Catty catty Hollywood

“Alan Ladd has two expressions: hat on and hat off.”

On Fred Astaire’s audition: “Can’t sing. Can’t act. Can dance a little.”

Bette Davis: “I was taught to speak only good of the dead. Joan Crawford is dead. Good.”

Oscar Levant on Doris Day: “I knew her before she was a virgin.”

Don’t remember who said it, nor about whom he said it - I think it was Rock Hudson about Lily Tomlin but Google isn’t confirming: “She’s been in and out of the closet more times than my hunting jacket.”

“I have more talent in my smallest fart than you do in your entire body.” – Walter Matthau to Barbra Streisand (now go back and imagine the line in Matthau’s usually delivery.)

“Kissing her was like kissing Hitler” – Tony Curtis on Marilyn Monroe

“I’ve spent several years in Hollywood, and I still think the movie heroes are in the audience.” – Wilson Mizner

“Hollywood is like a trip through a sewer in a glass-bottomed boat.” – Mizner

Dorothy Parker on Katherine Hepburn: “She ran the gamut of emotions from A to B.”

Come back Eve, we need you!

Not strictly Hollywood, but still:

Truman Capote on Kerouac’s On the Road: “That’s not writing, that’s typing.”

Jamie Foxx on Jenniffer Lopez: “I knew J-Lo back when she was just Hey ho”

“She was good at being inarticulately abstracted for the same reason that midgets are good at being short.”
Clive James talking about Marilyn Monroe

“Martin’s acting is so inept that even his impersonation of a lush seems unconvincing.”
Harry Medved on Dean Martin

“When they asked Jack Benny to do something for the Actor’s Orphanage - he shot both his parents and moved in.”
Bob Hope talking about Jack Benny
(This last one is actually a joke, but too good not to include. In real life, Jack Benny was very generous to charities)

There seem to be at least a dozen different versions of this quote, and I can’t find the exact source for this quote, but this will serve:

“You can take all the sincerity there is in Hollywood, stuff it into a flea’s navel, and you’d still have room for six caraway seeds and an agent’s heart”

-Fred Allen

Jean Harlow was at a dinner party and kept on addressing Margot Asquith (wife of British prime minister Herbert Asquith) as MargoT (pronouncing the ‘T’). Margot finally had enough and said to her “No Jean, the T is silent, as in Harlow”.

Dustin Hoffman, playing a victim of imprisonment and torture in the film The Marathon Man, prepared himself for his role by keeping himself awake for two days and nights as his character had been. He arrived at the studio disheveled and drawn to be met by his co-star, Laurence Olivier.

“Dear boy, you look absolutely awful,” exclaimed the First Lord of the Theatre. “Why don’t you try acting? It’s so much easier.”

Ebert vs. Rob Schneider: (Long, but worth it):

Another non-hollywood one:

“An American musical so bad that at times I longed for the boy-meets-tractor theme of Soviet drama.”
-Bernard Levin, on the musical The Flower Drum Song

Ebert is great when he’s lambasting somebody. Interestingly, a while after this exchange, when Ebert was recovering from surgery, Schneider sent him flowers and a nice note. So, I guess there were no lingering hard feelings.

I love the feud between half-sisters Olivia deHavilland and Joan Fontaine. They hate each other so much each one has decided not to die before the other one does. And they are both still alive.

“Keir Dullea, gone tomorrow.” – Noel Coward

This is apocryphal.

Truman Capote on the Tonight Show once said that Jacqueline Susann looked like a “truck driver in drag.” She was furious and planned to sue him, but was dissuaded when it was pointed out that all Capote would need to do was put a dress on a truck driver to prove his point.