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Fate cast me to play the role of an ugly duckling with no promise of swanning. . . . I have played my life as a comedy rather than the tragedy many would have made of it.

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There is a vast difference between success at twenty-five and success at sixty. At sixty, nobody envies you. Instead, everybody rejoices generously, sincerely, in your good fortune.

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There are very few persons who would think of inquiring into the private life of the newspaper dealer at the corner, or the druggist, or the doctor, or even a Mah Jong partner, but the moment one belongs to the theatrical profession, the public usually feels cheated unless it knows one’s inmost thoughts of love.

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The world doesn’t go around on love between men and women. Lovers get very little done. But friends do. When you are past middle life – and I hope you have the rich experience of love along the way – don’t think everything is all over. Don’t regret the vanished cocktail when the stuffed turkey is about to come in. Flip out your napkin and bite into it! Friends you can gather around you in the later years of life are worth the whole thing.

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By the time we hit fifty, we have learned our hardest lessons. We have found out that only a few things are really important. We have learned to take life seriously, but never ourselves.

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I never ride horseback now because my sympathy with the under-dog is too keen. After we have a gone a few blocks, I always dismount and say to the horse: ‘We’ll walk it together, old dear.

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I have no patience with women who measure and weigh their love like a country doctor dispensing capsules. If a man is worth loving at all, he is worth loving generously, even recklessly.