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Ethel Merman's Quotes

Ethel Merman profile photo

Born: 1908-01-16
Profession: Musician
Nation: American
Biography of Ethel Merman

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I take a breath when I have to.

Tags: Breath

I was lucky enough to have the songs in my first show written by George and Ira Gershwin. Then Cole Porter wrote five shows for me.

Tags: Enough, Lucky, Show

I wasn't straining at the bit to become a movie star any more than I had plotted to get out of vaudeville and into Broadway musicals.

Tags: Become, Movie, Star

I work as often as I want and yet I'm free as a bird.

Tags: Free, Often, Work

I'll admit - I was honored to be on the cover of Time.

Tags: Admit, Cover, Time

I'll pat myself on the back and admit I have talent. Beyond that, I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Tags: Place, Talent, Time

I've made a wonderful living playing that theatrical character - the professional brassy dame.

Tags: Character, Living, Wonderful

I've never cooked. I can't do much more in the kitchen than make a cup of tea and some toast.

Tags: Cup, Kitchen, Tea

I've never suffered stage fright. That fascinates people.

Tags: Fright, Stage, Suffered

In my case, things have pretty much been handed to me.

Tags: Case, Handed, Pretty

Legend has it that when God created me, he gave me a big distinctive voice, a lot of boldness and no heart.

Tags: Big, God, Heart

Mom and Pop were proud of my popularity, but from their point of view, show business was no way to make a living.

Tags: Business, Living, Mom

Mom claimed that I could carry a tune at 2 or 3 years of age. Maybe she was a little prejudiced.

Tags: Age, Mom, She

Music, in the past few years... anything singable or understandable is square.

Tags: Few, Music, Past

My beloved Mom and Pop always rated tops with each other, and that's the way it will always be.

Tags: Beloved, Mom, Pop

My career at Warner Brothers consisted of one musical short subject. I was running around in a bear skin. Very chic.

Tags: Career, Running, Short

My father taught me to read music and play the piano-but not well, even though people have said that I'm a natural musician.

Tags: Father, Music, Said

Of my four marriages, the one to Bob Levitt is the only one I don't regret.

Tags: Four, Marriages, Regret

Once I had all the attention, all I had to do was deliver.

Tags: Attention, Deliver, Once

The slapdash way producers used to assemble a show seems a little unbelievable when we talk about them now.

Tags: Show, Talk, Used

There have been people who have tried to take advantage of me. They want to be linked to me just because I'm Ethel Merman.

Tags: Advantage, Linked, Tried

There's such a thing as theater discipline. One player doesn't appropriate another's inventions.

Tags: Another, Discipline, Player

When I'm asked how to succeed in show business, I always say I haven't the foggiest.

Tags: Business, Show, Succeed
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Much more quotes by Ethel Merman below the page.

You gotta have a gimmick.

Tags: Gimmick, Gotta

I was born in my parents' bedroom on January 16. The World Almanac says it was 1909. I say it was 1912. But what difference does it make as long as I feel 33?

Tags: Born, Difference, Parents

Everything's coming up roses - for me.

Tags: Coming, Roses

Christmas carols always brought tears to my eyes. I also cry at weddings. I should have cried at a couple of my own.

Tags: Eyes, Wedding

At a flea market I always head for the junk jewelry table first.

Tags: Head, Jewelry, Market

I can never remember being afraid of an audience. If the audience could do better, they'd be up here on stage and I'd be out there watching them.

Tags: Afraid, Here, Remember

At one time I smoked, but in 1959 I couldn't think of anything else to give up for Lent so I stopped - and I haven't had a cigarette since.

Tags: Give, Time

Always give them the old fire, even when you feel like a squashed cake of ice.

Tags: Fire, Give, Old

I wouldn't change one thing about my professional life, and I make it a point not to dwell on my mistakes.

Tags: Change, Life, Mistakes

I wouldn't trust any man as far as you can throw a piano.

Tags: Far, Piano, Trust

If I feel in need of sleep, I just open a book or turn on the television. Both are better than any sleeping pill.

Tags: Book, Both, Sleep

When you are in deep conflict about something, sometimes the most trivial thing can tip the scales.

Tags: Conflict, Deep, Sometimes

Who's happy these days?

Tags: Days, Happy

Any audience that gets a laugh out of me gets it while I'm facing them.

Tags: Audience, Laugh, While

As far as dramas are concerned, it's considered passe for playwrights to turn out anything the average person can understand.

Tags: Far, Turn, Understand

Broadway has been very good to me. But then, I've been very good to broadway.

Tags: Broadway, Good

Cole Porter had a worldwide reputation as a sophisticate and hedonist.

Tags: Reputation, Worldwide

Cole Porter wrote Anything Goes and four more hits for me.

Tags: Four, Goes, Hits

Eisenhower was my war hero and the President I admire and respect most.

Tags: Hero, Respect, War

I am known to be able to take care of myself when I become angry. I don't mince words.

Tags: Angry, Care, Words

I attend surprisingly few shows. The type of theater that is popular today just doesn't appeal to me.

Tags: Few, Popular, Today

I can hold a note as long as the Chase National Bank.

Tags: Chase, Hold, National

I don't like to read. The only things I read are gossip columns. If someone gives me a book, it had better have lots of pictures.

Tags: Book, Gossip, Someone

I Got Rhythm really put me on the map.

Tags: Map, Put, Rhythm

I have been ambitious to be a somebody from the time I was 5 years old.

Tags: Old, Somebody, Time

I have plenty of invitations to go places, lots to do. If I'm not working, I go to have my hair taken care of and work at needlepoint.

Tags: Care, Work, Working

I preferred delivering my performance in person. I liked to be in control. You couldn't be in films.

Tags: Control, Films, Liked

Chicago is unique. It is the only completely corrupt city in America.

Tags: America, City, Unique

If nothing is to be done in the given situation, he must invent plausible reasons for doing nothing; and if something must be done, he must suggest the something. The unpardonable sin is to propose nothing, when action is imperative.

Tags: Action, Done, Situation

It not infrequently happens that persons without any other special qualification than the drama of their lives are precipitated into important political positions.

Tags: Lives, Political, Special
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