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Lauren Bacall - By Myself - 1979
"Time with her was more than time well spent. A little bit with her was worth days and weeks and months with somebody else."



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"While I was having problems with my second marriage, she was always there for me. When I gave birth to Sam, my last child, I wanted her to be the godmother. She said, 'Why on earth me? I don't even like children.' She always put on this act of not caring, but she cared deeply about everyone. The day I came home from the hospital with my son, the door-bell rang and it was Katie, standing in the hallway with a bouquet of flowers in her hand."

1951 on their way to Africa to make 'The African Queen'
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Tallulah Bankhead - 1952
"Katharine Hepburn is one of the most stimulating women I know. She's unfeminine in that she scorns gossip, backbiting, and logrolling. She has an intelligent curiosity about everything. She spits out her opinions no matter how unpopular they may be. She makes no professional or social concessions. She's a gal I'd like to have on my side in a jam."


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Humphrey Bogart - London Daily Mirror - 1953
"Hepburn has unassailability. She is a dyed in the wool eccentric. There is nothing phony about her. She is not beautiful, more like a nylon-covered skeleton. She's no chicken any more either, but she's really fascinating with a tremendous off-beat kind of sex appeal which throws out a challenge that not any hunk of man can take up. She's shy, though. At interviews she shakes like a leaf, although she has the guts not to show it. She's got maybe half a dozen friends in Hollywood and she just circulates among them. You never see her at the nightclubs. When you spend six weeks on a boat in the jungle with a woman and all around you are down with malaria you kind of get to know her. I got to know Katie like a favourite book."

1951 a publicity still from 'The African Queen'
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Glenn Close - 2005
"She, in history, was as important [in her era] as Elizabeth the First was in hers... a great, rare female."




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Joan Crawford - Conversations with Joan Crawford - 1980
"Katie and Bette Davis have to top my list because they're so vastly talented and strong-willed and indestructible. Both on and off the screen Kate is one of the great women, great persons, of our time. Funny; I never resented her for a moment at Metro; I never regretted not getting a part she got. I'd sneak on her sets when I could, and admire, just plain admire. I keep throwing the word 'class' around, but she's the top in that department."

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George Cukor - interview with Gavin Lambert - 1970
"She was never a 'love me, I'm a lovable little girl' kind of actress. She always challenged the audience, and that wasn't the fashion in those days. On the hoof, when people first saw her, they felt something arrogant in her playing. Later, by sheer feeling and skill, she bent them to her will. Of course, her quality of not asking for pity, not caring whether people liked her or not, was ideal for The Philadelphia Story. Barry wrote it for her."


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George Cukor - interview with Beverly Gray - 1980
"She sounds formidable but she really isn't. She's hardworking and she's a darling good friend. But there's no time wasted there. And she's funny; as she gets older she gets more comic."

1933 on the set of 'Little Women' 1940 on the set of 'The Philadelphia Story' 1942 on the set of 'Keeper of the Flame' 1952 on the set of 'Pat and Mike' 1975 on the set of 'Love Among Ruins' 1979 on the set of 'The Corn is Green'
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Timothy Dalton - The Lion in Winter - 1968
"That was at a time when for every young actor the influence had been the Method and Brando. You didn't give a performance, you gently eased your way into a role, you mumbled and muttered as you were discovering. Well, forget that, I mean, bam fizz crackle spark! She knew every word and came out swinging. It was one of the most shocking and exciting moments I think I've had."

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Bette Davis - 1974
"I still spend my life wishing I looked like Katharine Hepburn!"




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Cary Grant
"As an actress, she's a joy to work with. She's in there trying every minute. There isn't anything passive about her; she 'gives.' And as a person, she's real. There's no pretense about her. She's the most completely honest woman I've ever met."


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"She was this slip of a woman, skinny, and I never liked skinny women. But she had this thing, this air, you might call it, the most totally magnetic woman I'd ever seen, and probably have ever seen since. You had to look at her, you had to listen to her, there was no escaping her. But it wasn't just the beauty, it was the style. She's incredibly down to earth. She can see right through the nonsense in life. She cares, but about things that really matter."

1936 in 'Silvia Scarlett' 1937 on the set of 'Bringing Up Baby' 1938 on the set of 'Holiday' 1940 in 'The Philadelphia Story'
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Anthony Harvey - 1969
"Katharine Hepburn is the most extraordinary person I've ever met in my life. And I must say if she became President of the United States we would all be at peace for the rest of our lives. She has tremendous integrity, a superb sense of humour, self-discipline, courage, generosity. And above all she is a great professional."


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"O'Toole cut the top of his finger off, and she immediately rushed to the hospital and took care of him. Years later, I practically killed myself on the San Diego freeway. I didn't think I would make it at all. Kate found out about it and called the surgeon, saying, 'I'm Katharine Hepburn.' They were absolutely overwhelmed in the hospital. I was moved to a lovely quiet room where I did begin to recover. She rang every day I was there. I think she wrote me 70 letters. They were mostly, 'Pull yourself together; don't take painkillers.' Years later I had another operation, and when I came to, sitting at the end of my bed was Kate."

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"In Connecticut, when she swam, she would break the ice. She'd say, 'Why aren't you going in?"

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"I first met Kate in 1967 while we were rehearsing The Lion In Winter at the Haymarket Theatre in London, for which she won her third Academy Award. It is now almost 40 years later and I miss her every single day - she was the most extraordinary creature - madly passionate about everything and every one, a great sense of humor, particularly about herself. She had a huge curiosity for life - theater, gardening, movies, wildflowers and, above all, an intense loyalty to her chums."

1968 on the set of 'The Lion in Winter' 1968 on the set of 'The Lion in Winter'
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Garson Kanin
"As the years go by she does not lose her old admirers, she goes on gaining new ones."



1952 Spencer Tracy, Ruth Gordon with her husband Garson Kanin and Kate probably talink about the script for 'Pat and Mike'
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Marvin Kaplan
"She adopted Phyllis Wilbourn, who was Constance Collier's secretary for years. After Miss Collier died [Webmastes note: April 25, 1955], Wilbourn had no job. And Miss Hepburn just took over her life. Had her for about 30 years." [Webmasters note: Phyllis Wilbourn died April 1995 - so she worked almost 40 years for Kate, as she started working for Kate after her return from the Australian Tour in November 1955 which she did with Sir Robert Helpmann and the Old Vic Company.]

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Diane Keaton - 1978
"I'd like a life like Katharine Hepburn's in terms of work. She matured. She made the changes. Like Martha Graham."



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Angela Lansbury
"I think there are very few great American eccentrics; she was very European in that sense. What made her eccentric was her absolutely indomitable style of living life as she chose to live it."



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"She gave me a lot of the discipline that I never regretted. That's the reason that even at my advanced age there are a lot of us who are still going strong - it's largely because of women like Katharine. Betty Bacall is one, and I'm one."



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"After one of the first previews of Sweeney Todd (1979), she couldn't get backstage fast enough so she jumped into the orchestra pit and came up through the basement of the theater. I couldn't figure out how she got there so fast. She got there before I did. Those were the sorts of things she did that endeared her to you."

1948 publicity still from 'State of the Union'
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David Lean - letter, April 15, 1963
"I like and admire her very much. Kate has more energy than anyone I know and we jabber away trying to get a word in edgeways with each other. Two larger than life egotists. Kate amazed me by saying she thought that monogamy and marriage as we know it is all wrong. (This is a reaction to all the guilts she used to carry around about her love affair with Spence.) As we agreed, if society suddenly changed and it was alright to have free love we wouldn't all be dancing into any more beds than we do at present. Even less perhaps. She is almost certain that if Spence and she had got married years ago they probably wouldn't be together now. We also (naturally) talked about our own particular ego-nut-cases. She was saying that it's almost impossible to hope that anyone, husband or wife, can understand what it's like when this creative thing takes hold and they find themselves suddenly pushed aside into fourth or fifth place. She also has a theory that if one really loves one doesn't lose that love.... She makes me laugh like mad because she's part schoolgirl, part very logical man and part straight as they come woman. We have a very good relationship which I can only describe as brother and sister."

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David Lean
"Kate was wonderful. She had very definite ideas about people. A lot of people were scared of her. She was one of those electric personalities. I have never met anybody quite like Kate. You could put Charlie Laughton and Kate in a box - I don't suggest you do, God knows what would happen - but they were fascinating people, highly gifted, highly original."

1955 on the set of 'Summertime' 1955 on the set of 'Summertime'
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Ann Miller - costar - Stage Door -1937
"She loved swimming and walking, and she kept her body strong. She thought exercise was the secret to good health, and I guess there is something to it because look how long she lived. She was always rarin' to go."



1937 publicity still from 'Stage Door'
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Norah Moore - Miss Hepburn's cook - 2004
"Thirty years ago I had incredible good fortune - you chose me and right from the beginning took me under your wing. It was an honor and great gift in life to have you on my side. Never once did you stop giving yourself - through the happy and sad times, I knew in my heart that I could always count on you. Dear friend, how lucky I was to have known and loved you. The world was a better place with you in it."

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Peter O’Toole - 2000/2002
See entry on The Lion in Winter




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Christopher Reeve - costar - A Matter of Gravity
"I felt as if I'd been temporarily adopted by her. For that period of time she treated me as I imagine she would have treated her grandson. There was a responsibility to be a relative of hers, both on stage and off. Whenever we went to a new city, the first thing she did was post a list of the best museums and things that we should do and see. And she expected us to do them, particularly me. Even though it was only a role on stage, she demanded that I live up to the standard of actually being related to her."

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"What I learned from her was simplicity. She's a living example that stardom doesn't have to be synonymous with affectation or ego."

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"She used to say to me, 'Be fascinating, Christopher,' and I'd say, 'Well, that's easy for you. The rest of us have to work at it.'"

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"When I was injured, the highlight of my day was going down the hall to the day room in the hospital and family members would read the mail to me. And one of the first days there was a note from Kate, and it just was one line: 'Dear Christopher, By golly, what a mess. Love, Kate.' And, I mean, that about summed it up."

1976 after a perfomance of 'A Matter of Gravity'
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Julia Roberts - 2003
"She was the ultimate forerunner, and the ultimate in her acting style and personal style - didn't she say pantyhose was the devil's invention? And she was able to maintain a private persona.... Hepburn always seemed like she was just slightly above all of the stuff that was trite and makes the world go round in this business."


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William Self
"She was a very good tennis player. She and I used to play doubles with [Wimbledon champion] Bill Tilden up at Charlie Chaplin's house. She would be my partner and we'd play Tilden and Chaplin."



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George Stevens - interview with Robert Hughes - 1967
"Kate is the most inspiring person I ever met in my life. The figure she presented on screen was a concept. She developed this grace and beauty and moved in where Garbo tread heavily in the imagination of American audiences. Offering no mystique like Garbo had, but offering intelligence instead. It's a strange thing for an actress to present intelligence and make it work, intelligence that had to do with beauty, grace, and just damned good thinking. She was Jimmy Dean-ing before Jimmy Dean ever thought of it, and she wore slacks, too. How she anticipated this era today I don't know, but she did it wearing blue jeans and a sweater."


1935  on the set of 'Alice Adams' 1942 on the set of 'Woman of the Year'
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Meryl Streep
"Katharine Hepburn was the template upon which many smart 20th-century women modeled themselves, but her style and uncompromising substance - a mix of sass, brass and class - were uniquely her own."


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Elizabeth Taylor
"I think every actress in the world looked up to her with a kind of reverence, a kind of sense of 'Oh, boy - if only I could be like her!' We never looked at her with envy or jealousy because she worked with such grace and wit and charm. You only wish that one day you could be like her."


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Hal Wallis - Starmaker: The Autobiography of Hal Wallis - 1980
"At the risk of hurting the feelings of many great ladies of the screen, I must say that of all the actresses I have worked with, Katharine Hepburn is my favourite for many reasons: her intelligence, talent, dignity, integrity, wit, and humour being just a few. There is no one quite like her. She is unique. Her delight in life is contagious. Sparks fly when Kate's around. Her enthusiasm and vitality recharge the batteries like the wallop of a good martini. The most down-to-earth legend I have ever met, she is laser sharp and incisive, tough as rawhide, yet as quick and sensitive as the wingbeat of a hummingbird. I admire and respect her honesty, her sense of privacy, her life-style. The lady's beauty is ageless because her spirit is young and always will be. No energy crisis here. A generation of would-be actresses have been inspired by her, as will generations to come. She is an untapped mine of inner resources: never feels sorry for herself; never complains; never lonely; never at a loss for living. There aren't enough hours in the day for her to do all she wants to do.... She could have been a great doctor, faith healer, painter, or president. As far as I'm concerned, Katharine Hepburn's face ought to be carved into the rock of Mount Rushmore. But of course, she's already a national monument."

1974 on the set of 'Rooster Cogburn'
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Tennessee Williams
"She makes dialogue sound better than it is by a matchless clarity and beauty of diction, and by a fineness of intelligence and sensibility that illuminates every shade of meaning in every line she speaks."



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