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Julie in Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

‘No matter what you do, you can act your heart out, but people will always say, ‘Oh, Julie Adams – Creature from the Black Lagoon’.

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‘I wasn’t speaking a word of Italian until I was eighteen. They had to dub my voice in my first Italian picture!’ [Contrary to popular belief, Claudia was not born in Italy but in Tunis, capital of the French Protectorate Tunisia. Her father was an Italian railroad worker but she grew up speaking French after her French mother].

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‘Anyone who says life begins at forty is full of it. As people get older their bodies begin to decay. They get sick. They forget things. What’s good about that?’

‘I’d marry again if I found a man who had fifteen million dollars, would sign over half to me, and guarantee that he’d be dead within a year.’

‘I was a person who couldn’t make divorce work. For me, there’s nothing lonelier than a turned-down toilet seat.’

‘From the moment I was six I felt sexy. And let me tell you it was hell, sheer hell, waiting to do something about it.’

‘Warner Brothers asked me to play Paul Newman’s mother in Cool Hand Luke. They offered me $25,000 for one day’s work. I said, ‘No.’ I would have been on and off the screen in three minutes. That would be a cheat to the audience.’

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Irving Berlin

[Commenting on her version of Irving Berlin’s song, ‘God Bless America’] ‘Irving Berlin had a fit when he found out I was doing it. He called my manager and said, ‘If that teeny-bopper louses up my beautiful ‘God Bless America’ the way she did poor Harry Ruby’s ‘Who’s Sorry Now’, I’m going to have a stroke’. ‘My manager said, ‘Please, Irving, relax. You’ll be the first to hear it.’ ‘I just don’t want it loused up with any of that ‘Stupid Cupid’ crap!’ said Irving. Then, when the record came out, my manager sent it directly to him and he said, ‘She did it just the way I thought she’d do it. It stinks! It’s worse than that.’ I can’t even tell you what he said. So, when it made the Top 10 in Variety, Irving called my manager and says, ‘George, do you think she can do ‘God Bless America’ on Perry Como’s Kraft Music Hall?’

‘One day in 1960 I was going through my collection of Al Jolson and Judy Garland records, and I played Al’s ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight?’ and I said, ‘Daddy, come listen to this. I could make it a No. 1 song’. He agreed and I called Don Costa in to do the arrangement. I said, ‘I’m more excited about recording this song than anything I’ve ever cut.’ ‘We were in the car on our way to New York when the radio played Elvis Presley’s ‘new’ single, ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight?’ Can you believe that? I was literally on my way to the studio to record it. How do you like that? Elvis even did the recitation part just like Al Jolson did.’

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Elvis Presley & Red West

[Commenting on Elvis’s inner-circle crew] ‘Well, they were ‘yes’ men. They overlooked his excesses and the chemicals he was taking. For a Cadillac, they would say the right things. I said, ‘God forbid that day comes that you die, Elvis. Red West is going to write a bad book about you’, and I was absolutely right.’ 

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‘My Daddy had seen a lot of people who played guitars and stuff and didn’t work, so he said, ‘you should make up your mind either about being an electrician or playing a guitar, and I never saw a guitar player that was worth a damn.’

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‘Roy Orbison is the greatest singer in the world.’

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‘I wonder whether there has ever before been a man who bought a schooner and joined the Communist Party all on the same day.’

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[On refusing to learn his lines for one of his Hollywood movies] ‘My memory is full of beauty: Hamlet’s soliloquies, the Queen Mab speech, King Magnus’s monologue from The Applecart, most of the Sonnets. Do you expect me to clutter up all that with this horseshit?’

‘You can’t drown yourself in drink. I’ve tried. You float.’

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‘In Europe, it doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman – we make love with anyone we find attractive. Sex is much better with a woman, but then one can’t live with a woman!’

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Christina Crawford & her mother Joan Crawford

[On the adopted daughter of Joan Crawford, Christina, and her book about her mother titled Mommie Dearest] ‘I am shocked that Paramount bought that filthy book and made the frightful bitch who wrote it rich, and that rhymes. I did not know Joan Crawford but nobody deserves that kind of slaughter. Too bad she did not leave her where she found her, so she could now spit her poison in the slums of some big city. I hate her with a passion and I know the public will.’

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Cary Grant & Mae West

‘I was in the office at Paramount, and they gave me a large book with a lot of photographs of different leading men, and I was sitting at a table or a desk right near the window and the door, and uh, after I looked at a few I kind of glanced out the window and I saw this good-looking guy walk across the street. So, I said, ‘that’s about the best-looking thing in Hollywood: who is he?’ So they looked, and they said, ‘Oh, that’s Cary Grant. We haven’t used him in a picture as yet, but we made tests of him with some of the starlets.’ I said, ‘Well, if this guy can talk, I’ll take him.’ So, they called him in, and we met, and he said, ‘How do you do?’ and I said, ‘OK.’ And they said, ‘What part?’ and I said, ‘The lead, of course.’ So he got the lead.’

‘The only gal who came near to me in the sex appeal department was pretty little Marilyn Monroe. All the others had was big boobs.’




  1. Read Red West’s book about his time with Elvis in the “Memphis Mafia.”
    According to Red he was upset about Elvis’s drug use and Red confronted Elvis. West was promptly fired which he knew might happen.

    He became part of the regular stunt ensemble on “The Wild Wild West”television series.TWWW star Robert Conrad said that Red was one of the toughest hombres he ever encountered.
    Red was a former Marine & boxer.

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