John Gielgud Quotes

Acting is half shame, half glory. Shame at exhibiting yourself, glory when you can forget yourself.

The joke is that people think of me as an intellectual actor. Yet I have always trusted almost entirely to observation, emotion and instinct.

(on Ralph Richardson) Ralph is a remarkable man, shrewd, observant, warm and generous-hearted, once you get to know him. He is also reserved and cautious, never making a swift decision about anything.

The only thing I liked about films was looking at the back of my head, which otherwise I could only see at the tailor`s.

(on reading bad reviews) It`s wonderful when it isn`t you.

(to Richard Burton on seeing Burton`s first "Hamlet") I`ll come back and see it when you`re better.

If one watches television enough, one begins to perceive the texture with which it`s contrived.

(on James Mason) He was a punctilious man, beautifully mannered, quiet, generous and amusing. I never heard him say a vicious or bitter thing about anything or anyone.

(on Claude Rains) He was a great influence on me. I don`t know what happened to him. I think he failed and went to America.

Like all professions, acting has terrible drawbacks. It can be fearfully boring, fearfully unglamorous . . . but what is fun about the theatre is that we get our prizes while we are alive to enjoy them. We have the pleasure of the audience`s reaction, we have the applause, we have the publicity, we have the tribute and the honors and whatever it may be. Much more than we probably deserve.

(During an interview on US television the interviewer asked who had inspired him) It was during my time at RADA, there was a man who inspired us all. Claude Rains. I don`t know what happened to him, I think he failed and went to America.

(on Peggy Ashcroft) I`m absolutely devoted to her. People can`t behave badly when she`s around. She has such integrity.

(At age 84) When you`re my age, you just never risk being ill - because then everyone says, "Oh, he`s done for".

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