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119 Top Robert Duvall Quotes

Famous As: One of the Greatest American Actors of All Time
Born On: January 5, 1931
Born In: San Diego, California, United States
Age: 91 Years

Robert Duvall is among the most prominent and respected film figures today, and his long-spanning career has given the world many entertaining movies and plays. With many decades of filmmaking and acting experience behind his back, Duvall’s observations and opinions on acting, direction, and Hollywood are unparalleled. His advice to upcoming actors and his lifestyle are often the source of stimulation to many newbies who look for guidance in a confusing industry. They often look up to Duvall’s comments and observations as they are a continuous source of wisdom. We have compiled Robert Duvall’s quotes from his interviews, speeches, and articles. Let’s take a look at these inspiring quotes on acting, Hollywood, directing, and filmmaking from one of the most formidable and venerated figures in Hollywood. 

Well, it's like my movie, 'The Apostle.' Some people in the North don't get that movie. They think that, in the South, if you don't shout, you can't play one of those guys.

Well, it's like my movie, 'The Apostle.' Some people in the North don't get that movie. They think that, in the South, if you don't shout, you can't play one of those guys.

Robert Duvall
I would like to ask each of you: Would you be in favor of some kind of education on birth control and if so, how would you use that as a possible solution to the ever present question of abortion.

I would like to ask each of you: Would you be in favor of some kind of education on birth control and if so, how would you use that as a possible solution to the ever present question of abortion.

Robert Duvall
Stripping away artifice - it's the constant standard I aim for in acting, to approximate life. People talk about being bigger than life - but there's nothing bigger than life.

Stripping away artifice - it's the constant standard I aim for in acting, to approximate life. People talk about being bigger than life - but there's nothing bigger than life.

Robert Duvall
There's no smoking section in heaven.

There's no smoking section in heaven.

Robert Duvall
I don't have many people showing up at my door. Very few people come out. When they do, I get a little suspicious. I live way up on a hill, way, way back in the country.

I don't have many people showing up at my door. Very few people come out. When they do, I get a little suspicious. I live way up on a hill, way, way back in the country.

Robert Duvall
I'll keep on acting 'til they wipe the drool. I like the business. I like to do different parts and diverse characters. I haven't lost my enthusiasm yet!

I'll keep on acting 'til they wipe the drool. I like the business. I like to do different parts and diverse characters. I haven't lost my enthusiasm yet!

Robert Duvall
I'm getting good offers, as good as ever sometimes. I just finished a thing with Billy Bob Thornton that was the most unique part I've ever played in my life, in the most unique project.

I'm getting good offers, as good as ever sometimes. I just finished a thing with Billy Bob Thornton that was the most unique part I've ever played in my life, in the most unique project.

Robert Duvall
Although it wasn't that easy to do, it was wonderful working with John Wayne.

Although it wasn't that easy to do, it was wonderful working with John Wayne.

Robert Duvall
It's no big thing, but you make big things out of little things sometimes.

It's no big thing, but you make big things out of little things sometimes.

Robert Duvall
You just can't take a crash course to be a tango dancer in a movie.

You just can't take a crash course to be a tango dancer in a movie.

Robert Duvall
I'm a man without a corporation.

I'm a man without a corporation.

Robert Duvall
When you shift the gear and that little needle on the tach goes into the red and reads 9,000 rpm, that's bad.

When you shift the gear and that little needle on the tach goes into the red and reads 9,000 rpm, that's bad.

Robert Duvall
When you dance tango fast, you have to think slow.

When you dance tango fast, you have to think slow.

Robert Duvall
Cows is one thing. But one man telling another man where he can go in this country is something else.

Cows is one thing. But one man telling another man where he can go in this country is something else.

Robert Duvall
I wouldn't mind starting to ride some more if I had a really good horse to just work a little bit with every day.

I wouldn't mind starting to ride some more if I had a really good horse to just work a little bit with every day.

Robert Duvall
I've always liked country music. It's a certain aspect of America that goes back to the British Isles and the influence is very native to America.

I've always liked country music. It's a certain aspect of America that goes back to the British Isles and the influence is very native to America.

Robert Duvall
When I'm at home in Virginia, I become more hermit-like. I like my own home.

When I'm at home in Virginia, I become more hermit-like. I like my own home.

Robert Duvall
It's like kids playing house: 'You play the father, I'll play the mother.' You know, you dress up, you play, they pay, you go home. It's a game - acting's a game.

It's like kids playing house: 'You play the father, I'll play the mother.' You know, you dress up, you play, they pay, you go home. It's a game - acting's a game.

Robert Duvall
Look, Hollywood's a mecca, but it's not the final answer. You pick up a camera anyplace in the world, you can make a movie.

Look, Hollywood's a mecca, but it's not the final answer. You pick up a camera anyplace in the world, you can make a movie.

Robert Duvall
It's a cyclical thing. When they make one, everyone loves them. Different genres come around in succession. People always welcome the western. It's America's genre.

It's a cyclical thing. When they make one, everyone loves them. Different genres come around in succession. People always welcome the western. It's America's genre.

Robert Duvall
Some people say, 'Do you have any theories on acting?' And I say, well maybe: I think you can start with zero and end with zero. You don't have to go anywhere, you don't have to go for the result.

Some people say, 'Do you have any theories on acting?' And I say, well maybe: I think you can start with zero and end with zero. You don't have to go anywhere, you don't have to go for the result.

Robert Duvall
There's a lot of ignorance in our business... Everybody's an authority. To have your own vision is rewarding.

There's a lot of ignorance in our business... Everybody's an authority. To have your own vision is rewarding.

Robert Duvall
My father's people... are from Fairfax in northern Virginia, just across the Mason-Dixon line. So it was an honour to play Lee, he was a great general.

My father's people... are from Fairfax in northern Virginia, just across the Mason-Dixon line. So it was an honour to play Lee, he was a great general.

Robert Duvall
Sometimes you don't prepare much. I mean, when I did 'Lonesome Dove' way back I rode horses day and night for like three or four months, and that got me ready for that.

Sometimes you don't prepare much. I mean, when I did 'Lonesome Dove' way back I rode horses day and night for like three or four months, and that got me ready for that.

Robert Duvall
If I ended my career, I wouldn't mind doing a TV series if it was a western and I played a mute gunfighter so I wouldn't have to remember lines every week.

If I ended my career, I wouldn't mind doing a TV series if it was a western and I played a mute gunfighter so I wouldn't have to remember lines every week.

Robert Duvall
One thing I like about Argentina, they only cook with salt; that's it.

One thing I like about Argentina, they only cook with salt; that's it.

Robert Duvall
If you don't have heroes in the beginning, you don't grow.

If you don't have heroes in the beginning, you don't grow.

Robert Duvall
Listening to critics is like letting Muhammad Ali decide which astronaut goes to the moon.

Listening to critics is like letting Muhammad Ali decide which astronaut goes to the moon.

Robert Duvall
I take a vitamin every day; it's called a steak.

I take a vitamin every day; it's called a steak.

Robert Duvall
The beginning and the end of the tango is the walk.

The beginning and the end of the tango is the walk.

Robert Duvall
There's no right or wrong just truthful or untruthful.

There's no right or wrong just truthful or untruthful.

Robert Duvall
Smell that? You smell that? Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

Smell that? You smell that? Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

Robert Duvall
Never use money to measure wealth, son.

Never use money to measure wealth, son.

Robert Duvall
The one you fight with the most is always the one who’s most like you.

The one you fight with the most is always the one who’s most like you.

Robert Duvall
If you don't daydream and kind of plan things out in your imagination, you never get there. So you have to start someplace.

If you don't daydream and kind of plan things out in your imagination, you never get there. So you have to start someplace.

Robert Duvall
Not every successful man is a good father.  But every good father is a successful man.

Not every successful man is a good father. But every good father is a successful man.

Robert Duvall
We're all travelers in this world. From the sweet grass to the packing house. Birth 'til death. We travel between the eternities.

We're all travelers in this world. From the sweet grass to the packing house. Birth 'til death. We travel between the eternities.

Robert Duvall
What people don't understand about Sarah Palin is that she is a rancher's wife. From Alberta down to Texas I've known women like that: good common sense, bright and vilified by city people.

What people don't understand about Sarah Palin is that she is a rancher's wife. From Alberta down to Texas I've known women like that: good common sense, bright and vilified by city people.

Robert Duvall
I think there are more good young actors now than ever. It's a medium that everyone wants to be connected with - it is such a hip medium going into the 21st century.

I think there are more good young actors now than ever. It's a medium that everyone wants to be connected with - it is such a hip medium going into the 21st century.

Robert Duvall
I had a wonderful career.

I had a wonderful career.

Robert Duvall
I can't live without a woman. I have to have a woman, have to have a wife.

I can't live without a woman. I have to have a woman, have to have a wife.

Robert Duvall
Seeing your name on the list for KP or guard duty when you're in the Army is like reading a bad review.

Seeing your name on the list for KP or guard duty when you're in the Army is like reading a bad review.

Robert Duvall
Look, Hollywood's a mecca, but it's not the final answer. You pick up a camera anyplace in the world, you can make a movie.

Look, Hollywood's a mecca, but it's not the final answer. You pick up a camera anyplace in the world, you can make a movie.

Robert Duvall
I was fortunate in the last century to be in the two biggest hits film-wise, 'Godfather I' and 'Godfather II,' and 'Lonesome Dove.'

I was fortunate in the last century to be in the two biggest hits film-wise, 'Godfather I' and 'Godfather II,' and 'Lonesome Dove.'

Robert Duvall
As long as they keep offering me some good parts and so forth - there are some parts out there that fit me pretty well - I'll keep going for a while.

As long as they keep offering me some good parts and so forth - there are some parts out there that fit me pretty well - I'll keep going for a while.

Robert Duvall
I'd like to direct again, but that's really hard to get something and raise the money. It's difficult to find just the right thing.

I'd like to direct again, but that's really hard to get something and raise the money. It's difficult to find just the right thing.

Robert Duvall
I'm getting good offers, as good as ever sometimes. I just finished a thing with Billy Bob Thornton that was the most unique part I've ever played in my life, in the most unique project.

I'm getting good offers, as good as ever sometimes. I just finished a thing with Billy Bob Thornton that was the most unique part I've ever played in my life, in the most unique project.

Robert Duvall
Sometimes directors will hire you and say, 'Oh, we love your work.' And then they start to tell you how to do it. I say, 'Hey, man, back off. You hired me to do it. Let me do it.'

Sometimes directors will hire you and say, 'Oh, we love your work.' And then they start to tell you how to do it. I say, 'Hey, man, back off. You hired me to do it. Let me do it.'

Robert Duvall
What people don't understand about Sarah Palin is that she is a rancher's wife. From Alberta down to Texas I've known women like that: good common sense, bright and vilified by city people.

What people don't understand about Sarah Palin is that she is a rancher's wife. From Alberta down to Texas I've known women like that: good common sense, bright and vilified by city people.

Robert Duvall
But I think there are more good young actors now than ever. It's a medium that everyone wants to be connected with - it is such a hip medium going into the 21st century.

But I think there are more good young actors now than ever. It's a medium that everyone wants to be connected with - it is such a hip medium going into the 21st century.

Robert Duvall
Way, way, way back I played a little bit, but I am definitely not a golfer. You know, it just takes too much time anyway during the course of the day.

Way, way, way back I played a little bit, but I am definitely not a golfer. You know, it just takes too much time anyway during the course of the day.

Robert Duvall
But for me, the challenge is how you turn a character into behavior. Once the director says 'action', you just try to live between those two worlds.

But for me, the challenge is how you turn a character into behavior. Once the director says 'action', you just try to live between those two worlds.

Robert Duvall
Well, it's like my movie, 'The Apostle.' Some people in the North don't get that movie. They think that, in the South, if you don't shout, you can't play one of those guys.

Well, it's like my movie, 'The Apostle.' Some people in the North don't get that movie. They think that, in the South, if you don't shout, you can't play one of those guys.

Robert Duvall
When I'm at home in Virginia, I become more hermit-like. I like my own home.

When I'm at home in Virginia, I become more hermit-like. I like my own home.

Robert Duvall
Some Russian ballet master woman said there's no culture in America, but if you look you can find interesting stuff in this country, don't you think?

Some Russian ballet master woman said there's no culture in America, but if you look you can find interesting stuff in this country, don't you think?

Robert Duvall
Well, I had a wonderful career.

Well, I had a wonderful career.

Robert Duvall
Sometimes you don't prepare much. I mean, when I did 'Lonesome Dove' way back I rode horses day and night for like three or four months, and that got me ready for that.

Sometimes you don't prepare much. I mean, when I did 'Lonesome Dove' way back I rode horses day and night for like three or four months, and that got me ready for that.

Robert Duvall
Some people say, 'Do you have any theories on acting?' And I say, well maybe: I think you can start with zero and end with zero. You don't have to go anywhere, you don't have to go for the result.

Some people say, 'Do you have any theories on acting?' And I say, well maybe: I think you can start with zero and end with zero. You don't have to go anywhere, you don't have to go for the result.

Robert Duvall
It's like kids playing house: 'You play the father, I'll play the mother.' You know, you dress up, you play, they pay, you go home. It's a game - acting's a game.

It's like kids playing house: 'You play the father, I'll play the mother.' You know, you dress up, you play, they pay, you go home. It's a game - acting's a game.

Robert Duvall
I always figure from the cradle to the grave, we all have our individual journeys, and maybe my journey was a positive one and I accomplished certain things without stepping on too many toes.

I always figure from the cradle to the grave, we all have our individual journeys, and maybe my journey was a positive one and I accomplished certain things without stepping on too many toes.

Robert Duvall
I hope I left behind a legacy that people will enjoy. But whatever they want to say, I can't predict.

I hope I left behind a legacy that people will enjoy. But whatever they want to say, I can't predict.

Robert Duvall
Well, I can't live without a woman. I have to have a woman, have to have a wife.

Well, I can't live without a woman. I have to have a woman, have to have a wife.

Robert Duvall
I love going to black churches, and I love some of these black preachers. The best preacher I ever saw in my life was a 93-year-old in a black church in Hamilton, Virginia. What a preacher!

I love going to black churches, and I love some of these black preachers. The best preacher I ever saw in my life was a 93-year-old in a black church in Hamilton, Virginia. What a preacher!

Robert Duvall
I like the good feeling movies.

I like the good feeling movies.

Robert Duvall
Everybody likes to win.

Everybody likes to win.

Robert Duvall
Too many people think that economics is this subject that should wait until the university level. But it can't wait that long.

Too many people think that economics is this subject that should wait until the university level. But it can't wait that long.

Robert Duvall
I'm better than Olivier.

I'm better than Olivier.

Robert Duvall
Although it wasn't that easy to do, it was wonderful working with John Wayne.

Although it wasn't that easy to do, it was wonderful working with John Wayne.

Robert Duvall
Around my own friends, I like to mess around.

Around my own friends, I like to mess around.

Robert Duvall
God does guide the lives of individuals and does fill them with the Holy Ghost.

God does guide the lives of individuals and does fill them with the Holy Ghost.

Robert Duvall
Hollywood is still the mecca for good or bad, but it isn't the beginning or end for filmmaking.

Hollywood is still the mecca for good or bad, but it isn't the beginning or end for filmmaking.

Robert Duvall
I always thought of myself as a later bloomer, so I like some of my work more later than earlier.

I always thought of myself as a later bloomer, so I like some of my work more later than earlier.

Robert Duvall
I don't have many people showing up at my door. Very few people come out. When they do, I get a little suspicious. I live way up on a hill, way, way back in the country.

I don't have many people showing up at my door. Very few people come out. When they do, I get a little suspicious. I live way up on a hill, way, way back in the country.

Robert Duvall
I like to do things that I develop from the ground up.

I like to do things that I develop from the ground up.

Robert Duvall
I wouldn't mind starting to ride some more if I had a really good horse to just work a little bit with every day.

I wouldn't mind starting to ride some more if I had a really good horse to just work a little bit with every day.

Robert Duvall
It's a cyclical thing. When they make one, everyone loves them. Different genres come around in succession. People always welcome the western. It's America's genre.

It's a cyclical thing. When they make one, everyone loves them. Different genres come around in succession. People always welcome the western. It's America's genre.

Robert Duvall
My father's people... are from Fairfax in northern Virginia, just across the Mason-Dixon line. So it was an honour to play Lee, he was a great general.

My father's people... are from Fairfax in northern Virginia, just across the Mason-Dixon line. So it was an honour to play Lee, he was a great general.

Robert Duvall
My uncle always said that I could have been a rancher.

My uncle always said that I could have been a rancher.

Robert Duvall
Spending two years on my uncle's ranch in Montana as a young man gave me the wisdom and the thrust to do westerns.

Spending two years on my uncle's ranch in Montana as a young man gave me the wisdom and the thrust to do westerns.

Robert Duvall
The cultural contrast I saw between religions... Catholics have a lot of mediators, going through saints and Mary or whatever. Protestants in general say things to God directly.

The cultural contrast I saw between religions... Catholics have a lot of mediators, going through saints and Mary or whatever. Protestants in general say things to God directly.

Robert Duvall
Today, everything has to be made by committee, and has to have special effects, but there's always room for good films.

Today, everything has to be made by committee, and has to have special effects, but there's always room for good films.

Robert Duvall
Very often some of the religious miracle plays you see on television can be very corny, I find. And so simplistic.

Very often some of the religious miracle plays you see on television can be very corny, I find. And so simplistic.

Robert Duvall
We all have a cradle-to-the-grave journey to make and, in between, what do you do? There's got to be something hereafter.

We all have a cradle-to-the-grave journey to make and, in between, what do you do? There's got to be something hereafter.

Robert Duvall
You get below the Mason-Dixon line and you have some of the best music, culture, the two races, the literature, and it's so rich.

You get below the Mason-Dixon line and you have some of the best music, culture, the two races, the literature, and it's so rich.

Robert Duvall
You just can't take a crash course to be a tango dancer in a movie.

You just can't take a crash course to be a tango dancer in a movie.

Robert Duvall
Hollywood's a mecca, but it's not the final answer. You pick up a camera anyplace in the world, you can make a movie.

Hollywood's a mecca, but it's not the final answer. You pick up a camera anyplace in the world, you can make a movie.

Robert Duvall
Art is competitive.

Art is competitive.

Robert Duvall
If you don't have heroes in the beginning, you don't grow.

If you don't have heroes in the beginning, you don't grow.

Robert Duvall
I am getting some good offers still. Some nice things are coming my way just as they always have, so unless I lose my inspiration or there is too much drool to wipe, I will keep going.

I am getting some good offers still. Some nice things are coming my way just as they always have, so unless I lose my inspiration or there is too much drool to wipe, I will keep going.

Robert Duvall
I love working in Texas anywhere.

I love working in Texas anywhere.

Robert Duvall
The most solitary I ever felt was when I was living in New York. I used to live in Enrico Caruso's old apartment, and I had a special staircase that took me up to the roof. There was nobody up there.

The most solitary I ever felt was when I was living in New York. I used to live in Enrico Caruso's old apartment, and I had a special staircase that took me up to the roof. There was nobody up there.

Robert Duvall
I can always grow a little bit, and try to do something different. So I'm always looking for what's out there - the potential.

I can always grow a little bit, and try to do something different. So I'm always looking for what's out there - the potential.

Robert Duvall
What drives me is I love my profession. I love to do it.

What drives me is I love my profession. I love to do it.

Robert Duvall
I've always liked country music. It's a certain aspect of America that goes back to the British Isles and the influence is very native to America.

I've always liked country music. It's a certain aspect of America that goes back to the British Isles and the influence is very native to America.

Robert Duvall
When I knew nothing, I thought I could do anything.

When I knew nothing, I thought I could do anything.

Robert Duvall
I wanted to show that crime doesn't pay. If you are saved and accept the Lord, you cannot use that as an excuse to avoid punishment.

I wanted to show that crime doesn't pay. If you are saved and accept the Lord, you cannot use that as an excuse to avoid punishment.

Robert Duvall
I'll keep on acting 'til they wipe the drool. I like the business. I like to do different parts and diverse characters. I haven't lost my enthusiasm yet!

I'll keep on acting 'til they wipe the drool. I like the business. I like to do different parts and diverse characters. I haven't lost my enthusiasm yet!

Robert Duvall
The greatest king of Israel, King David, the author of the Psalms, sent a man out to die in battle so that he could sleep with his wife.

The greatest king of Israel, King David, the author of the Psalms, sent a man out to die in battle so that he could sleep with his wife.

Robert Duvall
There was nothing wrong with shouting at God.

There was nothing wrong with shouting at God.

Robert Duvall
You really have to soak up the culture of the people to get it right. If you're making a fiction film, it's entertainment, but you want it to be as real as possible.

You really have to soak up the culture of the people to get it right. If you're making a fiction film, it's entertainment, but you want it to be as real as possible.

Robert Duvall
Stripping away artifice - it's the constant standard I aim for in acting, to approximate life. People talk about being bigger than life - but there's nothing bigger than life.

Stripping away artifice - it's the constant standard I aim for in acting, to approximate life. People talk about being bigger than life - but there's nothing bigger than life.

Robert Duvall
The money part is one of the most difficult things. Coppola always said I should do a tango movie. If it hadn't been for him, I don't know where we would have gotten the money.

The money part is one of the most difficult things. Coppola always said I should do a tango movie. If it hadn't been for him, I don't know where we would have gotten the money.

Robert Duvall