I was a personality before I became a person – I am simple, complex, generous, selfish, unattractive, beautiful, lazy and driven.
What is exciting is not for one person to be stronger than the other… but for two people to have met their match and yet they are equally as stubborn, as obstinate, as passionate, as crazy as the other.
We have a president who stole the presidency through family ties, arrogance and intimidation, employing Republican operatives to exercise the tactics of voter fraud by disenfranchising thousands of blacks, elderly Jews and other minorities.
I wish I could be like Shaw who once read a bad review of one of his plays, called the critic and said: ‘I have your review in front of me and soon it will be behind me.’
A man who graduated high in his class at Yale Law School and made partnership in a top law firm would be celebrated. A man who invested wisely would be admired, but a woman who accomplishes this is treated with suspicion.
I guess if you have an original take on life, or something about you is original, you don’t have to study people who came before you. You don’t have to mimic anybody. You just have a gut feeling inside, an instinct that tells you what’s right for you, and you can’t do it in any other way.
There’s a part of you that always remains a child, no matter how mature you get, how sophisticated or weary.
I arrived in Hollywood without having my nose fixed, my teeth capped, or my name changed. That is very gratifying to me.
They’re called ‘angels’ because they’re in heaven until the reviews come out.
My biggest nightmare is I’m driving home and get sick and go to hospital. I say: ‘Please help me.’ And the people say: ‘Hey, you look like…’ And I’m dying while they’re wondering whether I’m Barbra Streisand.
I can take any truth; just don’t lie to me.
How I wish we lived in a time when laws were not necessary to safeguard us from discrimination.
Why does a woman work ten years to change a man’s habits and then complain that he’s not the man she married?
What does it mean when people applaud? Should I give ’em money? Say thank you? Lift my dress? The lack of applause – that I can respond to.
Around people I don’t know, I’m totally at a loss.
I am simple, complex, generous, selfish, unattractive, beautiful, lazy, and driven.
I don’t care what you say about me. Just be sure to spell my name wrong.
I hated singing. I wanted to be an actress. But I don’t think I’d have made it any other way.
I just don’t want to be hampered by my own limitations.
I knew that with a mouth like mine, I just hadda be a star or something.
I’m not that ambitious any more. I just like my privacy. I wish I really wasn’t talked about at all.
I’m tired of malicious articles slandering me.
I’ve considered having my nose fixed. But I didn’t trust anyone enough. If I could do it myself with a mirror.
Marlon Brando. The finest actor who ever lived. He was my idol when I was 13. He’s done enough work to last two lifetimes. Everything I do, I think: Can Brando play this with me?
Men are allowed to have passion and commitment for their work… a woman is allowed that feeling for a man, but not her work.
Myths are a waste of time. They prevent progression.
Success to me is having ten honeydew melons and eating only the top half of each slice.
To have ego means to believe in your own strength. And to also be open to other people’s views. It is to be open, not closed. So, yes, my ego is big, but it’s also very small in some areas. My ego is responsible for my doing what I do – bad or good.
Why am I so famous? What am I doing right? What are the others doing wrong?
Why is it men are permitted to be obsessed about their work, but women are only permitted to be obsessed about men?
I find George Bush and Dick Cheney frightening, Donald Rumsfeld and John Ashcroft frightening.
I don’t enjoy public performances and being up on a stage. I don’t enjoy the glamour. Like tonight, I am up on stage and my feet hurt.
I’ve been called many names like perfectionist, difficult and obsessive. I think it takes obsession, takes searching for the details for any artist to be good.
The audience is the best judge of anything. They cannot be lied to. Truth brings them closer. A moment that lags – they’re gonna cough.
There is nothing more important in life than love.
I go by instinct – I don’t worry about experience.
It is every woman’s dream to be some man’s dream woman.
You have got to discover you, what you do, and trust it.
Most awards, you know, they don’t give you unless you go and get them – did you know that? Terribly discouraging.
The audience is the barometer of the truth.
Oh God, don’t envy me, I have my own pains.
I must have got my detailed, obsessive streak from my father, who was an English teacher, because my mother wasn’t like me at all.
I’d started going to acting classes at 14, played ‘Medea’ at 15 and really wanted to be a classical actress.
Performing, for me, has always been a very inner process.
I don’t like talking about myself and I don’t like talking about the work.
I’m sure that I don’t know everything I want to know. I have so much more to learn.
I think of myself as a girl from Brooklyn.
Just like my father, I’ve always loved education. In school I was a member of the honor society.
I still like my antique clothes.
I’m interested in the truth, and unauthorized biographies are not. Yes, I would like to correct those errors someday.
I also have intense relationships with furniture… probably because we practically had none when I was growing up.
I need instant gratification.
I was raised on the streets, in hot, steamy Brooklyn, with stifled air.
I was kind of a wild child. I wasn’t taught the niceties of life.
I always wear the same thing at home. I can’t be bothered with jewelry. My pants have elastic waists. I like to be comfortable. There are so many more important things to worry about.
My friend Quincy Jones says we won our first Grammys together in 1963. I have no recollection. I don’t even remember the room. When he showed me the picture, I remembered what I wore. But it’s like awards don’t mean anything.
I never sing in the shower either.
I just became a singer, because I could never get work as an actress.
I’m a work in progress.
My mother never really thought I could become anything.
When I sing, people shut up.
It always gave me the creeps when I saw performers who desperately wanted the audience to like them. That’s not what I’m about.
When they tried me out as a host on TV, I found that I just couldn’t be that gregarious person. I was stranger than that.
If I hear a record once, I usually never listen to it again. I rarely listen to music – unless it’s Billie Holiday.
When I was maybe 5 or 6 years old, the neighborhood girls would sit on the stoop and sing. I was known as the kid who had a good voice and no father.
I think when I was younger, I wanted to be a star, until I became a star, and then it’s a lot of work. It’s work to be a star. I don’t enjoy the stardom part. I only enjoy the creative process.
Directing is so interesting. You know, it just sort of encompasses everything that you see, that you know, that you’ve felt, that you have observed.
My mother had a great voice. Not like mine, not like my sister’s, not like my son’s – a high soprano voice, but like a bird. I mean, really beautiful.
I like to stay home a lot. I like to do other things too, like decorate or build.
Sometimes you resent the people you love and need the most. Love is so fascinating in all its forms, and I think everyone who has ever been a mother will relate to this.
When I was working a lot, I felt guilty as a parent. I couldn’t pick up my son every day from school, bake him cookies and that kind of thing.
I love road trips! My husband and I love that. We bought a truck with a bench seat so we could put the dog in the middle.
I like simple things. Elastic waists, so I can eat.
It is sort of boring to stay in the same spot. You know, I didn’t set out to become the first to do this, the first to do that. It was just that my interests were so diversified.
I started going to acting school when I was 14, and I would always have my own take on things.
In the music business, we all do different things, but we sit there and admire other people who can write a song differently or sing differently. It’s not so competitive.
My mother told me I should be a secretary, but I wanted to be an actress from when I was very young.
My nose was part of my heritage, and if I had talent to sing and to act, why wasn’t that enough?
As a young woman, I wanted nothing more than to see my name in lights.
Doubt can motivate you, so don’t be afraid of it. Confidence and doubt are at two ends of the scale, and you need both. They balance each other out.
I got sent to a health camp when I was about 6 years old, and we all had to wear the same starchy blue uniform. The lady who took care of me after school knit me a burgundy sweater. It was the only thing that gave me any individuality.
Being a woman in music was fine, but when I wanted to direct, I was poking my head into a man’s world.
On a very basic level, many people think celebrities have too much already, so we shouldn’t be entitled to our political opinions.
I do have friends that are Republicans, and we have very spirited conversations on a whole range of issues. I am often baffled by why they are Republicans, but I enjoy the dialogue and can move beyond politics to find common ground in my personal relationships.
Issues of foreign policy have a place in every election for President.
I’ve always liked working really hard and then doing nothing in particular. So, consequently, I didn’t overexpose myself; I guess I maintained a kind of mystery. I wasn’t ambitious.
I have one son. Of everything I’ve done in my life, nothing matches the feeling of having life growing inside you.
I remember when I was 5 living on Pulaski Street in Brooklyn, the hallway of our building had a brass banister and a great sound, a great echo system. I used to sing in the hallway.
I don’t read music. Not even essentially. Not even nonessentially.
I hear these melodies. I hear horn lines and string lines. That’s what’s fun about recording with an orchestra.
Eighteenth century American furniture and the design of the architects Greene and Greene are my special love.
When I was a teenager in New York, I was buying antique clothes. I still am.
I love things that are indescribable, like the taste of an avocado or the smell of a gardenia.
I’ll see a celadon green room in an 18th century New Hampshire house and just fall in love. Colors stay in my head.
I only began to sing because I couldn’t get a job as an actress.
Nobody on this earth has the right to tell anyone that their love for another human being is morally wrong.