John Gielgud Quotes

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Quotations by John Gielgud.

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(At age 84) When you`re my age, you just never risk being ill - because then everyone says, "Oh, he`s done for".

(on Peggy Ashcroft) I`m absolutely devoted to her. People can`t behave badly when she`s around. She has such integrity.

(During an interview on US television the interviewer asked who had inspired him) It was during my time at RADA, there was a man who inspired us all. Claude Rains. I don`t know what happened to him, I think he failed and went to America.

Like all professions, acting has terrible drawbacks. It can be fearfully boring, fearfully unglamorous . . . but what is fun about the theatre is that we get our prizes while we are alive to enjoy them. We have the pleasure of the audience`s reaction, we have the applause, we have the publicity, we have the tribute and the honors and whatever it may be. Much more than we probably deserve.

(on Claude Rains) He was a great influence on me. I don`t know what happened to him. I think he failed and went to America.

(on James Mason) He was a punctilious man, beautifully mannered, quiet, generous and amusing. I never heard him say a vicious or bitter thing about anything or anyone.

If one watches television enough, one begins to perceive the texture with which it`s contrived.

(to Richard Burton on seeing Burton`s first "Hamlet") I`ll come back and see it when you`re better.

(on reading bad reviews) It`s wonderful when it isn`t you.

The only thing I liked about films was looking at the back of my head, which otherwise I could only see at the tailor`s.

(on Ralph Richardson) Ralph is a remarkable man, shrewd, observant, warm and generous-hearted, once you get to know him. He is also reserved and cautious, never making a swift decision about anything.

The joke is that people think of me as an intellectual actor. Yet I have always trusted almost entirely to observation, emotion and instinct.

Acting is half shame, half glory. Shame at exhibiting yourself, glory when you can forget yourself.

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John Gielgud

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