Katharine Hepburn Quotes

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Katharine Hepburn

Studio publicity photograph, c. 1941
Born Katharine Houghton Hepburn
(1907-05-12)May 12, 1907
Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.
Died June 29, 2003(2003-06-29) (aged 96)
Fenwick, Connecticut, U.S.
Alma mater Bryn Mawr College
Occupation Actress
Years active 1928–94
Spouse(s) Ludlow Ogden Smith
(m. 1928; div. 1934)
Partner(s) Spencer Tracy
(1941–67; his death)
Relatives See Houghton family
Awards Full list


If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased.
If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun.
Dressing up is a bore. At a certain age, you decorate yourself to attract the opposite sex, and at a certain age, I did that. But I'm past that age.
Katharine Hepburn
It's a rather rude gesture, but at least it's clear what you mean.
Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get – only with what you are expecting to give – which is everything.
Katharine Hepburn
I think most of the people involved in any art always secretly wonder whether they are really there because they're good or there because they're lucky.
Katharine Hepburn
If you want to give up the admiration of thousands of men for the distain of one, go ahead, get married.
Katharine Hepburn
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.
Katharine Hepburn
Life is to be lived. 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.
Katharine Hepburn
I never lose sight of the fact that just being is fun.
It's a business you go into because you're an egocentric. It's a very embarrassing profession.
Katharine Hepburn
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.
Katharine Hepburn
Never complain. Never explain.
Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then.
Katharine Hepburn
My greatest strength is common sense. I'm really a standard brand – like Campbell's tomato soup or Baker's chocolate.
Katharine Hepburn
When I started out, I didn't have any desire to be an actress or to learn how to act. I just wanted to be famous.
Katharine Hepburn
I never realized until lately that women were supposed to be the inferior sex.
Katharine Hepburn
The average Hollywood film star's ambition is to be admired by an American, courted by an Italian, married to an Englishman and have a French boyfriend.
Katharine Hepburn
Only the really plain people know about love – the very fascinating ones try so hard to create an impression that they soon exhaust their talents.
Katharine Hepburn
Acting is the most minor of gifts. After all, Shirley Temple could do it when she was four.
Katharine Hepburn
To be loved is very demoralizing.
As for me, prizes are nothing. My prize is my work.
It would be a terrific innovation if you could get your mind to stretch a little further than the next wisecrack.
Katharine Hepburn
Without discipline, there's no life at all.
Plain women know more about men than beautiful women do.
Life is hard. After all, it kills you.
Acting is a nice childish profession – pretending you're someone else and, at the same time, selling yourself.
Katharine Hepburn
Marriage is a series of desperate arguments people feel passionately about.
Katharine Hepburn
To keep your character intact you cannot stoop to filthy acts. It makes it easier to stoop the next time.
Katharine Hepburn
Death will be a great relief. No more interviews.
It's life isn't it? You plow ahead and make a hit. And you plow on and someone passes you. Then someone passes them. Time levels.
Katharine Hepburn
If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased.
Trying to be fascinating is an asinine position to be in.
Acting is the perfect idiot's profession.
Enemies are so stimulating.
Why slap them on the wrist with feather when you can belt them over the head with a sledgehammer.
Katharine Hepburn
If you want to sacrifice the admiration of many men for the criticism of one, go ahead, get married.
Katharine Hepburn
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.
Katharine Hepburn