or running for office.

    • Shirley MacLaine,
    • in Trevor Hunt, Words From the Stars ()
  • The best way to get most husbands to do something is to suggest that perhaps they're too old to do it.

    • Shirley MacLaine
  • Someday change will be accepted as life itself.

    • Shirley MacLaine
  • You are the architect of your personal experience.

    • Shirley MacLaine
  • For me, the safest place is out on a limb.

    • Shirley MacLaine
  • [On her brother Warren Beatty:] I'd like to do a love scene with him just to see what all the yelling is about.

    • Shirley MacLaine

Shirley MacLaine, U.S. film/theater actor, singer, dancer, activist, writer


Real name: Shirley MacLean Beaty.