Any film buff worth a bag of beans knows full well the scope, richness and value of the Internet Movie Database, or IMDb.com. There, one can pick up dry statistics—like Wilson (1944) costing $4 million to make and raking in a mere $2 million—or juicier tidbits like Jayne Mansfield having to guzzle champagne before doffing her garments in Promises! Promises! (1963), “the first movie in which a mainstream actress appeared nude.” Our favorite part of the site, however, is Personal Quotes, found within the Biography section, wherein an actor or director remarks about their upbringing, work philosophy, on-the-set experiences and so forth. The quotes are undoubtedly culled from interviews and biographies, and one can be certain that a few are misquoted or the product of reputation and myth. Nevertheless, here is a small selection that caught our eye—30 candidly specific and entertaining snippets from actors discussing their peers.
Bing Crosby on Judy Garland
There wasn't a thing that gal couldn't do—except look after herself.
Joan Crawford on Greta Garbo
She's let herself go all to hell. She walks along the sidewalk and runs across the street through the cars when somebody notices her, like an animal, a furtive rodent. It's a wonder anybody notices her—she looks like a bag lady. I heard that she's simply stopped bathing.
Cary Grant on Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift and James Dean
I have no rapport with the new idols of the screen, and that includes Marlon Brando and his style of Method acting. It certainly includes Montgomery Clift and that godawful James Dean. Some producer should cast all three of them in the same movie and let them duke it out. When they've finished each other off, James Stewart, Spencer Tracy and I will return and start making real movies again like we used to.
Robert Mitchum on working with Faye Dunaway
When I got here I walked in thinking I was a star and then I found I was supposed to do everything the way she says. Listen, I'm not going to take any temperamental whims from anyone, I just take a long walk and cool off. If I didn't do that, I know I'd wind up dumping her on her derrière.
William Holden on Humphrey Bogart
I hated that bastard.
Ginger Rogers on working with Katharine Hepburn
She is snippy, you know, which is a shame. She was never on my side.
Marilyn Monroe on Montgomery Clift
He's the only person I know that is in worse shape than I am.
Fred Astaire on John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever (1977)
He's not a dancer. What he did in those dance scenes was very attractive but he is basically not a dancer. I was dancing like that years ago, you know. Disco is just jitterbug.
Mickey Rooney on Ernest Borgnine
All the Oscars in the world can't buy him dignity, class and talent. I don't know why he is famous and why he is a star. Talk about a lucky jerk.
Myrna Loy on Joan Crawford, Christina Crawford and Mommie Dearest
Joan and I approached being movie stars in a different way. She liked to take limos everywhere; she was much grander, for lack of a better word, and maybe I was much more down to earth, but so what? Joan certainly wasn't the only movie star who liked the champagne and limousine treatment. I can tell you that when you made a friend in Joan you had a friend for life. She never forgot your birthday, and you'd get a congratulatory note from her when good things happened in your life. She cared about people and her friends, no matter what anybody says. I liked her, and I miss her, and I think her daughter's stories are pure bunk. Even if they were true, if ever there was a girl who needed a good whack it was spoiled, horrible Christina. Believe me, there were many times I wanted to smack her myself.
[In 1965, Myrna Loy appeared with Christina Crawford in a Chicago production of the Neil Simon play Barefoot in the Park.] We didn't have any problems in Barefoot until Christina Crawford appeared. I've never known anybody else like her—ever. Her stubbornness was really unbelievable. She would not do a single thing that anybody told her to do. You'd go out there on the stage and you couldn't find her. One thing an actor needs to know is exactly where people are on the stage. Christina completely disregarded her blocking, throwing the rest of us off…She was going to do it her way. It was self-defeating and sad, because the girl had potential…She wanted to be Joan Crawford. I think that's the basis of the book she wrote afterward and everything else. I saw what her mind created, the fantasy world she lived in. She envied her mother, grew to hate her, and wanted to destroy her…What bothers me is that there were book buyers who bought that book and read it and people who believed it. What perplexes me and makes me profoundly sad was that people wanted to spend their money that way, on such trash, and, worse yet, believed it. The readers who believed it were the ones who did the damage.
Marlene Dietrich on Gary Cooper
Gary Cooper was neither intelligent nor cultured. Just like the other actors, he was chosen for his physique, which, after all, was more important than an active brain.
Walter Matthau on Barbra Streisand
I had no disagreement with Barbra Streisand. I was merely exasperated at her tendency to be a complete megalomaniac.
Groucho Marx on Bob Hope
Hope? Hope is not a comedian. He just translates what others write for him.
Humphrey Bogart on working with Rod Steiger in The Harder They Fall (1956)
These Actors Studio types, they mumble their lines. I can't hear their words. I miss the cues. This scratch-your-ass-and-mumble school of acting doesn't please me.
Anthony Hopkins on Shirley MacLaine
The most obnoxious actress I've ever worked with.
W.C. Fields on Mae West
A plumber’s idea of Cleopatra.
Kirk Douglas on Doris Day
That face she shows the world—smiling, only talking good, happy, tuned into God—as far as I'm concerned, that's just a mask. I haven't a clue as to what's underneath. Doris is just about the remotest person I know.
Frank Sinatra on Marlon Brando
He is the most overrated actor in the world.
Burt Lancaster on Kirk Douglas
Kirk would be the first to admit that he's difficult to work with—and I would be the second.
Louise Brooks on Bette Davis and Joan Crawford
I like Bette Davis. I think she's a real actor, don't you? I never liked Joan Crawford at all. Never. I hate fakes. She was an awful fake. A washerwoman's daughter. I'm a terrible snob, you know.
Veronica Lake on working with Fredric March in I Married a Witch (1942)
He treated me like dirt under his talented feet. Of all actors to end up under the covers with. That happened in one scene and Mr. March is lucky he didn't get my knee in his groin.
Lawrence Olivier on Marilyn Monroe
A professional amateur.
Bette Davis on Karen Black
Karen Black changes her makeup in the middle of the scene, so nothing matches on the screen. She sleeps all day, never goes to rushes and you can't hear a bloody thing she says on the set. When I made movies you could hear me in a tunnel.
Joan Crawford on Judy Garland
Over the years I've heard and read so many stories about the way Judy Garland was so badly treated at Metro she ended up a mess. I did not know her well, but after watching her in action a few times I didn't want to know her well. I think her problems were caused by the fact that she was a spoiled, indulgent, selfish brat—plus a stage mother who had to be something of a monster, and a few husbands whose egos absolutely dominated hers. There were times when I felt sorry for Judy, but there were more times when I thought, "For Christ's sake, get off your ass!" ...but when she put her mind to it, she was good. And I mean damned good. Even in her silly pictures she came off.
Marie Dressler on Marie Dressler
I’m too homely for a prima donna and too ugly for a soubrette.
Gregory Peck on working with Robert Mitchum in Cape Fear (1962)
I had given him the role and had paid him a terrific amount of money. It was obvious he had the better role. I thought he would understand that, but he apparently thought he acted me off the screen. I didn't think highly of him for that.
Robert Mitchum on Steve McQueen
He sure don't bring much brains to the party, that kid.
Marlon Brando on Lee Strasberg
An ambitious, selfish man who exploited the people who attended the Actors Studio, and he tried to project himself as an acting oracle and guru. Some people worshiped him, but I never knew why.
Sophia Loren on Gina Lollobrigida
Gina's personality is limited. She is good playing a peasant but is incapable of playing a lady. That said, I don't think she's positively mad about me. Because I'm bigger than she? It's possible. Who knows?
Anthony Quinn on Marilyn Monroe
An empty-headed blonde with a fat rear. Oh, Monroe was pretty enough to look at, but there were hundreds of better-looking actresses poking around Hollywood. Even after she hit the big time, with Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), I never could see what all the fuss was about.