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Kirk Douglas Quotes

Kirk Douglas

Kirk Douglas quotes: the Golden Age actor’s golden words.

Strong spirit and hard work can overcome anything.”

“Sometimes, the thing that ties you down sets you free.”

“In order to achieve anything you must be brave enough to fail.”

“No matter how bad things are, they can always be worse.”

“You know, you have to have some inner philosophy to deal with adversity.”

“Fear is a terrible thing.  It makes you do awful things.”

“The learning process continues until the day you die.”

“If I thought a man had never committed a sin in his life, I don’t think I’d want to talk with him.  A man with flaws is more interesting.”

“Obey the voice within – it commands us to give of ourselves and help others.  As long as we have the capacity to give, we are alive.  You haven’t learned how to live until you’ve learned how to give.”

“The biggest lie is the lie we tell ourselves in the distorted visions we have of ourselves, blocking out some sections, enhancing others.  What remains are not the cold facts of life, but how we perceive them.  That’s really who we are.”

“Maybe there is no peace in this world.  I don’t know.  But I know as long as we live we must stay true to ourselves.”

“Acting is a youthful profession.  All children are natural actors, and I’m still a kid.  If you grow up completely, you can never be an actor.”

“I’m an actor; I have made my living by acting, and I almost think I owe it to the public to express my feelings and not as a character on a screen but as myself.”

“I have been an actor for most of my life.  When I started out, I didn’t think about anything except what was good for me.  Like many movie stars, I became all wrapped up in myself.”

“All my life, I have taken inventory at intervals.  For example, when I became a movie actor and suddenly I had to deal with fame, money and playing so many roles, I lost myself.  I said, ‘Who am I?’  And I wrote my first book to deal with that, The Ragman’s Son.”

“I don’t need a critic to tell me I’m an actor.  I make my own way.  Nobody’s my boss.  Nobody’s ever been my boss.”

“When you become a star, you don’t change – everyone else does.  Personally, I keep forgetting I’m a star.  And then people look at me and I’m reminded.  But you just have to remember one thing: the best eventually go to the top.  I think I’m in the best category, and I’ll stay at the top or I’ll do something else.”

“Fame is as much about luck as it is about talent, perhaps more.”

“Life is like a B-picture script!  It is that corny.  If I had my life story offered to me to film, I’d turn it down.”

“I like my last book.  It was so gratifying when I read good reviews of it.  If you write a book, you don’t write it for yourself.  You write a book hoping that other people will want to share your experiences.”

“My mother and my father were illiterate immigrants from Russia.  When I was a child they were constantly amazed that I could go to a building and take a book on any subject.  They couldn’t believe this access to knowledge we have here in America.  They couldn’t believe that it was free.”

“My kids never had the advantages I had.  I was born poor.”

“I have always been grateful that my Russian mother and father came to this country to give me a better chance, and I have had a better chance.”

“My life, a B-picture.  And yet my life is an American life.  Because the real American life, the typical one, is a B-picture.  Like mine – the kid who worked up from abject poverty to become the champion.  But you got to fight!  Our forefathers set the bar so high we keep trying to go under it, instead of over.”

“When I became a millionaire, I learned success can be dangerous, because some people don’t know how to handle it.  What success should do is make you feel for other people and make you generous in helping them.”

“I believe in God and I’m happy to be a Jew.  But I think too much religion has not helped civilization.  Caring for other people is my religion.”

“As actors it is easy for us to play the hero.  We get to fight the bad guys and stand up for justice.  In real life, the choices are not always so clear.  There are times when one has to stand up for principle.  I am so proud of my fellow actors who use their public influence to speak out against injustice.  I have learned one lesson from history: it very often repeats itself.”

“That’s the worst thing about a stroke.  In my case, what is an actor who can’t talk?  He waits for silent pictures to come back?  I mean, you get so depressed.  I had suicidal impulses.  At first I thought my life was at an end.  But my sense of humor was big enough to save me.  And I’m lucky looking back at that time.  I’m really lucky.  Because no matter what happens to you in life, it can always be worse.”

“I turned to exercise, and even had my wife join me.  I started to lead an active lifestyle, as much as I could, and by building a stronger body, I also found a peace of mind.”

“I also credit my wife with helping overcome my condition.  She never treated me like a sick person, and continued to make me laugh even at my worst.”

“When you reach 95, after you get over your surprise, you start looking back.”

“Listen – pacemaker, crash, stroke.  What does it mean?  God doesn’t want me now.  That’s all.”

“Didn’t realize when I reached 100 years old I would be doing interviews.  I thought by now I would relax, and I’m doing more interviews than I used to.”

“But I think now it’s time for me to relax.  We’re doing this again when I’m 200.”

Next, hear from his son: Michael Douglas quotes.

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