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[On working with young female co-stars]: ‘That ain’t fair, really. Michelle Pfeiffer hasn’t been finding a lot of work recently because she doesn’t like what a woman her age is offered. That’s a real double standard. You get Sean Connery, who gets older and older, still playing opposite young ladies, but it doesn’t work the other way around.’

‘People say, ‘Congratulations, you finally got the Oscar’, and I have to correct them: ‘Actually, it’s my second one. I won for Glory in 1989.’’Some people say, ‘Yeah, but that was for a supporting actor role’, but for me, it’s the same thing.’

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The whipping scene in Glory (1989)

[On the whipping scene in Glory]: ‘I remember walking around before that scene, just praying and calling on the spirits of all the slaves, because I didn’t know how to play it. I was like, ‘Okay, fellas, just tell me what to do.’ And I went out there with an arrogance. I spit on the ground. I had this attitude and this strength – it all came out of this meditation. It wasn’t calculated. It was organic. That whip actually hurt, but I was like, ‘Don’t let him win.’

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[On handling early success and an Oscar nomination while still in her teens]: ‘I was a very serious teenager at that time and I considered the work to be the most important thing and I concentrated on that. I was a bit ‘goody-goody’. I didn’t fool around at all, which is a bit of a shame. I’ve missed out on a lot of fun, but I’ve made up for it later.’

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[The openly gay actor had this to say about his portrayal of Oscar Wilde in the stage-play titled The Judas Kiss]: ‘I always imagined Wilde was revoltingly well hung. So I wore a padded cock and the front five rows, I could see, were thinking, ‘My God, I had no idea Rupert Everett was so well hung!’ I had to go down a few sizes because it was taking over.’

[Everett clearly has no time for singer/composer Elton John]: ‘I think Elton has lost it completely. He loves to tell you how he overcame addictions – drugs, bulimia…He did not overcome addictions. He went from one to another…All these shopping sprees, and not controlling his mouth.’

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BETTY WHITE (1922 – )

[One of the stars of The Golden Girls (1985), she had this to say about her co-star, Bea Arthur]: ‘Bea was not that fond of me. I don’t know what I ever did but she was not that thrilled with me. But I loved Bea and I admired her.’

‘I cannot stand the people who get wonderful starts in show business and who abuse it. Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen, for example, although there are plenty of others, too. They are the most blessed people in the world, and they don’t appreciate it.’

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KURT RUSSELL (1951 – )

‘To go on about acting as art is ridiculous. If it is an art, then it’s a very low form. You don’t have to be gifted just to hit a mark and say a line. And as far as I’m concerned, hitting my marks and knowing my lines is 90% of the job. I’m always criticized for talking like that. Maybe the reason I do it is that I never got the chance to develop a real desire to act. I was acting by the time I was nine so it seemed like a natural thing to do. Anyone who finds acting difficult just shouldn’t be doing it.’

‘My generation couldn’t stand me and I couldn’t stand them. In high school I was to the right of being straight. I believed in the work ethic, making money, and they all had this beef with the nation. Vietnam disappointed me because we didn’t win.’

[His 1996 comments on smoking marijuana]: ‘I never did, not until I was 32. I still don’t understand the reason for smoking dope if you’re not going to have sex. To me, drugs have no appeal other than sex.’

‘The only time in my entire life as an actor when I felt I didn’t know what I was doing was on Tango & Cash (1989), when I had to dress up as a woman. It’s not an acting chore I’d care to do again. I looked like a really ugly version of my mother, who happens to be beautiful. I don’t get transvestitism.’

‘I have a secret admiration for insurance salesmen, doormen, taxi drivers, guys working on the Alaska pipeline…many hundreds of jobs where they work. There’s lots of jobs now in the world where we don’t work, we push a button. I don’t work. I’ve never worked. I take great pride in the fact that I played baseball, I drove race cars, I drove racing boats, I flew airplanes and I acted. None of these things are work. Doing what you want to do, that’s not work.’

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HOPE LANGE (1933 – 2003)

[On working with other young actresses, Suzy Parker and Martha Hyer, and with aging star Joan Crawford in The Best of Everything (1959)]: ‘I was fortunate that there was this tension with her. Our scenes were built with tension, and there it was, even before the camera rolled. It had to have been tough for her, to have these three young upstarts – and there she was, in a non-starring role.’

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BOB HOPE (1903-2003)

[Hope began his new radio season in the fall of 1946]: ‘Lucy Ball had come to see me and asked me if I had heard a mariachi band led by a little-known enchilada named Desi Arnaz. She thought maybe I could use a little chili pepper music on the show…I could see Lucy’s interest in Desi was more than musical, so I agreed…We introduced Desi as being from ‘somewhere in South America.’ We tried giving Desi some lines, but his accent was so thick we could barely get them out of his mouth. Nobody could understand a word he said…Desi lasted just a season with us, and I felt sorry about having to let him go. I think he was married to Lucy by that time, and I was worried about how they were going to eat. Just two years later, I Love Lucy was the biggest thing in a new electronic medium…He’d learned how to turn a bad Cuban accent into a hundred million dollars and immortality.’

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