Tallulah Bankhead Quotes That Will Spark Your Imagination

Known for her quick wit and larger-than-life personality, these Tallulah Bankhead quotes offer a glimpse into her fearless approach to life. Tallulah Bankhead, an iconic actress of the early 20th century, captivated audiences with her unparalleled charisma and irreverent humor.

The legendary actress and cultural icon, was more than just a captivating performer. Renowned for her flamboyant personality, razor-sharp wit, and unapologetic spirit, she left a trail of unforgettable quotes that continue to resonate today. This page delves into the world of Tallulah Bankhead’s words, exploring the humor, wisdom, and audacious charm that defined her.


Tallulah Bankhead transcended the silver screen to become a cultural phenomenon. Her influence extended to:

  • Theatre and Film: Her innovative acting style and captivating stage presence redefined the way audiences viewed female performers.
  • Fashion and Style: She became a fashion icon, known for her bold and glamorous wardrobe choices.
  • Social Commentary:┬áThrough her wit and candor, she challenged societal expectations and championed individuality.

Also Read: 29 Scandalous Tallulah Bankhead Quotes You Won’t Believe!


Born in 1902 in Huntsville, Alabama, Tallulah Bankhead was raised in a theatrical family. Drawn to the stage from a young age, she made her Broadway debut at the age of 16. Bankhead quickly rose to fame for her stage performances and later transitioned to film, becoming a Hollywood sensation. Her flamboyant lifestyle and outspoken nature made her a tabloid darling of her time. Throughout her career, she captivated audiences in groundbreaking plays and films, solidifying her place as a theatrical legend.

Detailed Analysis of Key Tallulah Bankhead Quotes

On Life and Living:

  1. “It’s the good girls who keep diaries. The bad girls never have the time.” 
    This witty observation playfully suggests that a life fully lived leaves little room for chronicling every detail.
  2. “I’d rather be strongly wrong than weakly right.” 
    This statement embodies her bold personality and preference for taking a firm stance, even if it risks being incorrect.
  3. “Nobody can be exactly like me. Sometimes even I have trouble doing it.” 
    This humorous quote reflects her unique personality and acknowledges the difficulty of replicating her flamboyant style.
  4. “Here’s a rule I recommend: Never practice two vices at once.” 
    This tongue-in-cheek advice suggests a certain level of moderation amidst her often-exuberant lifestyle.
  5. “My heart is pure as the driven slush.” 
    This nonsensical yet quotable statement exemplifies her wit and ability to create memorable turns of phrase.
  6. “Fill what is empty, empty what is full, and scratch where it itches.” 
    This cryptic yet intriguing quote offers a glimpse into her unconventional approach to life’s challenges.
  7. “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.” 
    This statement reflects a complex mix of regret and a desire to embrace life’s experiences fully, even the mistakes.
  8. “I read Shakespeare and the Bible, and I can shoot dice. That’s what I call a liberal education.” 
    This humorous remark combines high and low culture, suggesting a well-rounded education includes both intellectual pursuits and life skills.
  9. “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, ‘I’d rather be strongly wrong than weakly right.'” 
    This statement combines her love of extravagance with a borrowed quote emphasizing boldness over meekness. It suggests she embraced life with gusto, even if it meant taking risks.

On Acting and Performance:

  1. “The less I behave like Whistler’s mother the night before, the more I look like her the morning after.” 
    This playful observation suggests that a relaxed approach to acting can lead to a more natural and believable performance.
  2. “There are not enough cameras in the world to capture my genius.” 
    While seemingly arrogant, this quote also reflects her immense confidence in her own abilities as a performer.
  3. “Acting is the nearest thing to religion in which I indulge. And even that has its lapses.” 
    This statement acknowledges the devotion and dedication required for a successful acting career, while maintaining some humorous cynicism.
  4. “Acting is a form of confession.” 
    (This quote sheds light on her approach to acting, suggesting she poured her true emotions and experiences into her performances.)

On Love and Relationships

  1. “I’ve had a man and I’ve had a woman, and there’s got to be something better.” 
    This bold statement, often misinterpreted, hints at her openness to exploring different forms of love and intimacy.
  2. “I thought I told you to wait in the car.” (On seeing a former lover for the first time in years) 
    This sharp and witty remark encapsulates her unapologetically direct and often humorous approach to relationships.

On Herself and Habits

  1. “Cocaine isn’t habit forming. I should know – I’ve been using it for years.” 
    This infamous quote, likely intended as a joke, highlights her sometimes reckless and self-deprecating humor. It’s important to note that cocaine is highly addictive and this statement shouldn’t be taken as factual.

Historical/Cultural Context

Bankhead’s era was marked by societal upheaval and cultural shifts, including the Roaring Twenties and the Golden Age of Hollywood. Her unapologetic lifestyle and outspokenness challenged traditional gender roles and social conventions.

Major Works and Contributions

Bankhead’s contributions to the entertainment industry spanned stage, screen, and radio. Her performances in plays like “The Little Foxes” and films like “Lifeboat” showcased her versatility and magnetic presence.

Impact and Legacy

Tallulah Bankhead’s legacy endures through her memorable performances and fearless personality. She remains an inspiration for those who embrace authenticity and refuse to conform to societal expectations.

There you have it…

Craving more razor-sharp wit and unapologetic personalities? Dive into the world of Dorothy Parker, the “Queen of the Algonquin Round Table,” whose acerbic one-liners could pierce through the most inflated egos. Her sharp observations on love, life, and literature offer a delightful counterpart to Tallulah Bankhead’s flamboyant spirit.

Ready for a Dose of Dorothy Parker’s Wit?