By People Staff
March 15, 1999 12:00 PM

“My defenses were so great. The cocky rock and roll hero who knows all the answers was actually a terrified guy who didn’t know how to cry.”

John Lennon 1940-1980

“When you start talking about family, about lineage and ancestry, you are talking about every person on earth.”

Alex Haley 1921-1992

“You get tough in this business, until you get big enough to hire people to get tough for you. Then you can sit back and be a lady.”

Natalie Wood 1938-1981

“I’ve often been accused by the critics of being myself on the screen. But being oneself is more difficult than you’d suppose.”

Cary Grant 1904-1986

“I thought, I have the race. I’ve finally got the gold.’ I was so excited, I couldn’t do anything but smile.”

Florence Griffith Joyner 1959-1998

“I never changed anything, except my socks and my underwear. And I never did anything to glorify myself or improve my lot, I took what came and did the best I could with it.”

Robert Mitchum 1917-1997

“My whole life I’ve been trying to prove I’m not just yesterday.”

Roddy McDowall 1928-1998

“I didn’t want to be a dancer. What I really wanted to be was shortstop for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pittsburgh Pirates lost a hell of a shortstop.”

Gene Kelly 1912-1996

“Some comedians love their characters. I don’t fall in love with mine. In fact I get tired of them very fast. You have to be willing to throw it all away.”

John Belushi 1949-1982

“I was a country girl, and I still have a country girl’s rather simple, ordinary values.”

Ava Gardner 1922-1990

“In Hoboken, when I was a kid, I lived in a plenty tough neighborhood When somebody called me a dirty ! little guinea there was only one thing to do—break his head: When I got older, I realized you shouldn’t do it that way I realized you’ve got ” : to do it through education—maybe with a few exceptions.”

Frank Sinatra 1915-1998

“I’ve got to get so big, so powerful, so famous, that the day will come when they’ll look at me and see a man—and then somewhere along the way they’ll notice he’s a Negro.”

Sammy Davis Jr. 1925-1990

“I had to overcome the name Rock. If I’d been as hip then as I am now, I’d have never consented to be named Rock.”

Rock Hudson 1925-1985

“I woke up one day a star. It was terrifying. Then I worked hard toward becoming a good actor.”

Burt Lancaster 1913-1994

“Dancing is a sweat job.”

Fred Astaire 1899-1987

“Goddamn! I’m the stuff men are made of.”

John Wayne 1907-1979

“I’ve lived my songs. I wrote exactly what I felt. Deep down, that’s my whole life.”

Tammy Wynette 1942-1998

“I have been uncompromising, peppery, intractable; monomaniacal, tactless, volatile and ofttimes disagreeable. I suppose I’m larger than life.”

Bette Davis 1908-1989

“I can’t read a note of music. And when I reach for a high note and it isn’t there, I just skip it.”

Dean Martin 1917-1995

“I couldn’t fight and I wasn’t particularly interested in the academic. So I started doing satiric bits in the school bathroom. Guys would cut class to come and see me.”

Freddie Prinze 1954-1977

“I always had a pretty knack for raising hell.”

Brandon Lee 1965-1993

“Most of the concentration of my singing is from my upper abdomen. That’s where I scream, that’s where I feel, that’s where everything comes out of me.”

Kurt Cobain 1967-1994

“Some of my songs are about very simple things in life. But those simple things are meaningful to me and have obviously meant something to people all over the world, even if it’s only in a karaoke bar.”

John Denver 1943-1997

“Life has taught me that I have nothing to lose by being honest.”

Elizabeth Glaser 1947-1994

“I was in awe of that whole Halston-Liza Minnelli crowd. To me, they were the real celebrities, and I was just a girl from Idaho.”

Margaux Hemingway 1955-1996

“A career is a series of comebacks.”

Rick Nelson 1940-1985

“I saw Samson and Delilah, with Victor Mature, and got the idea that it I let my hair grow long, it would make me strong. And you know, I still believe it did.”

Michael London 1936-1991:

“I was born with an enormous need for affection, and a terrible need to give it.”

Audrey Hepburn 1929-1993

“I’d been knocked down countless times, but I’d never tired ot getting back up and trying again. My career was as checkered as a tablecloth.”

Sonny Bono 1935-1998

“I’d prefer to remain a mystery. I never give my background, and, anyway, I make it all up different every time I’m asked.”

Andy Warhol 1928-1987

“We came out right in the middle of the hard-rock period. It was hard-rock everywhere! But we were ready to make our music, you know?”

Karen Carpenter 1950-1983

“There’s something about my shaggy-dog eyes that makes people think I’m good.”

Steve McQueen 1930-1980

“Everybody knows I’m just big, good-natured slob.”

Bing Crosby 1903-1977

“We’re all born bald, baby.”

Telly Savalas 1922-1994

“What I do onstage, you won’t catch me doing offstage. Deep down I’m still kind of timid and modest.”

Selena 1971-1995

“I’m trying to break the border between chic and shock.”

Gianni Versace 1946-1997

I project a definite innocence. A lot of that is just the way I grew up.”

River Phoenix 1970-1993

“I sing like I feel.

Ella Fitzgerald 1917-1996

“When you get right down to it, there are only three things worth remembering: your Social Security number, formula for your hair dye and how many hours you were in labor with your children.”

Erma Bombeck 1927-1996

“I benefit from the Mr. Potato Head syndrome. Put a wig and a nose and glasses on me, and I disappear.”

Phil Hartman 1948-1998

I know this sounds disgustingly Pollyanna, but working on Bewitched was like being in college for eight years and learning about what I really loved and really wanted to do.”

Elizabeth Montgomery 1933-1995

“Maybe if I had not picked up that one person dying on the street, I would not have picked up the thousands.”

Mother Teresa 1910-1997

“There’s no pleasure being just a spoke in a wheel. I’d rather be the whole wheel. I’m that much of a ham.”

Jackie Gleason 1916-1987

“If you can make people laugh when the house is literally falling down, you’ve picked the right career.”

Audrey Meadows 1922-1996

“I don’t go onstage with some kind of messianic vision or anything. I’m basically going out there hoping my guitar is in tune.”

Jerry Garcia 1942-1995

“I live like a monk, with one toothbrush, one cake of soap and a pot of cream.”

Greta Garbo 1905-1990

“Well, look me over. I didn’t get dressed to go unnoticed.”

Liberace 1919-1987

“I’m going to stay in show business until I’m the only one left.”

George Burns 1896-1996

“You’re only as good as the people you dress.”

Halston 1932-1990

“My outlook is that little things are the trip, I’m very happy with very little. Maybe that’s why I have so much.”

Linda McCartney 1941-1998

“I think I may have become an actor to hide from myself. You can escape into a character.”

John Candy 1950-1994

“Comedy needs heart and warmth, even a tear or two, not just a lot of slapstick laughs.”

Desi Arnaz 1917-1986

“The only way I can play a funny scene is to believe it. Then I can convincingly eat like a dog under a table, freeze to death beneath burning-hot klieg lights, or bake a loaf of bread 10 feet long.”

Lucille Ball 1911-1989

“I knew that a lot of people expected much from me and that if I disappointed them, it would be extremely painful to them and to me.”

Arthur Ashe 1943-1993

“I certainly don’t think of my life as a fairy tale. I think of myself as a modern, contemporary woman who has had to deal with all kinds of problems that many women today have to deal with.”

Princess Grace 1929-1982

“I swear, if they hadn’t tried to ruin me, I never would’ve ended up being a rapper. I probably would’ve been a preacher or something.”

Tupac Shakur 1971-1996

“I like to appear as a chameleon. So all my career I’ve attempted to disguise myself.”

Sir Laurence Olivier 1907-1989

“On the whole, if s been a darn wonderful life. I’ve had so many blessings and good fortune.”

James Stewart 1908-1997

“I wiggle my shoulders and I shake my legs and I walk up and down the stage and I hop around on one foot. But I never bump and grind. Why, that’s vulgar. I’d never do anything vulgar before an audience. My mother would never allow it.”

Elvis Presley 1935-1977

“I was built for this business, with a special nervous system. Just like Muhammad Ali was built to box, I was built to sing.”

Marvin Gaye 1939-1984

“My mother told me I was dancing before I was born. She could feel my toes tapping wildly inside her for months.”

Ginger Rogers 1911-1995

“I definitely have a sexual ego thing. But if I’m suggestive, if s in a nice way. Luckily, no one’s ever been hurt—a few girls have passed out, that’s all.”

Andy Gibb 1958-1988

“Romance was very important to me, but I got so tired of sex, sex, sex. It was the courtship and the cuddling I cared about, not the act itself.”

Lana Turner 1921-1995

“It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. Being a mother is what I think has made me the person I am.”

Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis 1929-1994