portrait of Tallulah Bankhead
Portrait by Carl Van Vechten (25 January 1934)

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Quotes of the Day for 31 January 2004 – Tallulah

Tallulah Brockman Bankhead was born at Huntsville, Alabama on this day in 1902. Her mother died just three weeks later, and Tallulah and her older sister were raised first by their paternal grandparents and an aunt. The family was heavily political, both her grandfather and an uncle had been senators and her father would be Speaker of the US House later, which meant that an effort was made to bring the girls up as proper Southern ladies, which Tallulah resisted. After a series of religious schools, Tallulah sent a photo to a magazine contest, leading to a short part in a play on Broadway. She spent the rest of her life either acting or acting up, offstage she rarely stopped talking. Despite constant smoking, drugs, and drinking, she made a success on stage, radio, film, and finally television. In fact, her last appearance was on the Tonight Show, chatting up John Lennon and Paul McCartney on baseball and television. I'm sorry she was before my time.

Van's signature

You will find an expanded profile, photo, additional biographical links, and all quotes from this author on the author's Notable Quotable page.

The quotes:

I'm the foe of moderation, the champion of excess. If I may lift a line from a die-hard whose identity is lost in the shuffle, 'Id rather be strongly wrong than weakly right.'

It is the good girls who keep diaries; the bad girls never have the time.

The less I behave like Whistler's mother the night before, the more I look like her the morning after.

The only thing I regret about my past is the length of it. If I had to live my life again I'd make all the same mistakes - only sooner.

I've been called many things, but never an intellectual.

I'm as pure as the driven slush.
     - All from Tallulah Bankhead, 1903 - 1968

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