The Wit and Wisdom of Katherine Hepburn

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.

Here are several of her memorable observations.

* * *

Life is hard. After all, it kills you.

If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun.

We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers – but never blame yourself. It’s never your fault. But it’s always your fault, because if you wanted to change you’re the one who has got to change.

If you always do what interests you, at least one person isn’t bored.

If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting. And you don’t do that by sitting around.

I have many regrets, and I’m sure everyone does. The stupid things you do, you regret… if you have any sense, and if you don’t regret them, maybe you’re stupid.

I never lose sight of the fact that just being is fun.

It may be a rather rude gesture, but at least it’s clear what you mean.

Why slap them on the wrist with feather when you can belt them over the head with a sledgehammer

Being a housewife and a mother is the biggest job in the world, but if it doesn’t interest you, don’t do it. I would have made a terrible mother.

Without discipline, there’s no life at all.

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To learn much more about Katherine Hepburn’s life and work, please click here.

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