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Alan Alda quotes on life, courage, creativity, self-doubt, beauty, and wisdom.

125 Top Alan Alda Quotes

Quick Facts

Famous As: Actor

Born On: January 28, 1936

Born In: NYC, New York, U.S

Alan Alda is an American actor, director, writer, and comedian, best known for playing ‘Hawkeye Pierce’ in TV series ‘M A S H’ (1972-83). His other appearances came in TV shows, such as ‘ER,’ ‘The West Wing,’ ’30 Rock,’ and ‘The Blacklist.’ He is a recipient of six ‘Golden Globe Awards’ and ‘Emmy Awards.’ Alan has appeared in films, such as ‘Paper Lion’ (1968), ‘Same Time, Next Year’ (1978), ‘The Four Seasons’ (1981), ‘Crimes and Misdemeanors’ (1989), ‘The Aviator’ (2004), and ‘The Longest Ride’ (2015).

He was nominated for the ‘Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor’ for ‘The Aviator.’ Alan is also actively involved in charity work. We have curated a few of his quotes from his films, TV series, and interviews on topics, such as life, courage, creativity, self-doubt, beauty, and wisdom.

I don't miss directing at all, and I don't miss screenwriting either because somebody's always telling you to do something different.

Arnold Vinick

I would like to know that when I read the paper in the morning, it's telling me something that actually happened, and I think the vast majority of journalists want the same thing.

Arnold Vinick

I must have interviewed 600 or 700 scientists all around the world.

Arnold Vinick

When I got recognized as a writer, when I got the Emmy, I was more excited than the Emmys I had gotten as an actor.

Arnold Vinick

I come armed with a really good ignorance. I don't strive toward ignorance. I come by it naturally.

Arnold Vinick

The idea that the brain is not fully formed until you are almost 30 years old has already been introduced, and the Supreme Court already has based two rulings on it.

Arnold Vinick

I never thought about my image. It interests me that there are people who do, that they seem to be methodical about it. Maybe things would have gone differently for me in some ways if I had.

Arnold Vinick

I fix my grandchildren's computers.

Arnold Vinick

We need to be more conversant with it because science is in our lives. It's in everything. It's in the food we eat. It's in the air we breathe. It's everywhere.

Arnold Vinick

I've had many uncanny experiences. I think it's hard to be alive and not have them. But I don't know if I can decide what that means or what they are.

Arnold Vinick

In the midst of the sense of tragedy or loss, sometimes laughter is not only healing, it's a way of experiencing the person that you've lost again.

Arnold Vinick

It's very important for us to see that science is done by people, not just brains but whole human beings, and sometimes at great cost.

Arnold Vinick

I used to be an amateur inventor when I was a kid; I'm always inventing something.

Arnold Vinick

I think most people are interested in our origins; once we understand, it might be easier to become the people we'd like to be. Or, better, become the people we think we already are.

Arnold Vinick

I think I look better in a suit than a loincloth. So that may define some of the parts I play.

Arnold Vinick

My background is on the stage, so when I'd write movies, they'd be a lot like plays.

Arnold Vinick

I'm most at home on the stage.

Arnold Vinick

I feel like every time a door is opened by science, suddenly there are a hundred doors that need to get opened. That's what makes it an everlasting, interesting experience to go through.

Arnold Vinick

I read science, because to me, that's extremely exciting. It's like a great detective story, and it's happening right in front of us.

Arnold Vinick

I used to read science fiction a lot, and I still like science fiction when it is a model of how we really are and to see ourselves from another perspective.

Arnold Vinick

The whole question of fiduciary responsibility is a very old concept. You could make a movie about someone making that rule at any point in history, and within a few months, it will turn out to be timely.

Arnold Vinick

I love to watch how scientists' minds work.

Arnold Vinick

I really don't like plays or movies that service propaganda.

Arnold Vinick

Any play is hard to write, and plays are getting harder and harder to get on the stage.

Arnold Vinick

For me, I find that even though I've accomplished a few things in my life, looking back on accomplishments doesn't give me a sense of satisfaction.

Arnold Vinick

I know there's a creative side to artists to - pardon me - there's a creative side to scientists already, but there may be an artistic side, too, waiting to break free.

Arnold Vinick

Achingly funny as it was, Larry Gelbart's writing gave off sparks that turned a hard light on the way we are.

Arnold Vinick

When I was in high school, I fell under the spell of that crazy idea that if you're interested in the arts, you can't be interested in science.

Arnold Vinick

I had never really wanted to be famous. Everyone is supposed to want to be rich and famous, but as a boy I never knew what rich was, and the first view I had of famous made me leery.

Arnold Vinick

I always loved Sid Caesar and all the people on his program.

Arnold Vinick

What heartens me is to see '30 Rock' on the air. It makes me laugh from my gut, which I really like to do.

Arnold Vinick

No matter how big the audience is going to be. I'm interested in doing things that are fun.

Arnold Vinick

What's funny is that you can think you really value your life until you almost lose it.

Arnold Vinick

I hated high school. It was a prison.

Arnold Vinick

Blind dates are treacherous. You don't know who this person is. You wonder, 'Should I call my grandma during coffee to get out of this?'

Arnold Vinick

The hardest thing for me about making movies, and that included 'M*A*S*H' because it was made like a movie, was starting and stopping.

Arnold Vinick

I think it's important for scientists to speak in their own voices and not just be mediated by journalists or others speaking for them.

Arnold Vinick

You can watch actors create their illusions, but if you don't see where they get the pigeons from, you don't really know how they're doing it.

Arnold Vinick

If scientists can't communicate with the public, with policy makers, with one another, the future is going to be held back. We're not going to have the future that we could have.

Arnold Vinick

Why would you give money to somebody whose work you don't understand?

Arnold Vinick

I used to not want to die in any way but in my sleep when I was a young man. I'd like to die awake now, if possible, with people around me who love me.

Arnold Vinick

Awards shows mainly publicize the people giving the awards.

Arnold Vinick

M*A*S*H' was a collection of people, in front of and behind the cameras, that really clicked.

Arnold Vinick

Anyone I know who's almost died has come out of it, at least for a while, looking at things differently.

Arnold Vinick

All I've ever tried to do is play real people.

Arnold Vinick

I made my first stage appearance when I was 6 months old.

Arnold Vinick

You know what my earliest memories are? Going from one burlesque town to another. My father was in burlesque.

Arnold Vinick

Usually, comedy shows only influence other comedy shows. 'M*A*S*H' is one of the few comedies that influenced dramatic shows as well.

Arnold Vinick

The President never intends to get into any kind of war situation. He gets carried away by events.

Arnold Vinick

I was always interested in figuring things out. I'd do experiments, like combining things I found around the house to see what would happen if I put them together.

Arnold Vinick

Kids are natural scientists.

Arnold Vinick

I'm greedy for that satisfaction of doing something hard and knowing that, even though I was afraid I couldn't do it, that somehow I can deliver.

Arnold Vinick

I find myself going to places where I really have no business, speaking to these people in a whole other field that I have no extensive knowledge of. But I do it very often because it scares me.

Arnold Vinick

And I think belief is one of those things that comes to people in their own way. And just because I believe in something doesn't mean I think that you should.

Arnold Vinick

What I always wanted to get seen as was as a good actor, when it was the acting I was doing. When I'm writing, I want to try to be seen as a good writer.

Arnold Vinick

No, I never thought about my image. It interests me that there are people who do, that they seem to be methodical about it.

Arnold Vinick

Really top-notch directors, I've often worked with them just to see how they work.

Arnold Vinick

When does she do all this thinking? We're together all the time but she thinks deeply about things and with feeling and she can remember the facts. We've been married 48 years.

Arnold Vinick

'Never Have Your Dog Stuffed' is really advice to myself, a reminder to myself not to avoid change or uncertainty, but to go with it, to surf into change.

Arnold Vinick

My mother didn't try to stab my father until I was six, but she must have shown signs of oddness before that.

Arnold Vinick

It makes it fun. When an actor plays a character, you want what that character wants. Otherwise it doesn't look authentic. So I really want to defeat Jimmy - I mean Jimmy as the character.

Arnold Vinick

If I can't get the girl, at least give me more money.

Arnold Vinick

I've never tried to manipulate my image.

Arnold Vinick

I'm most at home on the stage. I was carried onstage for the first time when I was six months old.

Arnold Vinick

I'm an angry person, angrier than most people would imagine, I get flashes of anger. What works for me is working out when it's useful to use that anger.

Arnold Vinick

After a while I started to think of that as an image of something that went a lot deeper than the dead dog, which is you can't bring back anything to life.

Arnold Vinick

Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you.

Arnold Vinick

I wouldn't live in California. All that sun makes you sterile.

Arnold Vinick

It isn't necessary to be rich and famous to be happy. It's only necessary to be rich.

Arnold Vinick

When people are laughing, they're generally not killing one another.

Arnold Vinick

I'm condemned by some inner compulsion to think about the daily rituals of my life. I have a low grade fever for improving myself in many ways, including everyday tasks.

Arnold Vinick

I sat next to a young woman on a plane once who bombarded me for five hours with how she had decided to be born again and so should I. I told her I was glad for her, but I hadn't used up being born the first time.

Arnold Vinick

We're highly social animals - I'm told by scientists that what makes us different from other animals is an acute social awareness, which is what has made us so successful.

Arnold Vinick

In 2003, I almost died of an intestinal blockage when I was on a mountain in Chile, filming a segment for 'Scientific American Frontiers.'

Arnold Vinick

Almost everybody that's well-known gets tagged with a nickname.

Arnold Vinick

It's too bad I'm not as wonderful a person as people say I am, because the world could use a few people like that.

Arnold Vinick

I have a strong preference for being alive.

Arnold Vinick

My father sang well, and he was a handsome man. When he walked down the street, people sometimes mistook him for Cary Grant and asked for his autograph.

Arnold Vinick

You can't be aware of everything. You'd fall down the stairs if you were aware of every intricate thing involved in going down stairs.

Arnold Vinick

Whenever I think of how much pleasure I have interviewing scientists, I remember that they're having the real fun in actually being able to do the science.

Arnold Vinick

As an artist, as an actor, as a writer, you have to use what's personal to you. You have to be personal about your work; otherwise, it doesn't ring true.

Arnold Vinick

You wouldn't want to be called a sell-out by selling a product. Selling out was frowned on, whereas now you can major in it at business school.

Arnold Vinick

I've sat looking down into a volcano that could blow at any moment; I've helped catch a shark and several rattlesnakes; I let a tarantula walk across my hand, and I ate rat soup.

Arnold Vinick

I'm in the real world, some people try to steal from me, and I stop them, frequently, take them to court. I love a good lawsuit. It's fun.

Arnold Vinick

Backstage life is terrific training for an actor, seeing shows from the wings.

Arnold Vinick

You can't get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you're doing. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover will be yourself.

Arnold Vinick

Be as smart as you can, but remember that it is always better to be wise than to be smart.

Arnold Vinick

When I was about ten years old, I gave my teacher an April Fool's sandwich, which had a dead goldfish in it.

Arnold Vinick

Here's my Golden Rule for a tarnished age: Be fair with others, but keep after them until they're fair with you.

Arnold Vinick

Laugh at yourself, but don't ever aim your doubt at yourself. Be bold. When you embark for strange places, don't leave any of yourself safely on shore. Have the nerve to go into unexplored territory.

Arnold Vinick

I used to be a Catholic. I left because I object to conversion by concussion. If you don't agree with what they teach, you get clobbered over the head until you do. All that does is change the shape of the head.

Arnold Vinick

Some of the greatest things, as I understand, they have come about by serendipity, the greatest discoveries.

Arnold Vinick

The meaning of life is life.

Arnold Vinick

Listening is being able to be changed by the other person.

Arnold Vinick

There is a wonderful feeling of power when you're a director, but I don't think I need that, and I'm OK without it.

Arnold Vinick

It's really clear to me that you can't hang onto something longer than its time. Ideas lose certain freshness, ideas have a shelf life, and sometimes they have to be replaced by other ideas.

Arnold Vinick

I think when you're acting, you usually don't have to know too much beyond how to pronounce the words you're saying.

Arnold Vinick

Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in while, or the light won't come in.

Arnold Vinick

It's a funny feeling to work with people who you consider your colleagues and to realize that they actually are young enough to be your children.

Arnold Vinick

Begin challenging your assumptions. Your assumptions are the windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile or the light won't come in.

Arnold Vinick

Awards can give you a tremendous amount of encouragement to keep getting better, no matter how young or old you are.

Arnold Vinick

You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself.

Arnold Vinick

Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative place where no one else has ever been.

Arnold Vinick

I love oatmeal. To me, it's not boring. I agree that ordinary oatmeal is very boring, but not the steel-cut Irish kind - the kind that pops in your mouth when you bite into it in little glorious bursts like a sort of gummy champagne.

Arnold Vinick