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A collection of quotes and thoughts by Jack Nicholson on dating, life, motto, support, acting, writing, learning, belief, advice, criticism, movies, fear and love.

82 Famous Quotes By Jack Nicholson That Will Serve As A Catalyst Of Inspiration

Quick Facts

Famous As
Actor, Filmmaker

Born On

Born In
Neptune City, New Jersey, United States

Jack Nicholson is a celebrated American filmmaker and a prominent Hollywood actor who has given a number of iconic performances during his career spanning around six decades. Nicholson started his career as a stage artist and then tried his hands at screenplay writing. ‘The Trip’ was the movie that he first wrote. He later directed his debut movie, ‘Drive, He Said’. Nicholson got a break in his career with the movie, ‘Easy Rider’ and earned him, his first ever Oscar nomination. It was during 1980s when he gave some mind blowing performances. ‘The String’, ‘The Witches of Eastwick’, ‘Batman’ and ‘A Few Good Men’ are a few of his career-defining roles that he had performed during this period. Nicholson has acted in more than sixty movies, has been a part of approximately ten television shows and won three ‘Academy Award’. Here is a collection of some wit and wisdom shared by the distinguished actor in his own words. Read through the quotes and thoughts by Jack Nicholson that in a way pay tribute to the legacy of the humble, humorous and multi-faceted actor.

My mother never saw the irony of calling me a "son of a bitch

- Jack Nicholson

Almost everybody's happy to be a fool for love.

- Jack Nicholson

Just let the wardrobe do the acting.

- Jack Nicholson

Age is the first limitation on roles that I've ever had to encounter, and I hit that awhile ago.

- Jack Nicholson

I don't have any plugs or tucks but people do what they want. I look at it as mutilation.

- Jack Nicholson

I'm a New Wave baby, so I got very stimulated by foreign film.

- Jack Nicholson

I'm Irish. I think about death all the time.

- Jack Nicholson

I'm an actor who they said was wrinkled and balding and everything else when I was in my early 30's. Most of the people who wrote that who thought they were younger than me are now bald and wrinkled.

- Jack Nicholson

I'm not hard to get along with.

- Jack Nicholson

I've been too many places. I'm like the bad penny.

- Jack Nicholson

In other words, I wouldn't like to be an actor if I could only be real. I like to get wild, behaviorally wild, and it's crazy to think of any form where it's just one way.

- Jack Nicholson

Well, a younger woman is a type, but not necessarily a type for me. And what is a younger woman? I mean, I'm pretty old. Almost everyone is younger.

- Jack Nicholson

It's a slight stretch of the imagination but most people are alike in most ways so I've never had any trouble identifying with the character that I'm playing.

- Jack Nicholson

We are going as fast as we can as soon as we can. We're in a race against time, until we run out of money.

- Jack Nicholson

The blues and jazz will live forever... So will the Delta and the Big Easy.

- Jack Nicholson

My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch.

- Jack Nicholson

What's beautiful is all that counts, pal. That's all that counts.

- Jack Nicholson

With my sunglasses on, I'm Jack Nicholson. Without them, I'm fat and 60. -Jack Nicholson

- Jack Nicholson

There is no way you can get people to believe you on screen if they know who you really are through television.

- Jack Nicholson

A star on a movie set is like a time bomb. That bomb has got to be defused so people can approach it without fear.

- Jack Nicholson

I used to think that one of the great signs of security was the ability to just walk away.

- Jack Nicholson

I would never complain about my life, even though I really would like to have a mate.

- Jack Nicholson

I'm definitely still wild at heart.

- Jack Nicholson

If you think you’re attractive, you’re always attractive.

- Jack Nicholson

Here comes Johnny!

- Jack Nicholson

I am a person who is trained to look other people in the eye.

- Jack Nicholson

There's a period just before you start a movie when you start thinking, I don't know what in the world I'm going to do. It's free-floating anxiety. In my case, though, this is over by lunch the first day of shooting.

- Jack Nicholson

I hate giving advice, because people won't take it.

- Jack Nicholson

Beer, it's the best damn drink in the world.

- Jack Nicholson

Never rub another mans rhubarb

- Jack Nicholson

I'm a good friend.

- Jack Nicholson

Once I got started acting I loved it.

- Jack Nicholson

If I go into a restaurant there's a very good chance that I'm going to spend my time being the mayor. If I want to have a good time, I'm happier having dinner here.

- Jack Nicholson

I can't hit on women in public any more. I didn't decide this; it just doesn't feel right at my age.

- Jack Nicholson

It's not like I'm starved for company - I have a few very good lady friends - but there's only a certain amount of times a woman wants to see you and never go out for dinner.

- Jack Nicholson

Once you've been really bad in a movie, there's a certain kind of fearlessness you develop.

- Jack Nicholson

When I am cast in a movie where I feel that the woman's part is more interesting, I usually start thinking about Spencer Tracy and Fred Astaire. They seem to be the most clear actors when working with women.

- Jack Nicholson

My whole career strategy has been to build a base so that I could take the roles I want to play. I'd hate to think that a shorter part might not be available because I was worried about my billing.

- Jack Nicholson

Most of the early part of an actor's career, you do the jobs you get.

- Jack Nicholson

I'm the last guy in the world to feel overlooked by the Academy.

- Jack Nicholson

Financially, I've lost money and made money, but I know my way around financially.

- Jack Nicholson

There were points in my life where I felt oddly irresistible to women. I'm not in that state now and that makes me sad.

- Jack Nicholson

You only lie to two people in your life, your girlfriend and the police.

- Jack Nicholson

The average celebrity meets, in one year, ten times the amount of people that the average person meets in his entire life.

- Jack Nicholson

I'm content with the fact that I made a decent effort. That's what I've always worried about: that I wouldn't try hard enough.

- Jack Nicholson

I wanted to be the best actor possible. I worked very hard at the craft of it.

- Jack Nicholson

I've spent more time playing golf than anything else the last 18 years. Just wanted to be an 80s-shooter. Got there, too.

- Jack Nicholson

Played tennis for years. But you can't improve at tennis after you're 50. You get to be in your 40s, and suddenly you're a doubles player.

- Jack Nicholson

I'm not a power person. I like everyone to be on an equal footing.

- Jack Nicholson

The camera photographs what's there.

- Jack Nicholson

I don't think many people have a very good understanding of leisure and the importance it plays in our lives.

- Jack Nicholson

If men are honest, everything they do and everywhere they go is for a chance to see women.

- Jack Nicholson

If you get an impulse in a scene, no matter how wrong it seems, follow the impulse. It might be something and if it ain't - take two!

- Jack Nicholson

I've never been able to say I've been influenced by a list of artists I like because I like thousands and thousands and I've been influenced in some way by all of them.

- Jack Nicholson

I sort of understood that when I first started: that you shouldn't repeat a success. Very often you're going to, and maybe the first time you do, it works. And you love it. But then you're trapped.

- Jack Nicholson

I learned a long time ago in Hollywood that the only person I should vote for is myself.

- Jack Nicholson

I don't have any fear of intimacy, but rather thrive on it, which is rare in a public person.

- Jack Nicholson

Frankly, I got into the movies because I like the movies a lot.

- Jack Nicholson

Acting is everybody's favorite second job.

- Jack Nicholson

Early on, if I was alone two three nights in a row, I'd start writing poems about suicide.

- Jack Nicholson

Well, I'm not going to sit here and pretend that I haven't been a rogue most of my life.

- Jack Nicholson

In my last year of school, I was voted Class Optimist and Class Pessimist. Looking back, I realize I was only half right.

- Jack Nicholson

Well, a girlfriend once told me never to fight with anybody you don't love.

- Jack Nicholson

I like to not care that much about criticism, but I do care about it.

- Jack Nicholson

In this industry, there are only two ways up the ladder. Rung by rung or claw your way to the top. It's sure been tough on my nails.

- Jack Nicholson

When I was in high school, I earned the pimple award and every other gross-out award.

- Jack Nicholson

I'll tell you one thing: Don't ever give anybody your best advice, because they're not going to follow it.

- Jack Nicholson

I never had a policy about marriage. I got married very young in life and I always think in all relationships, I've always thought that it's counterproductive to have a theory on that.

- Jack Nicholson

I know I can act. There aren't too many other jobs I know how to do.

- Jack Nicholson

I have a lot of vanity.

- Jack Nicholson

Because you know, down deep in my heart, when all is said and done, I still live under the illusion that basically people think of me as an up-and-coming young actor.

- Jack Nicholson

I don't want people to know what I'm actually like. It's not good for an actor.

- Jack Nicholson

One of my school friends' parents owned a minigolf course, and a bunch of us kids would play there all day in the summer. Two-under deuces was a good score.

- Jack Nicholson

A lot of people can't remember things because they weren't actually there to begin with - they don't take it all in.

- Jack Nicholson

I just like art. I get pure pleasure from it. I have a lot of wonderful paintings, and every time I look at them I see something different.

- Jack Nicholson

The minute that you're not learning I believe you're dead.

- Jack Nicholson

I always knew there wasn't going to be anybody to help me and emotionally support me, that whatever I did I'd have to do on my own.

- Jack Nicholson

My motto is: more good times.

- Jack Nicholson

There's only two people in your life you should lie to... the police and your girlfriend.

- Jack Nicholson

When I come up against a director who has a concept that I don't agree with, or maybe I just haven't thought of it or whatever, I'd be more prone to go with them than my own because I want to be out of control as an actor, I want them to have the control, otherwise it's going to become predictably my work, and that's not fun.

- Jack Nicholson

I worry from the moment I take a job. I worry about how I'm going to do it, if I can do it... Then I walk on set and the director says, 'Roll', and all of a sudden, all of it disappears and it's all happening, and I relax, and I'm doing what I do, and I'm not even thinking about it.

- Jack Nicholson

I think that's what distinguishes Schmidt, really. In the movies now, so much of what is appealing to an audience is the dramatic or has to do with science fiction, and Schmidt is simply human. There's no melodrama; there's no device, It's just about a human being.

- Jack Nicholson