40 Best Katharine Hepburn Quotes On Love, Life, & Marriage

Katharine Hepburn was an American actress whose Hollywood career spanned over six decades. Famous for her fierce independence, strong will, and distinctive voice, she quickly became one of the most iconic Hollywood figures. She was a trailblazer who pushed boundaries by defying societal conventions with her power of individuality, resilience, and unapologetic self-expression. Here are the best Katharine Hepburn quotes that will inspire you to embrace your strengths and pursue your passions with confidence and determination.

Born on May 12, 1907, in Hartford, Connecticut, Hepburn was raised by progressive parents. She began acting at Bryn Mawr College and gained Broadway acclaim before making her mark in Hollywood.

Hepburn made her film debut with “A Bill of Divorcement,” instantly gaining acclaim for her magnetic performance and screen presence.

She received an Academy Award for Best Actress for her third film, “Morning Glory” (1933), following which she faced a series of commercial failures.

Determined to reclaim her success, Hepburn made a remarkable comeback with “The Philadelphia Story” (1940). The movie was a box office success and landed her a third Academy Award nomination.

She then partnered and shared screen with Spencer Tracy that spanned 26 years and produced nine films. Apparently they were in a relationship that was hidden from public.

Throughout her career, Hepburn was known for her playing independent, mature and sometimes unmarried women such as in The African Queen (1951), for which she gained widespread acclaim.

Hepburn received Academy Awards for her performances in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968), and On Golden Pond (1981).

Her remarkable performances has earned her four Academy Awards for Best Actress, a record unmatched by any other actor in history.

Beyond her acting skills, Hepburn was a strong advocate for women’s rights and social justice. She used her platform to bring positive social change, earning a reputation as a trailblazer and feminist icon.

To honor her legacy we have collected the most famous Katharine Hepburn quotes that will inspire and motivate you.

Top 10 Katharine Hepburn Quotes

  1. “Life is hard. After all, it kills you.” — Katharine Hepburn                                                                                 “Life is hard. After all, it kills you.” — Katharine Hepburn
  2. “Without discipline, there’s no life at all.” — Katharine Hepburn                                                                     “Without discipline, there's no life at all.” — Katharine Hepburn
  3. “You can’t change the music of your soul.” — Katharine Hepburn                                                                 “You can’t change the music of your soul.” — Katharine Hepburn
  4. “If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun.” — Katharine Hepburn                                                             “If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun.” — Katharine Hepburn
  5. “Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere.” — Katharine Hepburn                                                           “Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere.” — Katharine Hepburn
  6. “It’s not what you start in life, it’s what you finish.” — Katharine Hepburn                                                   “It's not what you start in life, it's what you finish.” — Katharine Hepburn
  7. “If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased.” — Katharine Hepburn                         “If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased.” — Katharine Hepburn
  8. “You learn in life that the only person you can really correct and change is yourself.” — Katharine Hepburn  “You learn in life that the only person you can really correct and change is yourself.” — Katharine Hepburn   
  9. “As one goes through life, one learns that if you don’t paddle your own canoe, you don’t move.” — Katharine Hepburn
  10. Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get – only with what you are expecting to give – which is everything.” — Katharine Hepburn                                                                                                              “Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get - only with what you are expecting to give - which is everything.” — Katharine Hepburn                                                                                                                                                                                         

Best Katharine Hepburn Quotes

  1. “Never complain. Never explain.” — Katharine Hepburn
  2. “Death will be a great relief. No more interviews.” — Katharine Hepburn
  3. “I believe how I act today will affect how I am tomorrow.” — Katharine Hepburn
  4. “Don’t moan, don’t whine, don’t blame. Just get on with it.” — Katharine Hepburn
  5. “Plain women know more about men than beautiful women do.” — Katharine Hepburn
  6. “If you want to change attitudes, start with a change in behavior.” — Katharine Hepburn
  7. “If you need a helping hand, you can find one at the end of your arm.” — Katharine Hepburn
  8. “I never realized until lately that women were supposed to be the inferior sex.” — Katharine Hepburn
  9. “Silence the artist and you have silenced the most articulate voice the people have.” — Katharine Hepburn
  10. “Don’t give in! Make your own trail. Don’t moan. Don’t complain. Think positively.” — Katharine Hepburn
  11. “I’m an atheist, and that’s it. I believe there’s nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for people.” — Katharine Hepburn
  12. “We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers – but never blame yourself. It’s never your fault. But it’s always your fault, because if you wanted to change you’re the one who has got to change.” — Katharine Hepburn

Famous Quotes By Katharine Hepburn

  1. “I find myself absolutely fascinating.” — Katharine Hepburn
  2. “You are the only person you can actually change.” — Katharine Hepburn
  3. “I never lose sight of the fact that just being is fun.” — Katharine Hepburn
  4. “It’s a bore – B-O-R-E – when you find you’ve begun to rot.” — Katharine Hepburn
  5. “You politicians remain professional because the voters remain amateur.” — Katharine Hepburn
  6. Marriage is a series of desperate arguments people feel passionately about.” — Katharine Hepburn
  7. “Why slap them on the wrist with a feather when you can belt them over the head with a sledgehammer.” — Katharine Hepburn
  8. “If you want to sacrifice the admiration of many men for the criticism of one, go ahead, get married.” — Katharine Hepburn
  9. “Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then.” — Katharine Hepburn
  10. “Only the really plain people know about love – the very fascinating ones try so hard to create an impression that they soon exhaust their talents.” — Katharine Hepburn
  11. “Life is to be lived. If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting. And you don’t do that by sitting around.” — Katharine Hepburn
  12. “I have not lived as a woman. I have lived as a man. I’ve just done what I damn well wanted to, and I’ve made enough money to support myself, and ain’t afraid of being alone.” — Katharine Hepburn

Katharine Hepburn Quotes And Sayings

  1. “Life gets harder the smarter you get, the more you know.” — Katharine Hepburn
  2. “I have no romantic feelings about age. Either you are interesting at any age or you are not. There is nothing particularly interesting about being old – or being young, for that matter.” — Katharine Hepburn
  3. “Life can be wildly tragic at times, and I’ve had my share. But whatever happens to you, you have to keep a slightly comic attitude. In the final analysis, you have got not to forget to laugh.” — Katharine Hepburn
  4. Friendship, if somebody holds out his hand toward you, you’ve got to reach and take it… There are too many people alone, and if you’re lucky enough for somebody to want you as a friend, it’s an obligation.” — Katharine Hepburn
  5. “Kindness is one of the greatest gifts you can bestow upon another. If someone is in need, lend them a helping hand. Do not wait for a thank you. True kindness lies within the act of giving without the expectation of something in return.” — Katharine Hepburn
  6. “The thing about life is that you must survive. Life is going to be difficult, and dreadful things will happen. What you do is move along, get on with it, and be tough. Not in the sense of being mean to others, but being tough with yourself and making a deadly effort not to be defeated.” — Katharine Hepburn

Fun Facts About Katharine Hepburn

Birthday: May 12, 1907 in Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.

Death: June 29, 2003 (aged 96) Fenwick, Connecticut, U.S.

Education: Bryn Mawr College (BA)

Occupation: Actress

Notable Films: Christopher Strong, Break of Hearts, A Woman Rebels, Stage Door, Woman of the Year, Summertime, The Rainmaker, & Love Affair.

Awards: 4 Academy Awards, 2 BAFTA Awards, 1 Emmy Awards, 1 Screen Actors Guild Awards, 3 Festival Awards, & 3 Critics Awards.

Spouse: Ludlow Ogden Smith ​ ​(m. 1928; div. 1934)​

Partner: Spencer Tracy (1941–1967; his death)


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