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Ginger Rogers quotes

Quotes from Ginger Rogers – star of stage and screen, actress, singer, and dancer

  • My mother [Lela E. Rogers] told me I was dancing before I was born. She could feel my toes tapping wildly inside her for months.
  • When two people love each other, they don’t look at each other, they look in the same direction.
  • [1983] They’re not going to get my money to see the junk that’s made today.
  • The only way to enjoy anything in this life is to earn it first.
  • [early 1930s] I don’t know which I like best. I love the applause on the stage. But pictures are so fascinating – you reach many millions through them. And you make more money, too.
  • When you’re happy, you don’t count the years.
  • Hollywood is like an empty wastebasket.
  • [on her partnership with Fred Astaire] After all, it’s not as if we were Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. We did have careers apart from each other.
  • The most important thing in anyone’s life is to be giving something. The quality I can give is fun, joy and happiness. This is my gift.
  • [1987] It’d be fun to have a chum around, but it’s very hard to have a chum unless you’re married to him. And I don’t believe in today’s concept for living with someone unmarried.
  • Even when one is of a certain age to make one’s own decisions, there are many times when it is great to be able to go back and talk it over with the people one loves – one’s family.
  • [her explanation for bringing excess luggage to London in 1969 for her year-long stint on stage as “Mame”] I believe in dressing for the occasion. There’s a time for sweater, sneakers and Levis and a time for the full-dress jazz. As for the little touches, well, a year is quite a long time and they make one feel at home.
  • [on her screen partnership with Fred Astaire] We had fun and it shows. True, we were never bosom buddies off the screen; we were different people with different interests. We were only a couple on film.
  • I’m most grateful to have had that joyous time in motion pictures. It really was a Golden Age of Hollywood. Pictures were talking, they were singing, they were coloring. It was beginning to blossom out: bud and blossom were both present.
  • In everything that I do I learn and try to put it to use. I have learned to go through life not into it. It’s like a boat. You mustn’t let the water in or you’re sunk. Of course, I’ve made mistakes and I have had failures, but I do not dwell on them because people don’t care about garbage. When I make a mistake it’s like a bad leaf on a lettuce – I throw it out into the wastebasket.
  • I don’t care what the critics say. My fabulous mom [Lela E. Rogers] will give me a good review if nobody else does.
  • You bring out a lot of your own thoughts and attitudes when acting. I think a great deal of it has to do with the inner you. You know, there’s nothing damnable about being a strong woman. The world needs strong women. There are a lot of strong women you do not see who are guiding, helping, mothering strong men. They want to remain unseen. It’s kind of nice to be able to play a strong woman who is seen.
  • It was tough being a woman in the theatrical business in those days.
  • [1975] The were such a pretty time. I know it was a bad time for an awful lot of people, but not for me. I remember the whole atmosphere, the ambiance of the [1930s] with a glow because success was knocking at my door. I got to California in [1932], just in time to do Gold Diggers of 1933, where I sang “We’re In the Money“. It was a whole new life for me. I was excited about it. It was happy and beautiful and gay and interesting. I was surrounded by marvelous people, all the top people of our industry.
  • I think the motion pictures talked themselves out of business when they sold their backlogs [to TV networks]. They sold what they thought were old clothes. It turns out some of them had better material in them than their new ones.
  • [on being asked in 1943 what a girl needs to be a movie star] Intelligence, adaptability and talent. And by talent I mean the capacity for hard work. Lots of girls come here with little but good looks. Beauty is a valuable asset, but it is not the whole cheese.
  • Rhythm is born in all of us. To be a desirable dancing partner you don’t have to do all the intricate fancy steps that happen to be in vogue. All you have to do is be a good average dancer and anybody who spends the time and effort can accomplish this.
  • I believe in living each day as it comes, to the best of my ability. When it’s done, I put it away, remembering that there will be a tomorrow to take it’s place. If I have any philosophy, that’s it. To me it’s not a fatalistic attitude.
  • [1976, on Fred Astaire] I adore the man. I always have adored him. It was the most fortunate thing that ever happened to me, being teamed with Fred: he was everything a little starry-eyed girl from a small town ever dreamed of.
  • [on Howard Hughes] Howard was one of the best dancers I ever knew, and fascinating to be with. Terribly bright and intelligent. But he was immersed in his work.
  • I’ve made thousands of mistakes, but they’ve all been stepping stones toward a better concept of life.
  • Gossip is hardly uplifting.
  • I won’t go to movies with permissiveness, four-letter words, or violence. Show me E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Chariots of Fire instead. That’s entertainment, not exploitation of the human body.
  • You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.
  • Part of the joy of dancing is conversation. Trouble is, some men can’t talk and dance at the same time.
  • Looking back at my life’s voyage, I can only say that it has been a golden trip.
  • Perhaps I am old-fashioned, but black and white films still hold an affectionate place in my heart; they have an incomparable mystique and mood.
  • There are no small parts. Only small actors.
  • The fun, joy, and humor dry up in a relationship when one of the partners is swimming in gin. To my way of thinking, it is selfishness personified to see life through the bottom of a liquor bottle.
  • They (Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz) were so cute, holding hands and giving each other little kisses. They were so happy together.
  • [On Lew Ayres]: “I fell in love with Lew Ayres’s image on the screen and the dreamy aura of the teenager was still with me. I had built a romantic fantasy about a man I’d never met. I was truly smitten with Lew’s good looks and the smoldering glances he gave to the various females playing opposite him.”
  • [On her second husband, Lew Ayres]: I was very much in love with a man who was, to my way of thinking, the handsomest leading man in the motion picture world. Lew was a natural when it came to acting; he always had a sixth sense about the right thing to do. I thought his acting talents never reached their full potential, but in watching many of his performances through the years, I’ve found it difficult to fault his technique or emotional impulse. His intellectual side was a surprise to me and frequently made me feel a mite inferior. He knew something about everything.

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