Lillian Hellman

(1905_1984 / New Orleans, Louisiana)

Lillian Hellman Quotes

  • ''I'm good at embroidery. It's what I always wanted to do.... Yep, instead of whoring, I just wanted to do fancy embroidery.''
    Lillian Hellman (1905-1984), U.S. playwright and memoirist. Another Part of the Forest, Act 2 (1946). Spoken by the character named Laurette Sincee. Engaged to marry Oscar Hubbard, a member of a distinguished Alabama family in 1880, she is telling her betrothed of her career ambitions. "Laurette is about twenty, pig-face cute, a little too fashionably dressed."
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  • ''... some people are democrats by choice, and some by necessity.''
    Lillian Hellman (1905-1984), U.S. playwright and memoirist. Another Part of the Forest, Act 2 (1946). Said by the character named Marcus Hubbard, a member of a distinguished Alabama family in the year 1880.
  • ''Intellectuals can tell themselves anything, sell themselves any bill of goods, which is why they were so often patsies for the ruling classes in nineteenth-century France and England, or twentieth-century Russia and America.''
    Lillian Hellman (1907-1984), U.S. playwright. An Unfinished Woman, ch. 13, entry for April 30, 1967 (1969).
  • ''Success isn't everything but it makes a man stand straight.''
    Lillian Hellman (1905-1984), U.S. playwright. Julian, in Toys in the Attic, act 1 (1959).
  • ''They're fancy talkers about themselves, writers. If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don't listen to writers talking about writing or themselves.''
    Lillian Hellman (1905-1984), U.S. playwright. New York Times (Feb. 21, 1960).
  • ''I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year's fashions.''
    Lillian Hellman (1905-1984), U.S. playwright. Letter, May 19, 1952, to John S. Wood, Chairman of the House un-American Activities Committee. Quoted in Nation (New York, May 31, 1952). Refusing to testify against colleagues accused of Communist affiliations.
  • ''It's an indulgence to sit in a room and discuss your beliefs as if they were a juicy piece of gossip.''
    Lillian Hellman (1907-1984), U.S. playwright. Sara Müller, in Watch on the Rhine, act 2.
  • ''It is a mark of many famous people that they cannot part with their brightest hour.''
    Lillian Hellman (1905-1984), U.S. playwright. "Theatre," Pentimento (1973).
  • ''It is a mark of many famous people that they cannot part with their brightest hour.''
    Lillian Hellman (1905-1984), U.S. playwright. "Theatre," Pentimento (1973).
  • ''Courtesy is breeding. Breeding is an excellent thing. Always remember that.''
    Lillian Hellman (1905-1984), U.S. playwright and memoirist. The Children's Hour, act 1 (1934). Spoken by the character named Mrs. Lily Mortar.

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