Talk:Helen Hayes

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Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable, precise and verifiable source for any quote on this list please move it to Helen Hayes. --Antiquary 18:54, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

  • After all my years in the theater, I can look back on only a handful of moments that met my own standards of perfection. When you transcend yourself and really get inside the character, it's like being touched by God. That happened to me once or twice while I was playing Victoria
    • On her role in Victoria Regina.
  • Age is not important unless you're a cheese.
  • Although I don't look back warmly on this final stage of my career, at least I am not embarrassed by anything I was connected with. There were no horror pictures and no sleaze. Everything was geared to what they call 'family audiences.' I'm proud of that.
  • Celebrity has always struck me as a dubious and transitory claim to achievement in our society. Status seekers and other so-called glitterati stand precariously on shifting sands, ever in danger of being swallowed up and then replaced by a fresh throng of famous or notorious stars.
  • Childhood is a short season.
  • Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it did alright by me.
  • Feminism has its virtues, but I think we're pushing too hard, upsetting ourselves too much.
  • From your parents you learn love and laughter and how to put one foot before the other. But when books are opened you discover that you have wings.
  • Hollywood can't believe that anyone does anything without an eye on the public, as if every actor wants to read about himself in the papers. It's depressing to think that such an artificial and unbalanced community exerts so much influence on our country.
  • I just always wanted to do the very best I could.
  • I think that personality is what buoyed me through my whole career. That, and my small stature. Whatever quality it was I had, people have always been protective of me.
  • I was the youngest star the New York stage ever had and it darn near wrecked me.
  • I'm leaving the screen because I don't think I am very good in the pictures and I have this beautiful dream that I'm elegant on the stage.
  • Legends die hard. They survive as truth rarely does.
  • Mere longevity is a good thing for those who watch Life from the side lines. For those who play the game, an hour may be a year, a single day's work an achievement for eternity.
  • My career from earliest childhood was like a bright shiny bucket in a bucket line — I was passed along from hand to hand with everyone helping.
  • My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. She said that achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and worked hard and done the best that is in you. Success is being praised by others, and that's nice too, but not as important or satisfying. Always aim for achievement and forget about the success.
  • One has to grow up with good talk in order to form the habit of it.
  • Only the poet can look beyond the detail and see the whole picture.
  • Perhaps the absense of glamour contributed to my popularity. It may be that audiences felt comfortable with an actress who seemed cozy, approachable, unlike the flamboyant leading ladies I once knew in the theater.
  • Science has taught us to lengthen life. Now we must learn to make a longer life worth living. Older people deserve choices that let us live out our days as we wish. We've seen people making such choices all over America, and we realize what we might have known from the start: For most of us, there really is no place like home.
  • Sometimes I became so melancholic that I felt all actresses should be spayed so they couldn't have children. It's so very difficult to balance the careers of motherhood and the theater.
  • Sometimes when I'm asked what I've been doing since retirement, I'm tempted to answer, 'I accept honors.' That may sound egotistical, but the truth is that almost every honor or award — and I've collected quite a few, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom — has embarrassed me. Why single me out just for doing what was asked of me? I didn't go out and serve, but was always recruited for some service or another.
  • The hardest years in life are those between ten and seventy.
  • There were times at the theater when one or another of the young actors would make a pass, but invariably they reconsidered, deciding I was too 'sweet.' I was cursed with innocence.
  • We relish news of our heroes, forgetting that we are extraordinary to somebody too.
  • We rely upon the poets, the philosophers and the playwrights to articulate what most of us can only feel, in joy or sorrow. They illuminate the thoughts for which we only grope. They give us the strength and balm we cannot find in ourselves. Whenever I find my courage wavering I rush to them. They give me the wisdom of acceptance, the will and resilience to push on.
  • When traveling with someone, take large doses of patience and tolerance with your morning coffee.