“I guess I became an actress because I didn’t want to be myself.” — Jean Arthur
“Modern life is so complex that I think we need all the intellectual tools at our command to understand it. I am particularly interested in the mental and spiritual phases of life. In this modern world, the two seem to have got out of balance.” – Jean Arthur
Source: Jim O’Connor in 1950.
“She always thought she should have been a more serious actress. She felt she should have done Shakespeare, she should have been in a repertory company. There was a general dissatisfaction with the kinds of roles she played. She certainly didn’t hide it at all.” — Nell Eurich (friend)
Source: Jean Arthur: The Actress Nobody Knew by John Oller
With Doris Hill in 1929.
“I was funny in those days. All I’ve ever wanted to do is to act, just be left alone to act.” — Jean Arthur
Source: Hedda Hopper (1965)
Photo: The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu (1929)
Photographer: Robert Coburn (1936)
“If people don’t like your work, all the still pictures in the world can’t help you and nothing written about you, even oceans of it, will make you popular.” – Jean Arthur
“We play in pictures which cost thousands of dollars, sometimes more than a million dollars. Huge sums of money are spent to build up a star’s personality. The story, the production values, the camera, makeup, lights, dialogue, all contribute to make her a glamorous personality. We create an illusion when we are on the screen. We should sustain that illusion. We owe it to the studio. We owe it to the public. But we can’t be perfectly poised all of the time. Dear knows, I can’t….I just like to be comfortable when I’m not working, so I try to keep out of the public eye as much as possible.” — Jean Arthur
Source: Faith Service (1939)
“I don’t believe that the fans are interested in anything but the Jean Arthur they see on the screen. It’s the movie personality that really matters. My performance is the me that entertains them. And me, as a person, has nothing to do with that!” — Jean Arthur
Source: Dee Lowrance (1943)
Photographer: Robert Coburn (1943)
“People who aren’t free like Peter, or at least hunger to be free, aren’t aware of the adventure of living.” — Jean Arthur
Photo: Peter Pan on Broadway (1950).