Kirk Douglas Quotes

“You haven’t learned how to live until you’ve learned how to give.”

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

“Know what a loner is? He’s a born cripple. He’s a cripple because the only person he can live with is himself. It’s his life, the way he wants to live. It’s all for him.”

Know what a loner is

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

“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”

“My mother, we were a very poor family. When I was a kid, we would be in our little room, and there would be a knock on the door almost every night with a hobo begging for food. Even though we didn’t even have enough to eat, my mother always found something to give them.”

“A stroke is a very difficult thing. You get depressed. . . . What I found was this: the cure for depression is to think of others, to do for others. You can always find something to be grateful for.”

A stroke is a very difficult thing.

“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.”

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

“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.”

Life is like a B-picture

“When I produced Spartacus, the writer was Dalton Trumbo, who spent a year in jail because he would not answer McCarthy’s questions about other people. He submitted the picture under the false name of Sam Jackson.”

When I produced Spartacus,

“The only advantage I have found in being Jewish is that I can be openly anti-Semitic.”

“I’m concerned that the world is a mess. That’s why when I wrote my last book, Let’s Face It, I dedicated it to the younger generation because, let’s face it, the world is in a mess. Right now, the young people will inherit that mess. I think we have to do everything we can.”

“I’m a loner clear down deep to my very guts.”

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

You know, you have to

“We look for wine when we should be hunting bread.” – Kirk Douglas

“On a crowded bus in Israel, a mother was speaking to her son in Yiddish. An Israeli woman reprimanded her. “You should be speaking Hebrew. Why are you talking to him in Yiddish?” The mother answered, “I don’t want he should forget he’s a Jew.”

“When you become a star, you don’t change – everyone else does.”

“The first thing I look for in a woman is warmth-femininity. It’s got nothing to do with a pretty face.”

The first thing I look for

“Virtue is not photogenic. What is it to be a nice guy? To be nothing, that’s what. A big fat zero with a smile for everybody.”

“Virtue is not photogenic.”

“Why can’t a woman be more like a dog, huh? So sweet, loving, attentive.”

“Life is like a B-picture script.”

Life is like a B-picture

“I came from abject poverty. There was nowhere to go but up.”

“What would my parents think about America if they arrived here today? Would they even want to come? I wonder.”

“You have not learned to live until you have learned to give”

“Now, what does an actor who can’t talk do? Wait for silent pictures to come back?”

Now, what does an actor

“When you get old the worst thing is you lose so many friends. Burt Lancaster, Frank Sinatra, John Wayne. People who I loved to work with.”

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

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

“When you get to my age, you find that most of your dear friends are gone.”

When you get to my age,

“I guess I was a bad boy… Yes, yes, I’ve had lots of women in my life.”

“Acting is a youthful profession.”

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

“I have a great respect for actors like Clint Eastwood, who’s a wonderful director. I think two pictures that I directed were not successful, so I decided not to make any more.”

I have a great respect for actors

“I directed two films, not very successfully, and after that, I went back to being an actor and a producer.”

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

“If I have to speak in public, I am terrified.”

“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.”

I don't need a critic to tell

“I never had any desire to be a film actor. I never thought I was the good-looking movie type, which I assumed they wanted.”