The wit and wisdom of Katherine Hepburn

I have probably seen at least a dozen (probably many more) of Katherine Hepburn‘s films as well as several of her interviews. I also read her autobiography, appropriately entitled Me.

Here is a representative selection of her observations and opinions.

* * *

“Good girls go to heaven. Bad girls go everywhere.”

“Only the really plain people know about love — the very fascinating ones try so hard to create an impression that they soon exhaust their talents.”

“I never realized until lately that women were supposed to be the inferior sex.
“Dressing up is a bore. At a certain age, you decorate yourself to attract the opposite sex, and at a certain age, I did that. But I’m past that age.”

“Without discipline, there’s no life at all.”
“Plain women know more about men than beautiful women do.”
“Never complain. Never explain.”
“If you want to sacrifice the admiration of many men for the criticism of one, go ahead, get married.”

“I never lose sight of the fact that just being is fun.”
“Life is hard. After all, it kills you.”
“Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only with what you are expecting to give, which is everything.”
“If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased.”

“As for me, prizes are nothing. My prize is my work.”
* * *
Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Katherine Hepburn (1912-2003) was the daughter of a doctor and a suffragette, both of whom always encouraged her to speak her mind, develop it fully, and exercise her body to its full potential. An athletic tomboy as a child, she was also very close to her brother, Tom, and was devastated at age 14 to find him dead, the apparent result of accidentally hanging himself while practicing a hanging trick their father had taught them. For many years after this, Katharine used his birthdate, November 8, as her own. She then became very shy around girls her age, and was largely schooled at home. She did attend Bryn Mawr College, however, and it was here that she decided to become an actress, appearing in many of their productions.
To learn about Katherine Hepburn’s life and work, please click here.
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