The only difference between me and my fellow actors is that I`ve spent more time in jail.
I gave up being serious about making pictures around the time I made a film with Greer Garson and she took a hundred and twenty-five takes to say no.
I started out to be a sex fiend but couldn`t pass the physical.
Movies bore me; especially my own.
I`ve still got the same attitude I had when I started. I haven`t changed anything but my underwear.
"Listen. I got three expressions: looking left, looking right and looking straight ahead." (on his acting talents)
People think I have an interesting walk. Hell, I`m just trying to hold my gut in.
(on press stories) "They`re all true - booze, brawls, broads, all true. Make up some more if you want to."
When I drop dead and they rush to the drawer, there`s going to be nothing in it but a note saying `later`.
I never take any notice of reviews - unless a critic has thought up some new way of describing me. That old one about my lizard eyes and anteater nose and the way I sleep my way through pictures is so hackneyed now.
Years ago, I saved up a million dollars from acting, a lot of money in those days, and I spent it all on a horse farm in Tucson. Now when I go down there, I look at that place and I realize my whole acting career adds up to a million dollars worth of horse sh*t.
I have two acting styles: with and without a horse.
Every two or three years, I knock off for a while. That way I`m always the new girl in the wh*rehouse.
I never changed anything, except my socks and my underwear. And I never did anything to glorify myself or improve my lot. I took what came and did the best I could with it.
You`ve got to realize that a Steve McQueen performance lends itself to monotony.
Not that I`m a complete wh*re, understand. There are movies I won`t do for any amount. I turned down Patton (1970) and I turned down Dirty Harry (1971). Movies that p*ss on the world. If I`ve got five bucks in my pocket, I don`t need to make money that f***ing way, daddy.
John Wayne had four inch lifts in his shoes. He had the overheads on his boat accommodated to fit him. He had a special roof put in his station wagon. The son of a b*tch, they probably buried him in his goddamn lifts.
There just isn`t any pleasing some people. The trick is to stop trying.
Asked his opinion of the Vietnam War in 1968: "If they won`t listen to reason over there, just kill `em. Nuke `em all."
Sure I was glad to see John Wayne win the Oscar ... I`m always glad to see the fat lady win the Cadillac on TV, too.
I`ve survived because I work cheap and don`t take up too much time.
You know what the average Robert Mitchum fan is? He`s full of warts and dandruff and he`s probably got a hernia too, but he sees me up there on the screen and he thinks if that bum can make it, I can be president.
I kept the same suit for six years - and the same dialog. We just changed the title of the picture and the leading lady
I came back from the war and ugly heroes were in.
Young actors love me. They think if that big slob can make it, there`s a chance for us.
When asked why in his mid-sixties he took on the arduous task of starring in an 18-hour mini-series "The Winds of War" (1983) (mini): "It promised a year of free lunches."
How do I keep fit? I lay down a lot.
(Regarding three-time co-star Deborah Kerr) "The best, my favorite... Life would be kind if I could live it with Deborah around".
Asked his opinion of Method actors Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Jack Nicholson: "They are all small."
"Stars today are just masturbation images." (1983)
How the hell did I get into this picture anyway? I kept reading in the papers that I was going to do it, but when they sent me the script I just tossed it on the heap with the rest of them. But somehow, one Monday morning, here I was. How the hell do these things happen to a man?" - On The Good Guys and the Bad Guys (1969)
Just after we shot Secret Ceremony (1968), lesbianism came in ... I`m no damned good as a lesbian.
People make too much of acting. You are not helping anyone like being a doctor or even a musician. In the final analysis, you have exalted no one but yourself.
These kids only want to talk about acting method and motivation; in my day all we talked about was screwing and overtime.
I know production values are better, but are the scripts, are the pictures? The thing is, it`s a hell of a lot more work, and I don`t see overall where the films are any better, really?
I often regret my good reviews, because there is no point in doing something I know to be inferior and then I find I have come off the best in the film. Wouldn`t you find that worrying?
"I never will believe there is such a thing as a great actor." (1948)
I got a great life out of the movies. I`ve been all over the world and met the most fantastic people. I don`t really deserve all I`ve gotten. It`s a privileged life, and I know it.
Sometimes, I think I ought to go back and do at least one thing really well. But again, indolence will probably cause me to hesitate about finding a place to start. Part of that indolence perhaps is due to shyness because I`m a natural hermit. I`ve been in constant motion of escape all my life. I never really found the right corner to hide in.
Up there on the screen you`re thirty feet wide, your eyeball is six feet high, but it doesn`t mean that you really amount to anything or have anything important to say.
"Where are the real artists? Today it`s four-barreled carburettors and that`s it." (1967)
The Rin Tin Tin method is good enough for me. That dog never worried about motivation or concepts and all that junk." (1968)
I only read the reviews of my films if they`re amusing. Six books have been written about me but I`ve only met two of the authors. They get my name and birthplace wrong in the first paragraph. From there it`s all downhill.
(on working with Faye Dunaway) When I got here I walked in thinking I was a star and then I found I was supposed to do everything the way she says. Listen, I`m not going to take any temperamental whims from anyone, I just take a long walk and cool off. If I didn`t do that, I know I`d wind up dumping her on her derriÃ¨re.
(on Sarah Miles) She`s a monster. If you think she`s not strong, you`d better pay attention.
When asked what he looked for in a script before accepting a job, he said, "Days off."
He sure don`t bring much brains to the party, that kid. - On Steve McQueen
(on Jane Russell) Miss Russell was a very strong character. Very good-humored when she wasn`t being cranky.
I kept the same suit for six years - and the same dialog. We just changed the title of the picture and the leading lady.
When Mitchum, who served time for marijuana possission, was asked what it was like in jail, he replied, "It`s like Palm Springs without the riff-raff."