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Gene Hackman quotes on success, parenthood, acting, character, choices, values, and more.

24 Quotes By Gene Hackman

Quick Facts

Famous As: Actor and Author

Born On: January 30, 1930

Born In: San Bernardino, California, U.S

Gene Hackman is an American actor who rose to fame with his performance in the 1967 crime film ‘Bonnie and Clyde.’ He also made several appearances in films, such as ‘I Never Sang for My Father’ (1970), ‘The French Connection’ (1971), ‘Superman: The Movie’ (1978), ‘Unforgiven’ (1992), Enemy of the State’ (1998), and The Royal Tenenbaums’ (2001). He has been nominated for five ‘Academy Awards’ and won twice. He has also won four ‘Golden Globe Awards.’ His final performance came in ‘Welcome to Mooseport’ in 2004, after which he retired from acting. Hackman is also a novelist, and has co-written three historical fictions and two other novels.  We have curated a few of his quotes on topics such as success, parenthood, acting, character, choices, and values.

My wife and I take what we call our Friday comedy day off. We watch standup comics on TV. The raunchier the better. We love Eddie Izzard.

Gene Hackman

I write in the morning from about eight till noon, and sometimes again a bit in the afternoon. In the morning I start off by going over what I had done the previous day, which my wife has happily typed up for me.

Gene Hackman

I don't see myself as a violent guy.

Gene Hackman

The worst job I ever had was working nights in the Chrysler Building. I was part of a team of about five guys, and we polished the leather furniture.

Gene Hackman

I left home when I was 16 because I was looking for adventure.

Gene Hackman

Hollywood loves to typecast, and I guess they saw me as a violent guy.

Gene Hackman

My early days in Broadway were all comedies. I never did a straight play on Broadway.

Gene Hackman

I went in the Marines when I was 16. I spent four and a half years in the Marines and then came right to New York to be an actor. And then seven years later, I got my first job.

Gene Hackman

I don't like to talk about myself that much.

Gene Hackman

I lost touch with my son in terms of advice early on. Maybe it had to do with being gone so much, doing location films when he was at an age where he needed support and guidance.

Gene Hackman

I do not like assassins, or men of low character.

Gene Hackman

My grandfather had been a newspaper reporter, as was my uncle. They were pretty good writers and so I thought maybe somewhere down the line I would do some writing.

Gene Hackman

I have trouble with direction, because I have trouble with authority. I was not a good Marine.

Gene Hackman

Things parents say to children are oftentimes not heard, but in some cases you pick up on things that your parent would like to see you have done.

Gene Hackman

Dysfunctional families have sired a number of pretty good actors.

Gene Hackman

I'm not a sentimental guy.

Gene Hackman

I'm disappointed that success hasn't been a Himalayan feeling.

Gene Hackman

If I start to become a star, I'll lose contact with the normal guys I play best.

Gene Hackman

I was trained to be an actor, not a star. I was trained to play roles, not to deal with fame and agents and lawyers and the press.

Gene Hackman

If you look at yourself as a star, you've already lost something in the portrayal of any human being.

Gene Hackman

The difference between a hero and a coward is one step sideways.

Gene Hackman

You go through stages in your career that you feel very good about yourself. Then you feel awful, like, 'Why didn't I choose something else?' But overall I'm pretty satisfied that I made the right choice when I decided to be an actor.

Gene Hackman

It really costs me a lot emotionally to watch myself on screen. I think of myself, and feel like I'm quite young, and then I look at this old man with the baggy chins and the tired eyes and the receding hairline and all that.

Gene Hackman

Once, I optioned a novel and tried to do a screenplay on it, which was great fun, but I was too respectful. I was only 100 pages into the novel and I had about 90 pages of movie script going. I realized I had a lot to learn.

Gene Hackman