“Look, I’m not odd. I’m just trying to be an actor; not a movie star, an actor.”

“Failure and its accompanying misery is for the artist his most vital source of creative energy.”

“The sadness of our existence should not leave us blunted, on the contrary–how to remain thin-skinned, vulnerable and stay alive?”

“The only line that’s wrong in Shakespeare is ‘holding a mirror up to nature.’ You hold a magnifying glass up to nature. As an actor you just enlarge it enough so that your audience can identify with the situation. If it were a mirror, we would have no art.”

“The closer we come to the negative, to death, the more we blossom.”

“If a man don’t go his own way, he is nothing.” –Montgomery Clift as Robert E. Lee Prewitt in From Here to Eternity

“Look, if you’re playing Romeo and your Juliet is a pig, you find something you can love about pigs!”

“I have enough money to get by. I’m not independently wealthy, just independently lazy, I suppose.”

Reported last words, upon being asked if he wanted to see one of his movies on TV: “Absolutely not!”

“What do I have to do to prove I can act?”

“I love the stage but after a few months you can get tired. I would rather do three movies than play in one stage hit. I played in four flops in a row when I was about seventeen and I was delighted. I was being paid to be trained.”

“I keep my family out of my public life because it can be an awful nuisance to them. What’s my mother going to tell strangers anyway? That I was a cute baby and that she’s terribly proud of me? Nuts. Who cares?”


“I loved him deeply. He was my brother, my dearest friend.”
— Elizabeth Taylor

“I had never worked with any actor like him; to watch him was incredible and memorable. He had a talent and a side to our profession I had never seen before, just superb.”
— Donna Reed

“I learned more from acting from him than I ever knew before. He’s an exhausting man, a total perfectionist.”
— Frank Sinatra

“He was the most creative actor I ever worked with.”
— Eddie Dmytryk, Director

“He would never let me get away with anything but my best.”
— Susannah York

“He had an aura I had seldom experienced in other actors. His presence on the screen was electrifying and he got much more out of the part than was written down.”
–Fred Zinneman