Though his legacy is as one of Hollywood’s most iconic tough guys, Robert Mitchum was much more than that. In addition to his acting work, the Oscar nominee also dabbled in directing, writing, singing, composing, and poetry—and maintained a wicked sense of humor through it all. On what would be the legendary star’s 100th birthday, here are 15 of his most memorable quotes.
ON EARLY GOALS
"I started out to be a sex fiend, but I couldn't pass the physical."
ON THE JOB OF AN ACTOR
"This is not a tough job. You read a script. If you like the part and the money is OK, you do it. Then you remember your lines. You show up on time. You do what the director tells you to do. When you finish, you rest and then go on to the next part. That's it."
"Maybe love is like luck. You have to go all the way to find it."
ON REMAINING TRUE TO ONESELF
"I've still got the same attitude I had when I started. I haven't changed anything but my underwear."
ON BEING A PEOPLE-PLEASER
"There just isn't any pleasing some people. The trick is to stop trying."
ON BEING TYPECAST
"I kept the same suit for six years and the same dialogue. They just changed the title of the picture and the leading lady."
ON WATCHING HIS OWN MOVIES
"Movies bore me; especially my own."
ON HIS ICONIC WALK
"People think I have an interesting walk. Hell, I'm just trying to hold my gut in."
ON TAKING A BREAK FROM HOLLYWOOD
"Every two or three years, I knock off for a while. That way I’m always the new girl in the whorehouse."
ON HIS ACTING METHOD
"I have two acting styles: with and without a horse."
ON HIS TOUGH GUY PERSONA
"The only difference between me and my fellow actors is that I've spent more time in jail."
ON PHYSICAL FITNESS
"How do I keep fit? I lay down a lot."
ON THE MYTH OF GREAT ACTING
"I never will believe there is such a thing as a great actor."
ON THE CREATIVITY OF CRITICS
"I never take any notice of reviews-unless a critic has thought up some new way of describing me. That old one about my lizard eyes and anteater nose and the way I sleep my way through pictures is so hackneyed now."
ON HIS ONSCREEN PRESENCE
"Listen. I got three expressions: looking left, looking right and looking straight ahead."