It is important to surround yourself with strong and independent personalities, who will tell you when you are getting old.
In a world where you can be anything, choose to be yourself.
(Motto Cosmos said)
- What is Personality?
- Theories of personality development
- Personality alphabet
- Personality Development
- Codes of Personality
- Personality Types in the General Population
- 200 Influential Personalities of all time
- The 20 important people in Ancient Greece
- What colours could reveal about our personality?
- Personality and body language
- Personality of Marilyn Monroe
- Personality of Elvis Presley
- Personality of Robin Williams
- Personality of Frida Kahlo
“The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration. Since my subjects have always been my sensations, my states of mind and the profound reactions that life has been producing in me, I have frequently objectified all this in figures of myself, which were the most sincere and real thing that I could do in order to express what I felt inside and outside of myself.”
More than half a century has passed from her death, and yet Frida Kahlo’s distinctive and iconic image still feels so fresh today. The flowered hair, her intense gaze under that striking unibrow and all that colourful dresses made her stand out to the world. Yet, she wasn’t just an image, Frida Kahlo was a renowned Mexican painter of the 20th century and a worldwide symbol of feminism and vigour.
She was always attracting attention. Either in the streets of New Work, in Paris, or in happenings in Mexico, people just stood and stared at her. The combination of the long colourful dresses, the traditional jewellery and the braided hair with the flowers and the ribbons, created a unique aesthetic style with no comparison. Her appearance, closely bound up with her artworks, shaped her identity, and all those different colours and shapes reflected her unique personality. Regional Mexican garments, such as the Tehuana dresses, became her signature outfit.
“I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration.”
Frida Kahlo’s paintings
Common theme in Frida’s paintings was herself, always painted in vibrant colours. With shocking intimacy, lots of phantasy and humour she depicts her own body broken, bleeding or in pain. She painted her own reality and made art out of her physical and emotional pain. Her works might be overly dramatic but nonetheless authentic and make people stare them with awe. Every little detail is important too, for it may hide her deepest and most secret feelings. Her eyes in her self-portraits draw people in and gaze into their very soul. Pablo Picasso, who admired her deeply, once said: “Neither Derain, nor I, nor you are capable of painting a head like those of Frida Kahlo.”
Her inspiration was her own life. Frida recreated snapshots of her life, where her physical and psychological pain is evident. Her life and her work were shaped not only by her turbulent relationship with Diego Riviera — their marriage, the infidelities, their divorce, their remarriage, — but also by her chronic physical pain, the multiple surgeries, the miscarriages, and the amputation. Her works narrate a personal journey through pain and hardship, masked under a thick layer of colourful oil paint.
“I don’t give a shit what the world thinks. I was born a bitch, I was born a painter, I was born fucked. But I was happy in my way. You did not understand what I am. I am love. I am pleasure, I am essence, I am an idiot, I am an alcoholic, I am tenacious. I am; simply I am … You are a shit.”
Frida Kahlo’s personality.
Looking deeper into Frida Kahlo’s life and work, one could say that Frida might have actually suffered from borderline personality disorder (BPD). Overall, people with BPD have a fragmented, chaotic sense of self, meaning they lack stability or self-cohesion. Their emotional relationships are unstable, they experience tremendous fear of abandonment, and they try to avoid being abandoned by any means often using manipulating techniques. This could perhaps explain why Frida felt hopeless and empty throughout her life.
During her whole life, Frida was trying to feel cohesive and complete. She was constantly seeking love, approval and attention from the people around her in order to feel alive. All that derived from her childhood years. Her illness at the age of six and her withered leg made her feel fragile, weak and inferior to other children. Yet, it was her fragility that brought her father closer to her. He always helped her and looked after her. Frida was the third child of her father’s second marriage and thus she feared that he would neglect her. Thus, she tried to make him love her more than his other children and bound him to her. This was a reoccurring theme in her life. Her mother on the other hand, wasn’t as caring as her father, what left an empty space in her heart.
Inevitably, she was trying to get from her husband the love she never got from her mother. Diego was an older man, with whom she felt secure, because he protected her just like her father did. Yet, Diego meant much more to Frida. He was not only her partner but her mentor as well. His influence helped her shape her art and her persona. She had idealized him. They were strongly attached to each other. One needed the other to feel complete as a person. Each time that this special bond broke, it had serious effect on their lives, especially Frida’s. She felt abandoned, lonely and heartbroken. Her life had no meaning. It comes as no surprise that she forgave his many infidelities and remarried him. They shared an emotional attachment that made Frida need Diego in order to live and keep her art alive. Diego felt no different.
Frida’s fragmented self and feelings of abandonment are obvious in all of her paintings. Despite all the people who cared about her, she always felt lonely and unwanted. Her constant need of love and approval was evident in all the letters she wrote to Diego, her friends and lovers. She took rejection hard and often struggled with depression for long periods of time. In spite of all the anxiety and periods of depression, Frida used to say that she loved life, and there were times when everything seemed pretty. In her final years, all the heavy medication she took, due to her serious health condition, made her paranoid from times to times. Frida was afraid of death and thus she took great care of her health. Her serious health problems made her have regular medical check-ups and go under multiple surgeries.
As said before, Frida was an attention-seeker. Her appearance alone –the colourful dresses, the jewellery and the flowers – never went unnoticed. She had managed to create an extraordinary persona that cached everyone’s eye. However, Frida didn’t hesitate to deploy her own pain and suffering to get what she wanted – admiration and attention. And that surely is reflected in her paintings too. By painting herself as a martyr, who has suffered extreme pain, she managed to provoke feelings not only of admiration but also of pity and sympathy. She presented her problems in an overdramatic way, making others see her as a tragic victim, either of Diego’s infidelity or her physical pain’s. She rightfully won the title of “The Grande Dama of Suffering” for she used her illness and suffering in her favor. “We like being ill to protect ourselves,” she wrote in her diary, because she felt that when sick, she was loved and taken care of the most.
Nothing could fill the empty space inside Frida’s soul. The only thing that partially soothed her pain was her relationship with Diego. But every fight made it worse. Over time her desperation grew bigger and led her to alcohol and excessive use of painkillers. During the last year of her life she made numerous suicide attempts. People with BPD often behave like that. Frida loved kids, but she couldn’t have children of her own and that was killing her. Painting was the solution to her every problem. Getting through hardship by making art became an integral part of her life. It gave her strength and a reason to live. Receiving admiration for her works was her only comfort in life.
“The most important part of the body is the brain. Of my face, I like the eyebrows and eyes. Aside from that, I like nothing. My head is too small.”
Frida Kahlo’s childhood
Frida Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907 in Coyoacán, a small city in the suburbs of Mexico. She was born with a mixed heritage. Her father, Guillermo Kahlo, was German of Hungarian-Jewish descent, whilst her mother, Matilde Calderón, was of Spanish and Indian heritage and a devout Catholic. Her full name was Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón, but she dropped the ‘e’ from her German name because of the rise of Nazism in Germany at the time, and became known as Frida, using a more Hispanic name. It’s obvious that Frida wanted to create a myth around her name. Thus, she also claimed to be born on 1910, the same year with the outbreak of the Mexican revolution.
Yet, Frida wasn’t born lucky. All the hardship started at her early childhood. When she was only six years old, Frida was diagnosed with polio. The disease, caused great damage to her right leg, leaving it shorter and weaker than the left. She tried very hard to cope with her disfigurement. She usually hid it under long skirts or crossed one leg over the other while seated, as often seen in photographs. Children used to make fun of her in school, calling her “Pata de Palo”, meaning peg-leg, a nickname which she later adopted herself and jokingly used to sign her letters to her friends. Frida closed herself off from other people and created a world of phantasy in her mind. She invented an imaginary friend who later might have inspired her double portrait The Two Fridas (1939).
“My toys were those of a boy: skates, bicycles.”
However, Frida didn’t give up and tried to overcome her impairment. She got into several sports, such as football, boxing and swimming. She liked climbing on trees and ride her bike along the lakes of Chapultepec Park, activities unusual for little girls in Mexico at the time. She was different in every aspect and people admired her for that. On the other hand, the singularity of her behaviour scared the other children away.
“I am in agreement with everything my father taught me and nothing my mother taught me.”
Her relationship with her family
Even within her family Frida felt alone and isolated. Her loneliness is evident both in the family pictures and her paintings later on. As a tomboy, she was very different from her sisters — even from her sister Cristina, no matter how close in age they were. Her mother, Matilde, wasn’t an affectionate person. She was cold and distant towards her and seemed to love God more.
The lack of affection from her mother might be the root cause of Frida’s emotional hunger throughout her life. She needed the love and attention that was deprived as a child. A mother-child bond is one of the most important bonds in the first years of a child’s life and has a huge emotional impact on the child when its missing.
Unlike with her mother, Frida had a very close relationship with her father. Guillermo loved Frida very much and it was very obvious that she was his favourite child. “Frida is the most intelligent of my daughters, she is the most like me,” he said. He was very attentive towards Frida and devoted himself to her recovery, since she was special for him. Guillermo also wanted to spark Frida’s imagination in a wide variety of ways. He was a photographer, and he liked taking Frida with him at his studio or at the photo shooting locations. He was a good painter too, and that’s how Frida first came in contact with painting. He was Frida’s role model, and he made her childhood happy. She admired him for never giving up on his work, despite his health problem (he long suffered from epileptic seizures), and it seems that she took his example later in her life as well.
“I was a child who went about in a world of colors… My friends, my companions, became women slowly; I became old in instants”.
The teenage years of Frida Kahlo
In 1922, Frida’s father believing in her intelligence and having great hopes for her, decided to enrol Frida to Escuela Nacional Prepatoria, a preparatory school in Mexico City. Her mother was most likely opposed to this idea, thinking it would be very dangerous for a girl to be alone in an unprotected environment. In addition, it was very rare for girls of the time to get a higher education. In fact, there were only 35 girls out of the two hundred students in that school.
Her distinctive clothing and her unusual hairstyle drew her classmate’s attention, however this time positively. Her friends thought she was fascinating. They said she carried “a little world” in her bag, books, notebooks, drawings even dried flowers and butterflies. Frida wasn’t a diligent student. Thanks to her intelligence however she got high scores without much of an effort. She could read a text once and remember it forever. She didn’t like attending boring lectures, instead she preferred to sit outside and read books with her friends. Frida was unconventional for her time; her friends were too, and so they formed a group named Los Cachuchas. It consisted of seven boys and two girls. They liked creating chaos at school with the outrageous pranks they pulled. Once, they brought a donkey in the halls and the classrooms emptied and, on another occasion, they set off firecrackers during a boring lecture that they wanted to get cancelled. Frida Kahlo was gaining somewhat of a name amongst her peers.
“I very much love things, life, people.”
Frida Kahlo’s teenage crush with Diego Rivera
In Prepatoria Frida saw Diego Rivera for the first time, a well-known painter of the time, who was there to paint a mural in one of the school’s amphitheatres. He was then 36 years old and Frida barely 15. Frida was immediately and completely smitten by Diego. She idolized him, and dreamt of them being together. Indeed, her dream came true many years later. Diego was working long hours at the amphitheatre, always accompanied by beautiful models, who posed for him, and who most probably were his lovers too. One of those beautiful women was Diego’s wife, Lupe Marín. She and Frida would become good friends in the future. Frida was always just sitting there and watching Diego paint with awe. She was jealous of his lovers, and she made fun of him now and then trying to embarrass him in front of them, by calling one with the name of the other. One day Frida told her friends: “My ambition is to have a child by Diego Rivera. And I’m going to tell him so someday.” Frida wasn’t blessed to have children with Diego, but they did get married nonetheless.
“I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.”
Frida Kahlo’s terrible bus accident
Undoubtedly, the nearly fatal accident Frida had when she was 18 years old, shocked everyone who knew her. On September 17, 1925, Frida was riding a bus home from school together with her first boyfriend and fellow Cachucha, Alejandro Gomez Arias, when an old electric trolley car crashed into the bus. Those who were present in the accident were talking about a girl covered in blood and glitter. This girl was Frida, and she would survive to become one of the greatest artists of all time.
In that life-threatening accident, Frida got heavily injured. She was taken to the hospital nearly in pieces. Her spinal column, collarbone, pelvis and ribs were all broken in more than one places. Her shoulder was dislocated. Her right leg was fractured in 11 places, whilst her right foot was crushed as well. An iron handrail was penetrating her body from one side to the other. The pain was excruciating.
Due to the multiple fractures and injuries Frida was bedridden in the hospital for three months. The shock was so big for her parents that none of them visited her at the hospital. Her mother kept to herself for several months, whilst her father fell seriously ill. Her sister Matilde and a few friends were the only ones who went to visit Frida. When she got out of the hospital, the atmosphere in her house was very heavy. She spent many months recovering at home, suffering from severe pain from head to toe. She felt lonely and was overly afraid of death.
“My painting carries with it the message of pain.”
The start of a painting career
From 1925 onwards, Frida’s life became a constant battle against ill-health and corrosion. For many months she was laid up in bed, wearing plaster corsets, that prevented her from moving. Therefore, Frida began to paint. At first painting was something to help pass time, but later on it became an integral part of her life. Through painting Frida managed to reinvent herself and she began a brave attempt to rise like some phoenix from the ashes. She had found a way to express her feelings and the pain she was going through. Her first works were mostly self-portraits that revealed her physical suffering and her feelings of loneliness and helplessness. She bared her soul to the world and used her phantasy to describe her inner struggles not in words but in colours. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.
“I love you more than my own skin.”
Frida Kahlo’s relationship with Diego Rivera
By 1928 Frida was able to move and walk again. The same year, Frida was officially introduced to Diego Rivera, who she met again after all these years. Diego was then 41 years old and one of the most famous artists in Mexico. His murals decorated the walls of the country’s most important buildings. One day, Frida went to find Diego at the site where he was working. She found him atop a scaffolding working on another one of his murals. She called him loudly and asked him to get down and give her his honest opinion on the works she’d brought with her. “Look, I have not come to flirt or anything even if you are a woman-chaser. I have come to show you my painting. If you are interested in it, tell me so, if not, likewise, so that I will go to work at something else to help my parents,” she said. Diego got down from the scaffolding and took a look at Frida’s paintings, “Look,” he said, “in the first place, I am very interested in your painting, above all in this portrait of you, which is the most original. The other three seem to me to be influenced by what you have seen. Go home, paint a painting, and next Sunday I will come and see it and tell you what I think. You have talent.”
Just a few days after his first visit at her house, Diego kissed Frida for the first time and the two became inseparable. They had a huge age difference between them. Diego was 20 years older than Frida but this didn’t seem to bother her. Frida’s family eventually accepted their relationship as well. Her father used to warn Diego; “She is a devil,” he often said. But Diego loved Frida’s unconventional thought and sharp mind. He was struck by her fresh spirt and sexuality. It looked like they never got bored of each other. From the way they spoke to each other, it was clear that they also shared the same sense of humour and sarcasm, “You have a dog face,” he was saying teasingly, “And you have the face of a frog!” she was answering him back. It’s a wonder that a young and beautiful girl like Frida fell in love with someone so much older, overweight and physically unattractive, like Diego. Diego’s appearance might not have been his strong point, but he had a strong social status, a great talent and charm that attracted the ladies. He was Frida’s world, her everything; her teenage crush, her mentor, her source of inspiration, her great love. He was a strong man and Frida was feeling safe in his arms. She could lean on him and evolve her talent.
“Diego was everything; my child, my lover, my universe.”
Frida’s marriage with Diego
Frida and Diego got married on August 21, 1929, in a simple ceremony that only Frida’s father and few other friends attended. Frida’s parents said it was like the marriage between an elephant and a dove. During the first few months of their marriage Frida wasn’t painting much. She devoted herself to taking care of her husband. Yet, in 1929 in her self-portrait “Time flies” her serious and rather sad face reveals that there might have been troubles in their marriage already. Frida suffered a miscarriage that left her devastated. She tried not to think about it much, therefore she kept her mind busy by taking care after her house and Diego, by painting, or by accompanying her husband at work. Despite the pain and disappointment of not being able to have a baby, Frida had another problem to deal with – Diego’s affairs with other women. Although her feelings were hurt, she was always trying to laugh Diego’s affairs off. As a couple they had a stormy relationship with many violent fights, yet they loved each other deeply. Frida was going through tremendous mood swings. There were times when she was upset, furious, and felt hatred towards Diego, and others when she felt utterly in love with him and swore to love and take care of him forever.
One thing is for sure, one could not live without the other. “Little Frida” was like a mother to Diego who loved him unconditionally and forgave his mistakes. He too loved her very much and believed in her and her talent. That’s also why he tried to make her independent by helping her develop and evolve her work as an artist. On the other hand, Frida felt emotionally complete only when she was by Diego’s side. Despite the pain he was causing her, he was the only one who could fill her empty soul. She found meaning in life, only when he was in it. Even her art was highly influenced by him. Her existence was meaningless without him. She was his most loyal ally and supporter, and she never asked more than he could give. This was the only way the two could be together. A friend of theirs one said: “She treated him like a god. He treated her like a sweet thing.”
Diego did not only help Frida shape her art, but also helped her create a persona. In fact, Frida only embraced the so- called Mexicanism during her lifetime, just to please Diego. That’s why she started wearing the traditional Tahuana dresses. But all the while, all these colourful dresses, the jewellery, the ribbons and the flowers became an integral part of her image and personality. They served as inspiration for her art and at the same time as a mask to hide her pain and despair.
“I find that Americans completely lack sensibility and good taste. They are boring, and they all have faces like unbaked rolls.”
Frida’s and Diego’s life in America
The political scene in Mexico was tense. Diego, as an artist inspired by the political landscape of the time, was considered to be a controversial figure. The Communists called him “government agent” whilst the government an “agent of the revolution”. Diego decided that it was time to leave the country. Frida of course supported his decision and followed him to San Francisco on November, 10, 1930. On their way there, Frida gave Diego a self-portrait with a strange city in the background as a gift. “Its background was an unfamiliar city skyline. When we arrived in San Francisco, I was almost frightened to realize that her imagined city was the very one we were now seeing for the first time,” Diego said.
Frida knew very well that for Diego art came first. He was working long hours, and he was away from home all day long. At first, the days in San Francisco were very boring to Frida. She used to follow Diego at work, and she rarely painted for herself. After Diego’s art exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Frida’s life became more interesting. She got new friends, such as Dr. Eloesser and Tina Modotti with whom she explored Manhattan and went out to luxurious restaurants and the movies. Although she regularly mocked the American lifestyle, she got used to the new way of living. She was no longer the shy and lonely woman she used to be when they first came to America. Wherever she’d go, she was always the centre of attention, thanks to her Mexican outfit and Diego was always bringing out the best of her extraordinary character when they were together in public. In 1932, in Detroit, Frida and Diego lived a life in luxury, and quickly became a part of the city’s high society, amongst other artists and billionaires of the time. One of them was Henry Ford who gave them a car in exchange for a portrait of his daughter.
“I think that little by little I’ll be able to solve my problems and survive.”
Frida Kahlo’s obsession with motherhood
In the summer of 1932, Frida got pregnant again for the second time. She decided to keep the baby despite her ill-health but unfortunately the pregnancy was lost. She spent thirteen days in the hospital, full of pain and grieve. For many days she was crying nonstop out of despair and fear that she would never be able to have a baby. Frida’s feelings are reflected in her painting Henry Ford Hospital (The Flying Bed) (1932), where she depicted herself lying in the hospital bed, suffering and bleeding. At first, she started with just a few drawings and a portrait, and later on, she asked her doctor to bring her some medical books so that she could draw in detail the lost fetus. Frida’s artistic outburst that followed this tragic event of her life is best described by Diego’s own words: “Immediately thereafter, she began work on a series of masterpieces with had no precedent in the history of art—paintings which exalted the feminine qualities of endurance to truth, reality, cruelty, and suffering. Never before had a woman put such agonized poetry on canvas as Frida did at this time in Detroit.”
As seen in her paintings My Birth (1932), My Nurse and I (1937), Me and My Doll (1937), the agony of not being able to have a baby followed her through her life. According to Diego they had three more failed attempts to have children. There could be many reasons why Frida so desperately desired to have kids. Perhaps all that she wanted was to give Diego a child or just strengthen their relationship. Another guess, is that she sought some form of fulfilment in motherhood. Her obsession with motherhood was evident not only in her paintings but also in Caza Azul, her home in Mexico. There, Frida kept fertility books, a human fetus preserved in a jar of formaldehyde — a gift from Dr. Eloesser — and a huge collection of dolls. Frida clearly had lots of love to give. She was very affectionate with her sister’s children, and also had many pets; cats, dogs, pigeons, parrots, an eagle, a few monkeys and a deer.
“Pain, pleasure, and death are no more than a process for existence.”
The death of Frida Kahlo’s mother
Just a few months after her miscarriage in 1932, her mother died in Mexico. This was a very difficult period in Frida’s life. In just a short period of time, Frida not only lost an unborn child but also her mother. The two of them never had an affectionate relationship in the past but despite their fights they came pretty close later on when both grew older. Frida used to call her “mi Jefe” (my chief). At the news of her loss, Frida fell apart. She would miss her mother dearly for the rest of her life.
“Painting completed my life.”
The meaning of painting in Frida Kahlo’s life
Kahlo channelled her grief into art. Despite the fact that she started painting more and only got better by time, painting wasn’t her favourite activity at the time. Instead, she preferred getting dressed in her traditional dresses and go out to visit friends, to shop or go to the movies. She wasn’t devoted enough. She considered painting as part of her persona, and nothing was more important to her than just being who she was –the remarkable Frida Kahlo. Diego believed in her talent, but his efforts to make her take art seriously went in vain. However, her negative attitude towards her work would change over time.
“I am that clumsy human, always loving, loving, loving. And loving. And never leaving.”
A greatly troubled marriage
Frida’s and Diego’s marriage suffered under great strain and continued to deteriorate. Diego was working around the clock. Frida, most of the time was staying home alone, feeling sad and lonely. She was crying a lot, what seemed to make Diego angry.
In 1933, Diego got a job to paint a mural at the newly built Rockefeller Center in Manhattan. He liked his life in America. He was enjoying the fame he got from this country and didn’t want to go back to his old life. But Frida was homesick and desperate to return to Mexico. This of course brought forth many arguments between them. Frida depicts her lonely life in America and her need to go back home in her painting My Dress Hangs There (1933). The fights were very intense sometimes and Frida’s eyes were always red from crying. After a while Diego got fired from the project because he incorporated politically controversial messages into his work that insulted the Rockefeller family, and they took action to shut it down. His mural was immediately coved up. That incident seemed to have greatly upset Diego and caused further troubles in their marriage. Soon after, they decided to return to Mexico but Diego never felt right about this decision and blamed Frida for persisting. His behaviour gave Frida a hard time and made her feel guilty and miserable.
“I suffered from two grave accidents in my life. One in which a streetcar knocked me down. The other accident is Diego.”
The life of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera in Mexico
When Frida and Diego returned to Mexico in 1933, they moved into their new house at the corner of Palmas and Altavista in San Angel, a house especially designed to suit their unique and unconventional lifestyle. In fact, it consisted of two separate buildings joined by an elevated bridge. Frida’s was painted pink, Diego’s blue. Both were surrounded by a natural cactus fence inspired by the Mexican tradition that caught everyone’s eye. The colourful walls, the paintings, the huge garden with the rare plants which Frida was gardening herself, as well as the bizarre pets, such as monkeys and parrots made the house look as if it came from another planet. Their house acted as a creative nest for some of the most famous and talented artists of the time. Painters, writers, photographers, musicians, actors, even politicians, and other renown and wealthy people visited the famous couple’s home, and they all had a story to tell.
Despite how colourful their house might have been, their life had its dark side. Frida’s dream for a fresh start in their marriage crashed the moment they arrived in Mexico. Diego was dealing with great psychological pressure due to his failed mural at the Rockefeller Center and his reluctant return to Mexico. He couldn’t find meaning in his art anymore and painted less. He had lost many pounds and suffered from psychosomatic disorders. Perhaps he was going through a middle age crisis. All these affected Frida as well, who was yet again felling lonely and helpless. Her health was going from bad to worse. During 1934 she was admitted three times to the hospital, once to get an abortion and the rest due the worsening pain in her leg.
“I tried to drown my sorrows, but the bastards learned how to swim, and now I am overwhelmed by this decent and good feeling.”
Diego’s affair with Frida’s sister
The situation only got worse when Frida discovered Diego’s affair with her younger sister Cristina. The attraction between those two began much sooner in 1929, when Christina posed naked in the role of Eve for one of Diego’s murals. Christina had perhaps always been jealous and competitive of Frida, nevertheless she was undoubtably another victim of Diego’s charm. Frida was dealing with a double betrayal, not only from her husband, but from her sister as well. It hurt her feelings irreparably. She was overwhelmed with anger, disappointment, resentment. Her world fell apart. Now she was truly alone. She vented her anger by cutting her hair short, and she stopped wearing the Tehuana dresses that Diego liked.
Frida could take it no more. She left Diego and moved in a modern apartment in the center of Mexico City. She tried to fool everyone into thinking that she was happy. But those who truly knew her, could see the pain in her eyes. Her painting A Few Small Nips (1935) portrays her hurt soul, the despair and melancholy she was feeling. She lies naked, bleeding and suffering, whilst Diego stands beside the bed staring at her with a knife in his hand.
“I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.”
Despite being separated, they met regularly. They couldn’t stay away from each other for long. Diego knew that he could never be faithful to a woman, but he truly regretted hurting her. If he had to choose between Frida and Christina, he would choose Frida without any hesitation.
By the end of 1935, Frida using her humour as a weapon, got over it pretty quickly and forgave Diego for what he did. Sure, a mistake can be forgiven, but not forgotten as seen in her paintings Memory (1937) and Remembrance of an Open Wound (1938). Frida however appears different this time. The wound is still there, but she stands free and powerful, ready to go her own way. It is a fact that this event made Frida stronger. Instead of being a just beautiful presence by Diego’s side, she decided to get independent. Of course, she never stopped shining bright next to him, but soon she realized that what got the other’s attention was her own light and energy.
“Of the opposite sex, I have the moustache and, in general, the face.”
Frida’s alcohol problem and bisexual affairs
Apparently, the next few years were happy ones, as Frida moved back in with Diego. To spent her time, she used to take long walks, visit her sisters, even go on some brief excursions in the countryside. However, during those years Frida started drinking heavily. Sometimes she carried a little flask of cognac in her purse or hid it in her coat. Now and then, she’d put liquor in a perfume’s bottle and while pretending to wear her perfume, she’d take a quick sip or two under her blouse without anyone noticing. It was widely known that “Frida could drink any man under the table.” Her alcohol problem is evident through Dr. Eloesser’s letters. He advised her to cut down alcohol and she answered that she had stopped drinking “cocktailitos” and only drunk a bear daily. But her addiction in alcohol and drugs would only become worse.
Moreover, it wasn’t just Diego who was unfaithful. Frida herself had quite a few affairs, with not just men but with women as well. The free-spirited and unconventional lifestyle at the time, helped her embrace her homosexual side. The love affairs between women were then a common thing and considered as innocent pleasures. Neither Frida, nor Diego who encouraged her and seemed to enjoy his wife’s homosexual affairs, were ashamed of her homosexuality and it didn’t by any means make her less appealing in his eyes. In What I saw in the Water (1938) and Two Nudes in a Forest (1939), Frida presents her ambivalent sexuality to the world. Some say that Diego encouraged Frida’s homosexual affairs because he couldn’t or wouldn’t please her sexually himself whilst others because he wanted to be free to have his own. What’s for sure is that he didn’t have the same reaction to Frida’s heterosexual affairs. Then, he became jealous and possessive. Frida kept those affairs in secret and warned her lovers that Diego was even capable of murder. Her strong sexuality is expressed through her paintings Flower of Life (1943) and Sun and Life (1947), where the sexual energy is almost palpable.
“I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you.”
Frida Kahlo’s affair with Leon Trotsky
On November 21, 1936, after nine whole years in exile, the Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky and his wife Natalia arrived in the harbour of Torreón in Mexico. At the behest of Diego, the Mexican government granted Trotsky political asylum under the condition that he wouldn’t interfere in the country’s internal affairs. Frida was among those who welcomed them, while Diego awaited them home. Frida and Diego would share their home with Trotsky and his wife for the next two years. Diego took care of the house’s safety, while Frida was their advisor and accompanied the couple almost everywhere, since none of them spoke a word of Spanish.
Trotsky was very friendly towards Diego and Frida, despite his cold and distant character. The four of them spent a lot of time together; they often had lunch together, made picknicks and went on small trips near the Mexico City. It was only a matter of time before Trotsky fell for Frida. At first, he wrote her love letters, which he slipped into books that didn’t hesitate to give her even in front of their partners. In just a few weeks the flirt turned into a love affair and the couple met in secret in Christina’s home.
But eventually Frida grew tired of him and ended the affair in just a few months. Trotsky through another letter explained Frida how important she was to him and begged her not to break up with him, but Frida had made up her mind. “I’m very tired of the old man,” she wrote in a letter to her friend Ella Wolfe. Frida was flattered by his attention and impressed by his status in the political world, but she wasn’t in love with him. A few months later, on November 7, 1937 — a significant date because it was not only Trotsky’s birthday but also the anniversary of the October Revolution — Frida painted a self-portrait as a birthday gift for Trotsky. She turned him down but gave herself back to him in the form of a portrait to tease him. In the dedication she wrote: “For Leon Trotsky with all love I dedicate this painting on the 7th of November 1937. Frida Kahlo in San Angel, Mexico.”
“I am my own muse, the subject I know best.”
Frida Kahlo’s career
Since her relationship with Trotsky ended, and he and his wife moved out, Frida’s relationship with Diego came back to normal. They lived together but put a great emphasis on personal autonomy and freedom. In the meantime, Frida started taking her art more seriously. She improved her technique by working every day with great concentration. The years 1937-1938 were her most productive years so far.
List of Frida Kahlo’s paintings created in 1937
- Fulang-Chang and I (1937)
- Self-Portrait dedicated to Trotsky (1937)
- Memory (1937)
- My Nurse and I (1937)
- The Deceased Dimas (1937)
- I Belong to My Owner (1937)
List of Frida Kahlo’s paintings created in 1938
- Remembrance of an Open Wound (1938)
- Esquincle Dog with Me (1938)
- Four Inhabitants of Mexico (1938)
- They Asked for Planes and Only Got Straw Wings (1938)
- Girl with a Death Mask (1938)
- Me and My Doll (1938)
- What the Water Gave Me (1938)
- Tunas (Still Life) (1938)
- Pitahayas (Still Life) (1938)
- Fruits of the Earth (Still Life) (1938)
Frida spent many hours working alone in her studio even though she could easily get distracted. Frida deserved all the admiration and encouragement she received, however she never believed in herself and in the value of her work. She was very modest and hesitated to let others see her work. She neither tried to exhibit her work, nor sell them or get good reviews. She wanted to be remembered for who she was as a person, rather than as an artist. In the summer of 1938, she made her own money by selling four of her paintings for 200 dollars each to the American actor Edward G. Robinson. This came as a surprise to Frida and immediately realized what this meant for her, “This way I am going to be able to be free, I’ll be able to travel and do what I want without asking Diego for money,” she said.
“I don’t know how to write love letters.”
Frida Kahlo’s life in New York
In December of that same year Frida travelled to New York City alone for her first solo art exhibition at the Julien Levy Gallery. The exhibition was crowned with complete success, despite the bad economy. Twenty-five of her paintings were exhibited and half of them were sold. The exhibition received great reviews. There, she met the famous French surrealist poet and critic André Breton, who got so fascinated by Frida’s paintings that characterized her art as “a ribbon around a bomb”. Frida wanted to use her maiden name and not Diego’s, so that people won’t presume that she wanted to get advantage of her husband’s name, but, in the end, she had to use Diego’s name in a parenthesis beside hers as well. Diego was incredibly supportive in all this, and he cleared the way for her success by sending many letters of recommendation to prominent figures of the artistic world of the time.
Frida loved being in the center of attention and completely independent for the first time. She was free, away from Diego, determined to live her life in Manhattan to the fullest. She had many friends there and always had a great time wherever she’d go. Everyone got captivated by her bright personality whereas her unique appearance and outfits drew great attention as always. She liked life in New York and was fascinated by the varied street life of Chinatown, Little Italy, Broadway and Harlem. Only her poor health was holding her back. Due to the pain in her right leg she couldn’t walk long distances, while the pain in her spine worsened.
While in New York, Frida continued her secret love affair with the photographer Nickolas Muray. Frida’s love letters reveal that it must have been a passionate relationship. However, no one and nothing could compare to the powerful connection she had with Diego. He was always in her thoughts. In the meantime, André Breton was organizing a second exhibition for her in Paris. She had second thoughts about going, but Diego who knew her best and wanted the best for her, convinced her to go.
“They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.”
Frida Kahlo’s life in Paris
So, after New York, Frida’s next stop was Paris. The exhibition of her works opened on 10 March 1939 in the Pierre Colle Gallery. Once again, the critics embraced the originality of her art with fantastic reviews. One of her paintings, the colourful self-portrait The Frame, was purchased by The Louvre. Her art inspired the Surrealists’ fascination and was warmly received by many artists, such as Kandinsky and Picasso, who gave her a unique pair of golden hand-shaped earrings as a gift.
Despite her success, Frida despised Paris. She couldn’t find absolutely no glory in the so-called city of light. She found the bohemian lifestyle of the artistic and intellectual Parisian elite pretentious and superficial. The atmosphere in Breton’s home was suffocating. In addition, she had to be hospitalised once due to a kidney infection. The pain was once again unbearable. Nevertheless, she got a glimpse of Paris’ surrealistic world, explored all the artist’s haunts with her newly made friends and played games such as jeux de la vérité (Truth or Consequences). The haute couture welcomed her with open arms and many French designers got inspired from her Mexican style. In addition, the French Vogue magazine featured a photograph of Frida Kahlo on its cover. Frida’s carefully constructed iconic image never failed to amaze and astonish.
“Really, I do not know whether my paintings are surrealist or not, but I do know that they are the frankest expression of myself.”
Frida Kahlo and Surrealism
Frida was ignoring the fact that she was a Surrealist up until the moment that André Breton labelled her as such. However, she never intended to be part of the movement. Her work might look surrealistic at first sight, but there’s a big difference among her and the other artists of the movement. Her art is not just an outburst of pure imagination, she did not just paint dreams, but rather her own reality, her own life, her own pain. All of her works derive from her own experiences and the way she perceived them. However, her art is often classified as surrealistic, due to the intimacy in her paintings, the vibrant colours and the randomness (especially in What the Water Gave me). From 1944 up until her death, Frida kept a personal diary, what is perhaps her most surreal work. There, she drew shapes and motives without any particular meaning, as if they were made under the influence of drugs. Undeniably this label gained her critical acclaim in her work, especially at a time when women artists were underestimated. Frida took advantage of her new label and took part in the International Exhibition of Surrealism, which was held in Mexico. She exhibited two of her paintings The Two Fridas (1939) and The Wounded Table (1940).
“Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away.”
Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s divorce
When Frida returned to Mexico, in the summer of 1939, Diego requested a divorce from her. Frida moved back to La Casa Azul in Coyoacán, leaving Diego in San Angel. By the end of the year their divorce was official. The reasons still remain unknown. Frida was away for a long time and her absence might have strongly affected Diego. Some say that Diego learned about her affairs with Muray or Trotsky, others say that the problem was sexual, or that Frida could no longer put up with Diego’s infidelity. According to the couple they just went through a difficult phase in their relationship, but nothing would change what they felt or thought for each other. Indeed, just like it happened before, and despite the divorce, the couple continued to be seen together in public.
Yet, the same year Frida fell in depression and her health deteriorated once again. The severe pain in her spine and a fungus infection on her right hand, often prevented her from working. The doctors were persisting on another surgery. Her mental health went from bad to worse as well. She didn’t want to meet up with Diego or her friends, and she barely even left the house. She was feeling so desperate that she was drinking a whole bottle of brandy by herself each day. Moreover, she cut her hair short once again.
“I put on the canvas whatever comes into my mind.”
However, depression helped Frida create some of her best paintings at that time. Unlike in the past, she now made more efforts to sell her works. She wanted to be completely independent of Diego and not take his money. Once again, her works depict the abandonment, loneliness and despair she was feeling during her divorce with Diego, and her fear of death. These are the following:
- The Two Fridas (1939)
- The Wounded Table (1940)
- The Dream (The Bed) (1940)
- Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird (1940)
In the meantime, she learned the news of Trotsky’s assassination. She got terribly distraught about it. Her health got even worse. Not only that, but she was also picked up by the Mexican police, as she knew the murderer, and was interrogated for two days. Being already emotional unstable, Frida had a mental breakdown. She cried for days. Diego, who was in San Francisco at the time, got really worried and asked Dr. Eloesser to convince her to go there too. It was a good diversion and her mood lifted right away. She said that seeing Diego made her feel better in no time.
“Diego is not anybody’s husband and never will be, but he is a great comrade“
Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s second marriage
Shortly after their reconciliation, Diego proposed to Frida wanting to remarry her. He claimed that she needed him. Truth be told, he needed her as much as she needed him. Frida eventually agreed to remarry Diego but only under two conditions. The first one was to be financial independent. She wanted to make her own money by selling her paintings. The second one was that they would have no sexual relations whatsoever at least not until he proved his loyalty to her.
And so, on December 8, 1940, Frida and Diego got married for the second time. It was a joyful moment for them both. After going through a difficult time of upheaval and depression, Frida realized that she needed Diego to feel complete and secure. Even if they had no sexual relations as promised, he was her anchor in this lonely world. By his side she felt strong and confident. Moreover, Frida had set her own terms this time and was feeling better than ever. They had a loving and affectionate relationship once again.
“I tease and laugh at death, so it won’t get the better of me.”
The death of Frida Kahlo’s father
Frida’s happiness though didn’t last for long. On April 14, 1941, her beloved father, Guillermo Kahlo died in Casa Azul. Frida was utterly and absolutely devastated. She was closer to him than anybody, as he was the first one who believed in her and supported her first steps in the world of art. Her sadness was so deep that her health deteriorated once again and would decline even more over the coming years. Some years after his death, Frida painted her father’s portrait and wrote a dedication that showed how much she loved him and admired him: “I painted my father, Wilhelm Kahlo of Hungarian-German origin, artist-photographer by profession, in character generous, intelligent and fine, valiant because he suffered for sixty years with epilepsy, but he never stopped working and he fought against Hitler, with adoration. His daughter Frida Kahlo.”
“Really, I do not know whether my paintings are surrealist or not, but I do know that they are the frankest expression of myself.”
Frida Kahlo’s career in Mexico
During the 40s, Frida’s career took off. Her work was gaining recognition in Mexico and was included in the country’s greatest exhibitions. Not only that, but she also got many awards, distinctions and grants and took part in cultural events and big projects. She began to paint large-scale portraits such as The Broken Column (1944) and Tree of Hope, Keep Firm (1946). Still, despite her increasing popularity, it was difficult to make a living on her own.
In September 1940, Frida began teaching art at the Ministry of Public Education School of Painting and Sculpture in Mexico City, better known as La Esmeralda. Her students adored her. She was a living legend for them. She didn’t have to teach them specific painting techniques. All she had to do was inspire and motivate them. But a few months later her health prevented her from teaching at La Esmeralda. However, she continued giving lessons at four of her favourite students, Los Fridos, who regularly visited her in Casa Azul. After all, what place could inspire them more than Frida’s own house? Another great moment for Frida was the opening of the pulqueria “La Rosita”. With Frida’s help and under Diego’s supervision her students had the chance to paint a decorative mural on one of the walls. That night, the event was attended by many people and caught the attention of the Mexican high society.
“I am happy to be alive, as long as I can paint.”
Frida Kahlo’s final years
Frida’s final years were full of struggle and pain. Her health went from bad to worse and the pain in her spine forced her to go under many surgeries. She had to wear medical corsets, and she was unable to sit or lay down in them. She couldn’t handle pain well, nor did she like being bedridden for months. Yet, she had no other choice. She considered those corsets to be some kind of punishment. Her only joy was painting, for she could yet again express her pain through art. The Wounded Deer (1946) is a painting of that time that reflects her declining health. In 1950, she was hospitalized once again. For the many months that followed in the hospital painting was the only thing Frida had in mind. She painted for almost five hours each day. “When I leave the hospital two months from now”, she said, “there are three things I want to do: paint, paint, paint.” Despite everything, Frida kept her hope alive and a positive attitude to the whole situation. Her friends were always around to cheer her up, and Diego never left her side.
Though when she went back home to Casa Azul, she lost her every hope of getting better. Her days were monotonous; because of the pain she mostly staid inside. She could only walk small distances whilst even her wheelchair was uncomfortable. Painkillers were her only salvation. She was feeling desperate and depressed and often had suicidal thoughts. Diego, as usual, was away from home for many hours but Frida didn’t care much anymore. Even though she tried to hide her sorrow in front of others, it was getting more difficult day-by-day. Because of her illness she came closer to her sister Christina, who stayed by her side till the end of her life. They had both long forgotten what divided them in the past. The maids and her nurse loved her dearly and took special care of her as if she was a little child. During that period of time, Frida was painting like no tomorrow. Maybe that’s why her last paintings seem so chaotic. Perhaps she could sense the ending was near.
“To paint is the most terrific thing that there is, but to do it well is very difficult.”
In the meantime, recognition and appreciation for her work continued to grow. In the spring of 1953, Frida had a solo exhibition in Mexico in the Galería Arte Contemporaneo. It was her first solo exhibition in her birthplace and a very special moment of her life. Knowing about her poor health no one expected her to show up. Yet Frida surprised them all on the opening day when she arrived by ambulance, had her bed moved to the centre of gallery and was carried in on a stretcher to the bed. It was an unforgettable night dedicated to Frida. She was the centre of attention and was receiving everyone’s congratulations. It seemed as a final goodbye from all those who admired her.
“Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?”
The last year of Frida Kahlo’s life
The last year of Frida’s life was a living nightmare. In August 1953, her right leg had to be amputated below the knee due to gangrene. It felt like a small death to Frida. By losing her leg, she also lost the will to live. She lost her sense of ‘’self’’ and her self-respect. She almost hated herself. She also hated seeing the pity in other people’s eyes, so she didn’t allow visitors. Soon she got a prosthetic leg and her mood lifted for a while. Once again, she tried to deal with it with humour and bought a pair of red leather boots to hide it, but it didn’t really help her feel much better.
Her disability affected her behavior as well. Up until her final moments she loved brushing her hair and wear lipstick, but she couldn’t do much other than that without the help of others. As a result, she always had a bad temper, she was bossy and quarrelsome. When she wasn’t sleeping or under painkillers her behaviour was unpredictable, often hysteric and violent. She got addicted to painkillers and all kinds of opioid medications. She couldn’t do without them. Often, she had to take painkilling injections. When she got desperate, she took excessively high doses or mixed the drugs. Moreover, she was an alcohol addict. She was drinking two litters of cognac per day.
“I paint flowers so they will not die.”
Frida tried many times to kill herself. At first Diego was always by her side but later on he drifted apart as he could no longer see her suffering like that. “If I was brave, I would kill her. I cannot stand to see her suffer so,” he said. His behaviour made Frida feel even more desperate and alone. In some poems she wrote that he was the only reason she was still alive. For almost a year she didn’t paint anything at all. However, in the spring of 1954, she found the strength to get out of her bed and go to her studio. She knew that she didn’t have much time to live and perhaps she wanted to leave some more works behind. Still Life, Frida and Stalin and Marxism will give health to the sick were her last works. All three have a political meaning.
On July 2, 1954, Frida contracted bronchial pneumonia. Against her doctors’ advice she got out of her bed and took part in a Communist demonstration. This was her last public appearance. It was undoubtedly very brave of her. Diego was by her side, pushing her wheelchair in the streets of Mexico and many famous artists were following them.
“I hope the exit is joyful–and I hope never to come back. Frida”
Frida Kahlo’s death
On July 13, 1954, at 6 a.m., while it was still dark outside, Frida’s nurse thought that Frida called her and went to her room to see if she needed anything. She thought that Frida was sleeping and as always, she went to pull up her covers, but then she realized that Frida wasn’t breathing any more. Her hands were cold. Frida had passed away.
The news shocked Diego. He couldn’t accept that his “little Frida” – as he called her – wasn’t part of this world anymore. Like he said, his love for Frida was the most beautiful thing that happened in his entire life. The cause of death was officially reported as pulmonary embolism. Yet, it is very likely, but never confirmed, that Frida couldn’t live like that anymore and committed suicide. Some days prior to her death she drew a black angel in her diary up in the sky – it was undoubtedly the angel of death.
When her death was officially confirmed, they dressed her in her favourite Tehuana dress, braided her hair and adorned her with her favourite jewels. Her friends came throughout the day to say their last goodbye. Her funeral was held in the Palace of Fine Arts, and hundreds of people paid their last respects to their beloved artist. In accordance with her wishes Frida was later cremated.
Frida died at the age of 47 having much more to give to the world. However, she left behind a remarkable legacy of works and a legendary persona. Her house, La Casa Azul, in Coyoacán opened as a museum in 1958, for those who want to get to know her a little better. Among her belongings the visitors have the chance to admire Frida’s last painting, a still life of cut watermelons as a tribute to life, painted eight days before her death. She added the inscription “Viva la Vida” (Long Live Life) by which the painting would become best known. Despite all the difficulties she went through, Frida was a fighter. She loved and lived life to the fullest till the end.
FRIDA KAHLO’S PERSONAL ITEMS ARE EXPOSED TO LA CASA AZUL (MUSEUM)
You may see several interesting videos for Frida Kahlo below:
- Video for Frida Kahlo No1.
- Video for Frida Kahlo No2.
- Video for Frida Kahlo No3.
Quotes of Frida Kahlo
Get inspired from Frida Kahlo’s most important quotes:
- I love you more than my own skin.
- Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?
- I paint flowers so they will not die.
- I am happy to be alive, as long as I can paint.
- I am my own muse, the subject I know best.
- My painting carries with it the message of pain.
- I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you.
- I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.
- They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.
- Painting completed my life.
- The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration.
- I don’t know how to write love letters.
- I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.
- I find that Americans completely lack sensibility and good taste. They are boring, and they all have faces like unbaked rolls.
- I am in agreement with everything my father taught me and nothing my mother taught me.
- I put on the canvas whatever comes into my mind.
- My toys were those of a boy: skates, bicycles.
- I was a child who went about in a world of colors… My friends, my companions, became women slowly; I became old in instants.
- The most important part of the body is the brain. Of my face, I like the eyebrows and eyes. Aside from that, I like nothing. My head is too small.
- Really, I do not know whether my paintings are surrealist or not, but I do know that they are the frankest expression of myself.
- Of the opposite sex, I have the moustache and, in general, the face.
- Since my subjects have always been my sensations, my states of mind and the profound reactions that life has been producing in me, I have frequently objectified all this in figures of myself, which were the most sincere and real thing that I could do in order to express what I felt inside and outside of myself.
- I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presenceall the day and nights that I am away from you.
- They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.
- I tried to drown my sorrows, but the bastards learned how to swim, and now I am overwhelmed by this decent and good feeling.
- To paint is the most terrific thing that there is, but to do it well is very difficult.
- I very much love things, life, people.
- I suffered from two grave accidents in my life. One in which a streetcar knocked me down…. The other accident is Diego.
- I tease and laugh at death, so it won’t get the better of me.
- At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.
- Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away.
- Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light. Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing.
- I wish I could do whatever I liked behind the curtain of “madness”. Then: I’d arrange flowers, all day long, I’d paint; pain, love and tenderness, I would laugh as much as I feel like at the stupidity of others, and they would all say: “Poor thing, she’s crazy!” (Above all I would laugh at my own stupidity.) I would build my world which while I lived, would be in agreement with all the worlds. The day, or the hour, or the minute that I lived would be mine and everyone else’s – my madness would not be an escape from “reality”.
- I am that clumsy human, always loving, loving, loving. And loving. And never leaving.
- I don’t give a shit what the world thinks. I was born a bitch, I was born a painter, I was born fucked. But I was happy in my way. You did not understand what I am. I am love. I am pleasure, I am essence, I am an idiot, I am an alcoholic, I am tenacious. I am; simply I am … You are a shit.
See the best collection of Frida Kahlo’s quotes by clicking on this link:
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99 artworks by Frida Kahlo
- Tray with Poppies (1924)
- Still Life (Roses) (1925)
- Urban Landscape (1925)
- Self-Portrait in a Velvet Dress (1926)
- La Adelita, Pancho Villa, and Frida (1927)
- If Adelita… or The Peaked Caps (1927)
- Portrait of Miquel N. Lira (1927)
- Portrait of Adriana (1927)
- Portrait of Agustin Olmedo (1927)
- Portrait of Alicia Galant (1927)
- Portrait of Ruth Quintanilla (1927)
- Portrait of Jesús Ríos y Valles (1927)
- Portrait of Alejandro Gómez Arias (1928)
- Portrait of Cristina, My Sister (1928)
- Sitting Girl with Duck (1928)
- Two Women (1928)
- Indian Woman Nude (1929)
- Portrait of a Girl (1929)
- Portrait of a Girl with Ribbon Around her Waist (1929)
- Portrait of Isolda Pinedo Kahlo (1929)
- Portrait of Lupe Marín (1929)
- Portrait of Virginia (Little Girl) (1929)
- Self-Portrait – Time Flies (1929)
- The Bus (1929)
- Portrait of a Woman in White (1930)
- Self-Portrait (1930)
- Display Window in a Street in Detroit (1931)
- Frieda and Diego Rivera (1931)
- Portrait of Dr. Leo Eloesser (1931)
- Portrait of Eva Frederick (1931)
- Portrait of Mrs. Jean Wight (1931)
- Portrait of Luther Burbank (1932)
- Frieda and the Cesarean Operation (1932)
- Henry Ford Hospital (1932)
- My Birth (1932)
- Self-Portrait on the Border of Mexico and the United States (1932)
- My Dress Hangs There (1933)
- Self-Portrait – Very Ugly (1933)
- Self-Portrait with Necklace (1933)
- A Few Small Nips (1935)
- Self-Portrait with Curly Hair (1935)
- My Grandparents, My Parents and I (1936)
- Cactus Fruits (1937)
- Fulang-Chang and I (1937)
- I Belong to My Owner (1937)
- Me and My Doll (1937)
- Memory, The Heart (1937)
- My Nurse and I (1937)
- Portrait of Alberto Misrachi (1937)
- Portrait of Diego Rivera (1937)
- Self-Portrait dedicated to Leon Trotsky (1937)
- The Deceased Dimas (1937)
- Four Inhabitants of Mexico City (1938)
- Fruits of the Earth (1938)
- Girl with Death Mask (She Plays Alone) (1938)
- Girl with Death Mask (1938)
- Itzcuintli Dog with Me (1938)
- Pitahayas (1938)
- Remembrance of the Open Wound (1938)
- Self-Portrait (1938)
- Self-Portrait (Oval Miniature) (1938)
- Self-Portrait – The Frame (1938)
- Self-Portrait with Monkey (1938)
- Survivor (1938)
- The Airplane Crash (1938)
- The Suicide of Dorothy Hale (1938)
- They Asked for Airplanes but Were Given Straw Wings (1938)
- What the Water Gave Me (1938)
- When I Have You, Life, How Much I Love You (1938)
- Xochil, Flower of Life (1938)
- The Two Fridas (1939)
- Two Nudes in the Forest (1939)
- Retablo (1940)
- Self-Portrait Dedicated to Sigmund Firestone (1940)
- Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair (1940)
- Self-Portrait with Monkey (1940)
- Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird (1940)
- Self-Portrait dedicated to Dr Eloesser (1940)
- The Dream (The Bed) (1940)
- The Wounded Table (1940)
- Flower Basket (1941)
- Me and My Parrots (1941)
- Self-Portrait in Red and Gold Dress (1941)
- Self-Portrait with Bonito (1941)
- Self-Portrait with Braid (1941)
- Portrait of Lucha Maria, a Girl from Tehuacan (1942)
- Portrait of Marucha Lavin (1942)
- Self-Portrait with Monkey and Parrot (1942)
- Still Life (Round) (1942)
- Diego in My Thoughts (1942)
- Flower of Life (1943)
- How Beautiful Life is When It Gives Us Its Riches (1943)
- Portrait of Natasha Gelman (1943)
- Roots (1943)
- Self-Portrait with Monkey (1943)
- The Bride Frightened at Seeing Life Open (1943)
- Thinking about Death (1943)
- Diego and Frida 1929-1944 (1944)
- Portrait of Doña Rosita Morillo (1944)
- Portrait of Lupita Morillo Safa (1944)
- Portrait of Mariana Morillo Safa (1944)
- Portrait of Alicia and Eduardo Safa (1944)
- Portrait of the Engineer Eduardo Morillo Safa (1944)
- Portrait of Marte R. Gómez (1944)
- The Broken Column (1944)
- Magnolias (1945)
- Moses (1945)
- Self-Portrait with Monkey (1945)
- Self-Portrait with small Monkey (1945)
- The Chick (1945)
- The Mask (1945)
- Without Hope (1945)
- Landscape (1946)
- The Wounded Deer (1946)
- Tree of Hope, Remain Strong (1946)
- Self-Portrait with Loose Hair (1947)
- Sun and Life (1947)
- Self-Portrait (1948)
- Diego and I (1949)
- The Love Embrace of The Universe, the Earth (Mexico), Myself, Diego, and Senor Xolotl (1949)
- Portrait of Frida’s Family (1950)
- Coconuts (1951)
- Portrait of My Father (1951)
- Self-Portrait with the Portrait of Doctor Farill (1951)
- Still Life Dedicated to Samuel Fastlicht (1951)
- Still Life with Parrot and Flag (1951)
- Still Life with Parrot and Fruit (1951)
- The Circle (1951)
- Weeping Coconuts (1951)
- Congress of People for Peace (1952)
- Living Nature (1952)
- Still Life Dedicated to Samuel Fastlicht (1952)
- Fruit of Life (1953)
- Still Life with Watermelons (1953)
- Marxism Will Give Health to the Sick (1954)
- Self-Portrait with the Portrait of Diego on the Breast and Maria between the Eyebrows (1954)
- Self-Portrait with Stalin (1954)
- Still Life with Flag (1954)
- Viva La Vida and the Dr Juan Farill (1954)
- Brick Kilns (1954)
- Self-Portrait in a Landscape with the Sun Going Down (1954)
- Viva La Vida, Watermelons (1954)
“On stage you‘re free. You can say and do things that if you said and did any place else, you ‘d be arrested.”
He was a man whose smile never faded away from his lips. He had a bright face, sparkling eyes and a heart full of love generosity and kindness. He was a talented but tormented soul and wore his happiness like a mask every day carrying his audiences away with his humorous stories and his satire.
Only a few people really knew him – sadly he was often misjudged. He was a talented comedian and an exceptionally gifted actor with a profound influence on many generations. He grew on people and won the world’s warmest adoration. He was a man of genius who found his way into people’s hearts with his humor like no one ever did before and fulfilled his potential. This man changed the stand-up comedy with his free-flying improvisational style.
He was a one-of-a-kind professional, a truly talented and respectful man that influenced his audiences and gave them smiles that reached deep into their chests and warmed their hearts. Robin Mclaurin Williams’ unique life story inspired people all around the world. His sudden death sent shockwaves through the world and gave rise to many questions.
“I’m a born entertainer. When I open the fridge door and the light goes on, I burst into song.”
The Lonely Childhood of Robin Williams
Robin Williams was born on July 21, 1951 in Lake Forest, Chicago. He came from a wealthy family and had two elder half brothers, Robert Todd Williams and McLaurin Smith-Williams. Unfortunately, due to their parents’ divorce, Robin grew up and was raised as an only child and had no sibling relationship with his brothers whatsoever.
The siblings were divided between households and Robin ended growing up with his grandparents. He had a wealthy upbringing along with an exceptional education. He spoke six languages: English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, German and French. His multilingual education was an asset to his acting career as it made him adept at vocal imitation.
Character and Phobias
Back in the days no one could ever predict that this quiet child would become such a exceptional comedian. Robin felt lonely and neglected by his own parents. Having no parents, friends or siblings around, he took comfort in his huge toy collection of nearly 2.000 toys.
He was a shy introvert, overweight, chubby boy with depression in his eyes often staring into space, but also restless from time to time seeking adult attention.
The time spent with his father was limited since he was constantly away for business, as it was with his mother who was caught up in her own life being a model and a nonprofit founder of nonprofit organizations. As a result, Robin grew up with plastic toys instead of loving interaction.
Parenthood creates a special bond that spans the years. Even though every parent wishes for that to happen, at times bad parenting gets in the way of achieving it. Many parents are often so caught up and stuck in their own personal and working lives that fail to care for their children. But there is no excuse for neglect. It is a form of emotional abuse that traumatises the child and has life-long effects.
Children have an especially difficult time with divorce as well. They have to cope with a changing family environment and loose daily contact with one or even both parents. Every divorce causes a turbulent transformational time in a child’s life, leaving a childhood trauma.
“Comedy is acting out optimism.”
His parents’ divorce and the abandonment had an immediate effect on Robin. He became utterly quiet and reserved; he often seemed lost in his own thoughts and never talked much. He was often stressed out, had tremendous fear of the dark, especially of dark corners as well as shadows, loneliness and strangers.
Smiling and laughter were totally absent from his life. He closed himself off and sat home all alone gazing at the empty walls or at his toys. He didn’t eat much and he avoided going to school.
But when he did go to school, he felt good, seeing that he had his friends’ and teachers’ attention. He was an average student, neither the funniest nor the most introvert one. Robin attended Deer Path Junior High School until the age of 12. Later on, he moved along with his grandparents in a huge apartment in Detroit. Little did it matter to him, that he had a whole floor to himself.
“We were talking briefly about cocaine…yeah. Anything that makes you paranoid and impotent, give me more of that!”
First Steps into Acting
Robin’s loneliness made him come up with stories and fictional characters in his mind as well as talk to imaginary friends. He used his vivid imagination as a cure to loneliness.
Robin was then enrolled in Detroit Country Day School, a private all-boys school, where he was on the school’s soccer team and wrestling team, and was elected class president. But Robin wasn’t always famous at school. He had a strange behavior from time to time due to the various problems he was struggling with, such as the lack of affection and attention from his mother and the isolation from his peers and relatives.
As a result, he became victim of intellectual bullying and an outcast at school. His classmates made fun not only of his height and weight, but also of his dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Robin however was smart enough to realize that he had to find an alternative way to fight off the negativity around him and get closer to his classmates. This was also what made him famous later in life: humor. He began to cultivate an understanding that making people laugh was a way of avoiding bullying.
For him, the only way to bridge the distance between himself and his audience was by telling jokes. He finally started getting along with his classmates and this was the first time Robin got to “be somebody” at school, though he felt “a nobody” deep inside. He participated in his school’s Drama Club and performed in plays. At that time, he realized that, in this way, he could gain the respect of his peers. Getting the attention he so much desired, was also what gave him strength and seeing other people laugh with his jokes filled the empty hole in his soul. He’d been doing the same thing at home as a way to get attention and impress his family with his comic talent.
“I like my wine like my women – ready to pass out!”
Humor and Communication
When he turned 16, he moved for one last time with his grandparents in Woodacre, California, where he lived most of his life. He started at a new school, Redwood High School, Larkspur, and he began to use his wit to win over his classmates there as well. He also joined the Club of Performing Acts and school’s official Drama Club for this reason. Bullying was a thing of the past for him as he made new friends really quickly – his sense of humor was his superpower. Right before his graduation he was awarded with the “funniest” and the “less likely to succeed guy” awards.
His family acknowledged his humor value as well, with it being something that played a great deal in their communication. Although things seemed to take a positive turn in their relationship, Robin knew this was not the case. Humor bound them together but Robin knew it wasn’t enough to bridge the communication gap between himself and his parents.
The lack of love and attention from the most important people in his life made Robin use jokes and other funny stories to keep them closer. He had an obsessive and compulsive need to constantly make his parents laugh.
“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ’Let’s party!’”
Humor as an Integral Part of his Life
As the years were passing by, Robin evolved his joke-telling talent and took it one step further. He developed a talent for mimicry and began to experiment with doing different voices. He poked fun at his own experiences and worries and difficulties of his everyday life. He felt joy in making others happy and feel better about life. But behind his smile, the joy and his jokes, was a hurting heart, and that was the grim reality of his bitter life. He could easily improvise and joke about his bad experiences, making them sound hilarious. Some of his favorite topics were:
- motherly attention
He always used humor to cope with difficult and stressful situations in his life and one would think it worked as a remedy for him.
He graduated high school in 1969 and it was time to decide about his future. After long talks with his father und under a lot of pressure he applied and got accepted to Claremont Men’s College, California, in Political Science department.Soon, he realized that this new field he was getting into was completely strange and dull, and, thus, he dropped out after first semester.
Since he gave up on his father’s dream to become a politician, he chose his own path and broke into the world of comedy and acting.
“I went to rehab in wine country, just to keep my option open.”
The Drama School that Changed his Life
Robin decided to study theatre at the College of Marin, one of the most prominent acting schools worldwide, in Kentfield, California. His natural talent in acting and his improvisational skills helped him stand out and succeed as a student. As a matter of fact, his professor James Dunn once said: “I first knew he was more talented than the other kids… I remember calling my wife at 2 p.m. and telling her that this young man was going to be something special.”
In 1973 Robin received his first big break and left College of Marin for The Juilliard School in New York City, where he was awarded a full scholarship. Juilliard School is a prestigious performing-arts conservatory in Manhattan which is one of the world’s best institutions of performing arts and only 20 freshmen are admitted in Juilliard School per year. Moreover, he even was one of the two students who were admitted in the Advanced Program by John Houseman, a legendary acting veteran and a prominent film producer, at the Juilliard School. Christopher Reeve and Williams gained the two places at the beginning of their freshman year.
“You‘re only given a little spark of madness, you mustn’t lose it.”
A Peculiar Student
The main courses at the Juilliard School were dance, drama, and music, and although it addresses to upcoming actors and not comedians per se, it played a significant role in Robin’s life and career.
His wealth and privileged background as well as his exceptional education at Juilliard School, a school ranked as one of the top of its kind worldwide, turned him into a highly educated actor.
During his studies he had the chance to meet some of the acting world’s most renowned people in entertainment industry such as John Houseman, a Romania-born British American actor, the actor and singer Kevin Kline, the actress and singer Patti Lupone, and the actor, tenor and comedian Mandy Patinkin.
Robin was an excellent student but quiet and shy; he had a sensitive soul and he was full of energy. He lived alone, away from his family, the way he wanted in Broadway, one of the most vibrant places in the world. Things could be even better if it wasn’t for the demons of his past that followed his every step and haunted his thoughts. His peers loved both his character and his unique way of telling jokes. At the time, no one could even guess the burden inside him.
“The only reason Mickey Mouse has four fingers is because he can’t pick up a cheque.”
Robin left- or more preciously was cut off– Juilliard School during his junior year in 1976 without actually graduating. During his studies, he stayed true to his real passion of comedy. That may have been the reason why the Juilliard School underestimated his acting talent, and justified this decision by saying that Robin was just a comedian and that he could never be a “real” actor. There appears to be some agreement from all of the various accounts that Robin’s maniac performance style was at odds with the more traditional values emphasized by the institution. The school certainly emphasized the connection when Robin’s career went stratospheric.
Robin was indeed exceptional in comedy, but he just couldn’t or better yet wouldn’t follow the School’s formal study program. Robins‘ temperament was simply unsuited to the classical training program Juilliard School had to offer, he always went off script the way it suited him and made fun even out of the most serious roles. This was something that made him stand out from the other students and teachers liked it, however this wasn’t how things run in Juilliard School. Sometimes he was so drawn into improvisation that his fellow students couldn’t keep up with their own roles. The Schools formal study program didn’t come up to his expectations and made him feel restricted. The knowledge he got from the School have been of great value later to his movies.
He never saw acting and comedy as a job. For him these two were his way to communicate with the word and express himself. All he ever wanted was to leave his touch on every part he played and make each role deeply embedded in his personality.
“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”
A lifelong friendship
A great chapter in Robin Williams’ life was his friendship with Christopher Reeve whom he met in his first year in Juilliard School. They were the only two students accepted to the advanced program and study under John Houseman. Robin and Christopher were like brothers. They shared a room, their stuff, their most secret thoughts, even food when Robin had no money to eat. While at Julliard, they were so close, that they made a special pact — whoever ‘made it’ first would always support the other one. Reeve of course went on to be Superman, while Williams made a name for himself as one of the funniest comedians of his generation, or of any generation for that matter.
They both grew up into successful actors and shared a special bond that always kept them close to each other. Unfortunately, the time came when their promise had to be fulfilled. In 1995, Christopher had a nearly fatal horse-riding accident that caused severe spinal-cord injury and left him a quadriplegic. While there was no need for either to support each other financially, rumors have been bubbling away for years that Williams wrote a cheque for 1.5 million pounds ($2.7 million) to pay Reeve’s medical bills. Robin stayed by his side, not only by visiting him at the hospital and giving him courage by making him laugh, but also through his donations to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. It was Robin’s way of saying thank you to his friend’s kindness and help during their student years. They shared in fact a true friendship, and stayed close in good and bad times, without ever expecting anything in return.
When Christopher Reeve died on October 10, 2004 of cardiac arrest, Robin Williams was inconsolable. “The world has lost a tremendous activist and artist and an inspiration for people worldwide. I have lost a great friend,” he said. It is a friendship that has endured, even in death, and Robin Williams dedicated the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes in 2005 to his best friend, Christopher Reeve.
“My battles with addiction definitely shaped how I am now. They really made me deeply appreciate human contact and the value of friends and family, how precious that is.”
The charity work of Robin Williams
Besides being an exceptional actor and comedian, Robin Williams was a very kind person with a big heart as evidenced in all the charity work he did throughout his life. Apart from Christopher and Dana Reeve’s Foundation, he used to donate great amount of money to many more organizations, such as:
- Comic Relief for Homeless and Hurricane Katrina victims
- Médecins Sans Frontières
- Operation Smile
- The Pediatric AIDS Association
- Challenged Athletes Foundation
- Jude Children’s Research Hospital
- Make a Wish Foundation
- Project Open Hand
- The Gorilla Foundation
- River of Words
- God’s Love We Deliver
- Women at Ground Zero
- Bread and Roses
- Meridian Gallery
- Mercury House
- Season of Sharing
- Muir Fest
- USO – University Service Organizations, like Iraq and Afghanistan
- University of California
- San Francisco General Hospital Pediatrics
- Windfall Foundation
- Jude Children’s Research Hospital
He was also a great supporter of literacy and women’s rights. Moreover, he was a supporter of Juilliard’s drama students through the Robin Williams Sholarship which supported the tuition cost of a student each year.
“I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone.”
From zero to hero
While he was studying, Robin made some extra money as a stand-up comedian in local comedy clubs, like Holy City Zoo and later in Boarding House and Old Spaghetti Factory, with quite a success, at first only once a week but later on, on a daily basis. He once said: “When I left school and couldn’t find acting work so I started going to clubs where you could do stand-up…I’ve always improvised and stand-up was a great relief. All of a sudden it was just me and the audience.”
Once on stage, he wasn’t Robin any more. He shared his experiences and all his thoughts and stories with his audience, delivering blow after blow of hilarity, without being misunderstood. Through a refreshing mixture of comedy and satire he managed to connect with his audiences and kept them engaged all the way through by going to their tables or bringing them on stage.
According to the comedian Steve Perl “he was a tornado, frenetic and ripping all over the stage…”
Women cheered like crazy and glorified him for every joke. Robin had a unique way to charm his audiences, dispel all negativity and take them on a journey with him into his special world. Yet, there was more to him than what he let others see. He could easily mask his feelings and let no one peak into his soul. There was a contradiction between his personal life and his life as a funnyman.
There is a saying that “Comedians are tortured, weighed down souls who tell jokes in an attempt to dispel their inner demons and fight off their depression”. This seems to be something 100% true in Robin Williams’ life as well.
“If women ran the world we wouldn’t have wars, just intense negotiations every 28 days.”
The road to self-destruction
After his student years, Robin moved to Los Angeles where he took the road to self-destruction. Alcohol, drugs, the hardships of life along with his demanding lifestyle dragged the young comedian into a vicious cycle of stress and depression.
He once said that coke was for him a place to hide. Drugs seemed to offer him a few moments of inner peace and relaxation and helped him find balance between his highly demanding work and his life. Robin had an intense, utterly manic style of stand-up comedy, he created frenetic monologues of personal stories and through his audience’s approval he tried to cure his weary and depressed soul.
Performing after a hung over made him feel paranoid on stage, but he said he never got on stage drunk or under the influence of drugs. According to him, he started using drugs and alcohol early in his career in order to cope with the stress of performing stand-up.
“Never pick a fight with an ugly person, they’ve got nothing to lose.”
Robin knew very well that playing with drugs and alcohol was like playing with fire. But the pressure he felt didn’t let him rest. His fans had high expectations. They always wanted to see him laugh and smile, what even the most talented actor couldn’t.
People were so enchanted by his talent that forgot that Robin was just a human being with feelings, problems and a tough background. No one actually listened to him when he went on and on about his problems on stage, as if he was asking for help. He even spoke about alcohol and drugs and he often opened his performances with the following line: “Cocaine is God’s way of telling you, you have too much money.”
“The human spirit is more powerful than any drug – and that is what needs to be nourished: with work, play, friendship, family. These are the things that matter…”
Robin’s first marriage
Robin met his first wife Valerie Velardi in 1976 in San Francisco where he was working as a bartender, while starting a career in comedy, trying to make a living. She was taking a graduate degree at Mills College hoping to be a successful dance teacher in the future. They got married two years later in 1978.
Then, they moved together in Los Angeles, where he made his first appearance in a well-known Comedy Club that changed his life. The well-known film producer George Schlatter who sat among the audience was left speechless by his performance and decided they had to work together. “He’s one of the well-educated comedians we’ve ever had”, he said.
Later on, he got the leading role in the television series “Mork & Mindy”, a comedy about an alien and his human friend, that proved a great success and run from 1978 to 1982. He would ad-lib most of his lines adding some edgy humor here and there, and he got himself a fanclub. When his earnings raised, he moved with his wife in a bigger house, got himself a new car – a Silver BMW – and many pets. They also started doing charity work together for the Human Dolphin Foundation.
“Carpe per diem – seize the check.”
The movies that scared him for life
Robin, as well as the people who believed in him and his talent, knew that despite that he never got a degree in acting, he was well capable of taking part in movies and successfully perform many different roles. He proved that throughout his acting career.
In fact, he was more than a talented comedian. He was a remarkable actor with great emotional intelligence capable of jumping from stand-up comedy right into the most serious role.
He never broke character and he preferred to take on roles of troubled characters, maybe because he could identify with them easier. Robin made his big-screen debut in a lead role playing the famous spinach-eating sailor in Popeye in 1980 and later on he stars as the leading character in The World According to Garp in 1981.
In 1990 he got a role in Awakenings where he portrayed a doctor who tries to help his catatonic patients. It is a heartwarming story that gives strength and courage to those who struggle with difficulties and teaches us to appreciate and live life. Robin was at the time dealing with his own issues and problems.
Performing and acting were for him two totally different things. As a comic one speaks faster than normal whereas an actor, has to speak slow and clear and give more emotion. With acting Robin had certain constrains. He couldn’t express himself the way he wanted and had to follow the script. Yet, he wanted to succeed as an actor and meet the audience’s expectations. He had to restrain himself in order to act. ”What do I like more? Sure, I like performing full out,” he once said.
“Reality is just a crutch for people who can’t cope with drugs.”
Putting a lot of effort into acting, and many movies later, he finally managed to win himself a place between Hollywood’s greatest actors, and get the starring role in director Barry Levinson’s Good Morning, Vietnam in 1987. In this dramedy Robin proved that he was not only a great comedian, but also a great actor. He played the role of a radio DJ on Armed Forces Radio Service who keeps the troops entertained during the Vietnam War. It was the perfect role for him, one that encapsulated his ability to improvise and made his comedic-talent stand out. He was an Oscar nominee for the first time for Best Actor in a Leading Role and winner of the Golden Globe award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical. Robin’s performance in Good Morning, Vietnam is seen as one of his finest, because in fact he played himself in the move – a comedian who tries to bring laugher and joy into people’s lives.
“Being in the same room with people and creating something together is a good thing.”
A few years later in the 90’s, and after rehab and a few scandals, Robin reached again the top. He took part in six successful movies. Dead Poets Society in 1989 earned him his Second Oscar nomination. The movie tells the story of an English teacher who inspires his students through his teaching of poetry. Robin himself was inspired from memories of a couple of his own teachers for this role. He read the scripts with great concentration and played the most serious roles without making fun of them. The Fisher King followed in 1991, and his performance as Parry – a homeless guy who saves a man from suicide – earned Robin Williams the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor and his third Academy Award nomination. In 1993 he played the role of Mrs. Doubtfire, a divorced father who disguises himself as a middle-aged nanny in order to spend time with his children. He got into the role of the ex-husband very well at the time, since divorce was something that he went through a while ago in his personal life as well. He was so convincing that he earned the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor once again.
“Reality: What a concept!”
In 1997 Robin won his first Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in Good Will Hunting for his role as a therapist. He was nominated for eight more Oscar Awards. Robin then proved that he can act in serious and emotional roles and captivate the audience with his performance. Will Hunting works as a janitor at MIT and spends his free time at bars with his friends. When he is the only one who solves a difficult graduate-level math problem left on the hallway’s chalkboard, his talents are discovered by Professor Gerald Lambeau. When Will gets arrested after a fight, Professor Lambeau decides to help the young man, if he agrees to get counseling with a therapist and deal with his problems. Robin Williams in the role of the therapist Sean Maguire manages to win the young man’s trust and helps him find direction in his life. Robin wanted a figure like that in his life as well, someone to help him and ease his pain.
Robin once said that he could see a bit of himself in every role he played. He liked getting into different characters and prove his acting-talent not only to the audience but to himself as well. He chose roles of troubled characters and his troubled past helped him convincingly perform every one of them.
In 1998 he stares in the film Patch Adams as a doctor who wants to treat the spirit as well as the body of his patients using humor and love as the best medicine. He showed the world that even the most serious scientists can have a sense of humor.
In 2002, Robin takes a break from comedy and stars in the psychological thriller Insomnia as a troubled Alaskan writer and key suspect in the murder of a local teenage girl. Robin took on a villainous role, and through a sinister performance, showed us his darkest side.
In the same year he stars in another psychological thriller, One hour photo as a lonely, amateur photographer who finds solace in his job. Despite loving his job so much he seeks meaning in his life. He gets obsessed with his favorite customers, keeps their pictures on his wall and tries to get into their lives. The story leads the audience to the desolated world of a photographer who desperately seeks for human company and tries to socialize using his profession as a tool.
Through the black comedy-drama film World’s greatest Dad in 2009, Robin teaches us that what we want is not always what makes us happy. It’s a deep meaningful movie that spoke to Robins heart. After his suicide, rumors said that he learned the suicide technique from this movie. The protagonist’s son was found seated on the floor of this bedroom with a belt secured around his neck, and so was he.
It’s worth mentioning that Robin had a remarkable requirement for every film he did. The company hiring him, had to donate part of the earnings to the homeless and also had to hire a certain number of them and put them to work.
“In America they really do mythologize people when they die.”
His relationship with his fans
The fans that followed Robin from his very first steps as a comic, were used seeing him act in comedies and wanted the old, good, funny Robin back. But Robin never left his funny side behind and always made people laugh in every appearance he made. He thought himself to be the clown who played Hamlet. Still, it was hard for his fans to get used to him play in serious roles.
“I re – invented myself from comedy to do drama. You keep changing. So, it’s just another color of you get to paint with.”
A good actor can get into character and convincingly play every role he is called to. That was exactly what Robin wanted. He wanted to surprise his audience with his every role, either in a comedy or in drama. He loved being the criminal in the movies, what was less expected from a comedian. “I love playing characters like this because you ‘re no longer bound by the laws of likeability and the audience get a surprise attack. People think ‘Oh, it’s that nice man, he wouldn’t do anything awful.’ And then they realize… He’s a prick!”
“Sometimes you have to make a movie to make money.”
Everybody’s Got A Dark Side
Along with money came parties and hangovers. Publicity got into their lives for good and hit them hard. Because of his many appearances in television, Robin had his say on various taboo topics such as politics, drugs, death penalty, sex etc., what many people, especially parents who wanted to protect their children disapproved of.
Lies and rumors made their lives even harder. Rumor had it, that Robin was unfaithful to his wife. “It’s not the work but the social life that drained me”, he said.
In order to find some peace Robin made excessive use of drugs and alcohol and one thing led to another.
Exhaustion, both physical and emotional, got him. It has getting hard for his wife as well, who had to accept that she was now married to a public figure, and had to follow his lifestyle, accept criticism and be the subject of rumors while standing supportively by her husband’s side.
What’s worse is that some rumors had truth in them. Robin was now rich and women saw him thus differently. Under the influence of alcohol and drugs he gave in and did things that he would never think of doing sober.
All these scandals had a serious impact on his marriage. Valerie kept her calm in order to save her marriage. She loved him and trusted him. She didn’t make a scene when Robin went out with other women. She had in fact met many of them in person, saying they were wonderful. She was jealous only when she thought her marriage was in danger.
If she broke up with him, he would lose the most important person in his life. His life without his wife would be a disaster. Valerie loved him like no one else before. She was supportive and understanding and deeply concerned when he got wasted. Yet, things got worse and they started fighting. Robin was sinking deeper into self-destruction and was doing things that provoked her. Valerie was trying to keep only the good things, because when Robin was sober, he was his old good self.
He never loved money nor was he interested in living a rich life but he could no more control his actions and emotions. His marriage was suffering and so did his wife who watched all this in despair.
Robin and Valery gave a second chance to their marriage, and a few months later came in the world Robin’s firstborn child, Zachary “Zak” Pym Williams. That was an important moment in Robin’s life, when he realized that he wasn’t alone, he was responsible for his son’s life and that he couldn’t put him in danger. His son needed him.
“Comedy can be a cathartic way to deal with personal trauma.”
Fame can be fatal
It’s a common misconception that famous people have it all: beauty, success, money, independency. This perception is however most of the times totally false. Behind the cameras they are sad, their smiles are fake, there is a lot of stress and drugs. This is how many famous people end up, leaving us with the question, of why they who have everything, ruin their lives? What’s missing?
These people have the darkest secrets. They have plenty of money but no meaning in life. They bring joy and laugher in other peoples’ lives but can’t do the same for themselves. They don’t seek help and fall to pieces. They keep their desires and fears locked inside their souls, pretending to be strong.
Robin Williams once said that being famous and talented is not an easy job. Being a star is a 24-hour job, with no breaks, rest or anonymity. You can’t leave your face at the office. Once famous – always famous, even after your death.
So, it seems that even people with strong and balanced personalities cannot cope with pressure and constant public attention. Drugs and alcohol are their only solution.
“Reality is just a crutch for people who can’t cope with drugs.”
How drugs can kill
In 1982, Robin’s friend, John Belushi died of cocaine and heroin overdose at the age of 33. The event shocked and brought Robin to his senses, since he was dealing with drug addiction at the time as well and they both followed similar lifestyles and careers. In fact, on the night of Belushi’s death, the two had been doing drugs together.
Robin though that Belushi had the “constitution of a bull” and that nothing bad could happen to him. But he was wrong. Comparing their lifestyles, he realized that the same could happen to him soon. His life was in danger.
A life without drugs
Belushi’s death and the birth of his son made Robin think about where his life was taking him. He decided that in order to live his dream, and raise his son as a good father, setting a good example, he had to stay away from drugs and any other dangerous lifestyle.
As a substitute for his bad habits, Robin took up a new hobby, good for his mental and physical health: cycling. He even accumulated a large bicycle collection. His friend and owner of San Francisco bicycle, Tony Tom, said: “He came shortly after John Belushi passed away from a drug overdose. He said: I’ll tell ya – cycling saved my life.”
His life seemed to take a positive turn with a happy ending. It took only two decades before he turned back to his bad habits.
He got out of drugs, but gained a new addiction to military games. He was an internet junkie, who played games online and rumor has it that he was posing as a six-year-old girl “Samantha” in chatrooms. His favorite games were:
- First person shooter games
- Half – life
- War Craft 3
- Call of Duty
- Battlestation Pacific
Robin knew that he had to be careful with videogames. He was aware that people have even committed suicide when their online character was killed. As a weak person who suffered from depression, he could easily get sucked in the game world. He played alone in his room in front of his screen battling not only enemies but also with his thoughts. That was a bad combination for sure. Some even blamed videogames for his death.
In the study Pathological Video Game Use Among Youths. A Two-Year Longitudinal Study, about the relation between gaming and psychology Dr. Douglas Gentile of State University says: “I was expecting to find that the depression let to gaming. But we found the opposite in that study. The depression seemed to follow the gaming. As kids became addicted, then their depression seemed to get worse. And, as they stopped being addicted, the depression seemed to lift.” In Robin’s case those two went hand in hand, since he was already suffering from depression. “I think it’s truly co morbid. This means when two medical conditions are intertwined.” Gaming addiction and phycological problems coexist. People Believe that gaming will free them from their suffering but it makes it worse.
“The human spirit is more powerful than any drug – and that is what needs to be nourished: with work, play, friendship, family. These arethe things that matter.”
New demons in his life
Once people recovering from addiction go back to normal life, they’re likely to start using again, unless they take action to avoid their triggers.
Once Robin remained drug-free he thought his problems were over but rumors and scandals turned his life upside down once again. His affair with Michelle Tish Carter became public when she sued the actor and comedian for many million dollars, alleging that he gave her herpes during their relationship. This rumor was never proven true but damaged his personal life and career. Valerie and Robin divorced two years later in 1988. Robin made the following comment on his divorce: “Sure I’m happy about the movie, but right now I’m moving through my personal life like a hemophiliac in a razor factory.”
Robin hadn’t been fair to the only person that loved him unconditionally and gave him everything. Why do we hurt those we love the most?
Robin had an unstable personality, he had serious psychological problems and wasn’t himself at the time. He was aware of the damage he made to himself and his family but he couldn’t fight the sorrow and pain carved deep into his soul. His fans not knowing what he went through could not forgive him either.
He’d hurt everyone he loved. Guilt and regrets were a heavy load that he carried even on stage. He did his job right, but it wasn’t the same any more. Later, that very same year, Robin decided to start therapy.
“When I was growing up they used to say, “Robin, drugs can kill you.” Now that I’m 58 my doctor’s telling me, “Robin, you need drugs to live.” I realize now that my doctor is also my dealer.”
Robin’s second marriage
Robin remained on friendly terms with his ex-wife whilst he embarked on a relationship with Zak’s nanny, Marsha Garces, who had been living with them since 1984. Robin was once again happy. They married in 1989 when Marsha was pregnant with their daughter, and Robin’s second child, Zelda. In 1991 came in the world Robin’s third and last child, Cody Alan Williams.
After all these difficulties he’d been through, rehab, divorce, lawsuit, and close friends’ deaths, Robin finally stood on his own feet and launched to the top of the tabloids once again.
In 1993 he took a break from the spotlight, taking his family on a relaxing holiday in an Italian villa, with Marca being in charge.
Marca was well aware of Robins fragile mental state and always tried to protect him from the pressure of fame. She stood always by his side, gave him advise on his roles and watched his every step.
“She is the only person who is brutally honest with me. Most people would prefer to tell me what they think I want to hear. Not Marsha. She refuses to let me recycle old shtick just because it works. It’s vital to have someone who is determined to see that I grow as an actor,” he said.
“I never performed on drugs. That’d be stupid. It’s the same thing with athletes. They can’t perform when they have cocaine problems.”
The death of his loved ones
In 2001 Robin’s mother passed away and painful childhood memories came on the surface. He considered the death of his parents to be the saddest event of his life. He was left once again alone, just like when he was little, with the complaint that he never felt loved as a child nor really get to know the meaning of the words “family”, “care” and “motherly love”.
He wished he were close with his brothers to share the pain and grief with. He got all the love of the world from his fans, he felt true joy on stage when he made his audience laugh and he finally got the parental attention he needed in a big way…but he didn’t have his mother anymore.
Few years later in 2004, his best friend Christopher Reeve died at 52 from a sudden heart attack. It came as a shock to him, just like Belushi’s death years back. For the years to follow, the grief run deep.
From then onwards he reduced his stand-up comedy appearances and played only in dramas, roles of murderers and criminals. He spoke slowly and wearily in interviews, he didn’t make jokes and hardly ever smiled.
“I couldn’t imagine living the way I used to live. Now people come up to me from the drug days and go, ‘Hi, remember me?’ And I’m going, ‘No, did I have sex with you? Did I take a dump in your tool box?’”
Star in his own life
Alcohol found its way into his life once again. He thought it was the solution to all of life’s problems, that it would take the lonely and frightening thoughts away.
What was his deepest fear?
Robin was a huge star. His deepest fear was maybe dealing with fans’ expectations. People tend to expect more from those who have been successful. He felt a large pressurefrom his fanclub. He thought they don’t forgive mistakes, nor do they accept true feelings and troubles coming from a comedian.
Drugs and alcohol had been a setback in his life before but seemed his only way out. He knew his fans would find out eventually and that he would let them down.
Robin knew that drugs and alcohol could kill him. Things could turn worse this time.
His relapse into his bad habits turned his second marriage upside down as well. In 2006, after family intervention, Robin checked himself into Oregon’s Hazelden Springbrook treatment center for two months. He won the battle to stay sober but he couldn’t win his wife back. Even though Marsha has been a pillar of strength for him, she filed for divorce two years later.
“You’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to.”
Robin’s third and last marriage
Robin’s second divorce left him broke and devastated. He made sure his children were properly provided for and paid his ex-wives generous alimony, but he soon started running out of cash.
During that period of time Robin stared in very few movies. When his bad mood lifted in 2008, he decided to get on stage again and pick up where he left of. He performed stand-up comedy shows to make money and made fun out of it like he did with all his other problems in the past. It is said that his struggle with his finances was so big that he had to sell off almost every bicycle in his collection.
His friend Billy Cristal stated: “Over the last couple of years and the pin that he’s gone through, his brain is the one thing that’s kept him buoyant… he needs the stand-up in a different way than he did before. It’s still a safe place for him to be… he can talk about things and make himself feel better…”
Over that time period Robin met Susan Schneider – a 15 years younger than him woman – and got married for the third time in 2011. His children had grown up and chosen their own paths. Zelda was acting in small productions, Zak was married and Cody was doing music production.
The couple lived in Robin’s mother house, they loved doing things together such as kayaking, riding bikes and walking their dogs. Robin was trying to fill his life with as many beautiful moments as possible.
“You don’t know about real loss because that only occurs when you love something more than you love yourself.”
25 of Robin Williams’ Funniest Jokes
- If it’s the Psychic Network, why do they need a phone number?
- Who the fuck came with the idea of polygamy?! Who was having a marriage going, ‘My one marriage isn’t going too well, I’d like to double down.’?
- God gave men both a penis and a brain but, unfortunately, not enough blood supply to run both at the same time.
- The Chinese make everything! Even the ‘Free Tibet’ stickers.
- Do you think God gets stoned? I think so…Look at the platypus.
- Politics: ‘Poli’ a Latin word meaning ‘many’ and ‘tics’ meaning ‘bloodsucking creatures’.
- I wonder what chairs think about all day: ‘Oh, here comes another asshole.’
- Never pick a fight with an ugly person; they’ve got nothing to lose.
- And Honda has a car now that’ll park itself. I’m like, ‘Where were you when I was drinking?!’
- People say satire is dead. It’s not dead; it’s alive and living in the White House.
- I want to thank my father…the man who, when I said I wanted to be an actor, he said,: ‘Wonderful, just have a backup profession like welding.’ Thank you.
- We had gay burglars the other night; they broke in and rearranged the furniture.
- You could talk about same-sex marriage but people who have been married say ‘It’s the same sex all the time.’
- Being a functioning alcoholic is kind of like being a paraplegic lap dancer – you can do it, just not as well as the others, really.
- On the Immaculate Conception: The night that Mary said to Joe, ‘Joe, I’m pregnant,’ and Joe went, ‘Holy Mother of God!’ And she went, ‘You’re right! Aw, Jesus Christ, what a great name, Joe! That is so much better than Schmul! Way to go! I love you, Joe!’
- If women ran the world, we wouldn’t have wars, just intense negotiations every twenty-eight days.
- ‘I guess I should talk for a moment about the very serious subject of schizophrenia…’ ‘No, he doesn’t!’ ‘Shut up, let him talk!’
- If on your tax form it says, ‘$50,000 for snacks’, MAYDAY! You ‘ve got yourself a cocaine problem.
- Giving people tax rebates and then saying the economy is sound because they might spend it is like saying fat people are healthy because they might exercise.
- I walked into my son’s room the other day and he’s got four screens going at the same time. He’s watching a movie on one screen, playing a game on another, downloading something on this one, texting on that one… People say, ‘He’s got ADHD.’ Fuck that, he’s multitasking!
- “Why do they call it rush hour when nothing moves?”
- “Some are born great. Some achieve greatness. Some get it as a graduation gift.”
- “I don’t care. I clawed my way to the middle and I fucked my way down.”
- “In England, if you commit a crime, the police don’t have a gun and you don’t have a gun. If you commit a crime, the police will say: ‘Stop, or I’ll say stop again.’”
- “A lot of people thought Scarfacewas over the top. Anyone who had done a pound of Peruvian blow knows that is documentary.”
- “Why do you think there’s not so much comedy in Germany? Did you ever think you killed all the funny people?”
- Never pick a fight with an ugly person, they’ve got nothing to lose.
- We Americans, we’re a simple people . . . but piss us off, and we’ll bomb your cities.
- Thank you for the standing ovations! We had the orgasm up front. Let’s have a cigarette, let’s relax.
- Ah, yes, divorce … from the Latin word meaning to rip out a man’s genitals through his wallet.
- The moment the Pope dies, they take him through St. Peter’s Basilica, and fifty thousand cell phones are like [pantomimes the clicking sounds of camera phones] And I’m sure that was his last wish. “When I die, I want to be a screensaver.”
- When the media ask George W. Bush a question, he answers, ‘Can I use a lifeline?’
- Texting and driving at the same time is like jerking off and juggling at the same time. Too many balls in the air, if you catch my drift.
- When I was growing up they used to say, “Robin, drugs can kill you.” Now that I’m 58 my doctor’s telling me, “Robin, you need drugs to live.” I realize now that my doctor is also my dealer…
- People like to great New Yorkers: “Have a nice day, asshole!” “Fuck you, my friend! Enjoy your day!”
- Taking Viagra after open heart surgery is like a Civil War re-enactment with live ammo. Not good.
- I love the guys who say “I watch NASCAR for the racing.” Yeah, and I watch porn for the acting. You LIAR!
- I think that after you get married a third time you have to give up a body part. Larry King would just be a head on a fucking stick.
- It’s interesting when you see a girl with a bolt through her tongue. Why did you do that? To enahthe the thekthual thtimulathon. “Nothing drives my boyfriend crazy like the feel of cold steel on his hot rock.”
- I had sex with a prostitute when I was 21, I was so bad, she gave me a refund.
- Time is the best teacher, but unfortunately, it kills all of its students.
- I’ve actually gone to the zoo and had monkeys shout to me from their cages, “I’m in here when you’re walking around like that?”
- “The Second Amendment: It says you have the right to bear arms, or the right to arm bears, whatever the hell you want to do!”
- “If women ran the world we wouldn’t have wars, just intense negotiations every 28 days.”
- “The definition of pornography is quite simple. Erotic is using a feather, pornography is using the entire chicken.”
- “I think God made babies cute so we don’t eat them.”
- “I thought lacrosse was what you find in la church.”
- “If you can remember the ’60s, you weren’t there.”
- “Ballets: men wearing pants so tight you can tell what religion they are.”
- “Cricket is basically baseball on Valium.”
“This girl you met, she isn’t perfect either. But the question is whether or not you’re perfect for each other.”
The final years
In the few months before his death Robin wasn’t in his best emotional and physical state. He slept for over 18 hours a day, felt constantly tired, had no appetite and was very distant. He kept the curtains closed all day to avoid the light.
He looked painfully thin. His face looked wrinkled and tired, his body shrunk in size. He couldn’t care less for his appearance. Depression was taking over. Then, in 2009 Robin was diagnosed with serious heart disease problems and underwent a bypass surgery in Ohio.
Robin seemed like a different man. His dark secret had been revealed. His exhaustion was evident. He couldn’t even fake a smile like he used to.
“What’s right is what’s left if you do everything else wrong.”
Why the change?
Robin sparked concern with his gaunt and exhausted appearance. Several questions arose: What made him look like this? When did his troubles start? Why nobody helped him? Why didn’t he seek help?
It was already too late. Drugs and alcohol took its toll on his life. His financial difficulties made it worse. The deaths of his loved ones – his parents’ and Christopher’s – left a deep scar in his heart and his two failed marriages made him feel desolate. His spirits sank lower and lower.
The money and glory of the past meant nothing for him, they never brought him peace. It may be he never realized how much people loved him.
“You treat a disease, YOU WIN, you lose. You treat a person, I’ll guarantee you’ll win.”
The death of a star
“This is the morning I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings.” – Susan Schneider, Robin Williams’ 3rd wife said.
It was a tragic day. The news of his death on August 11, 2014 came as a huge shock. The Oscar-winning actor was found dead at his home in Tiburon, San Francisco. It was a tragic and sudden loss that stunned his fans and anyone who loved him.
He was only 63 years old. He may have gone forever, but no one will forget the twinkle in his eyes, his utterly genuine smile and his manic onstage energy. He gave smiles and laughter so freely to millions of people around the world and touched every element of the human spirit in a remarkable range of performances.
His death was attributed to asphyxia caused by hanging. Yet, the truth of what made him give an end to his life remains unknown. Could it be prevented? He was a man with an acute fear of abandonment, suffering as he once admitted from the “Love me Syndrome”, all of which derived from his lonely background and weary soul.
Robin suffered from a form of dementia called Lewy Body Disease (LBD). According to scientific research: “DLB is the second most common neurodegenerative dementia after Alzheimer’s and causes fluctuations in mental status, hallucinations and impairment of motor function.” Three months prior to his death he was misdiagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and was under heavy medication that might have affected his mental state.
It is sad that he never took the decision to seek counseling to help cope with Parkinson’s disease. More than half of the patients suffer from clinical depression that drastically changes their lives and affects them more than any other symptom.
The night before his suicide Robin stuffed his collection of watches into a sock out of fear they would get stolen, then he called his wife Susan to tell her he bought some magazines for her, went back home and locked himself in his room. That was the last time his wife saw him, since they were sleeping in separate bedrooms. He was found the next morning with a belt around his neck and cut wrists. He was pronounced dead shortly after.
The funeral was an Episcopalian service at Monte’s Chapel of the Hills a funeral home in California. His body was cremated and his ashes were scattered over the San Francisco Bay. After his death everyone was trying in vain to understand what drove him to suicide.
“A whole human life is just a heartbeat here in Heaven. Then we’ll all be together forever.”
Why he did it
What made him give an end to his life? Why was he so miserable? He had achieved everything one can dream of in his carrier. He was a successful Oscar-winning actor. His whole carrier was an adventure, a journey of improvisation.
He was living in his own reality. His life was a movie about depression. The world’s greatest funnyman who gave smiles, love and happiness to people had nothing of these as a child. He was a scared, shy and lonely child that never got love or attention from his family. No money could bring his lost childhood back.
The comedy world lost one of its best that day. Yet, one who’s leaving a great legacy behind can never truly die. He will always be remembered for his jokes and his stories. His soul resting in peace, at last, will now be spreading joy and laughter in heaven.
Find the best collection of Robin William’s quotes here
Quotes of Robin Williams
Below, you will be able to be inspired by Robin Williams’s greatest quotes:
|We ‘ve had cloning in the South for years. It’s called cousins.|
|What’s right is what’s left if you do everything else wrong.|
|The improv, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but when it does, it’s like open – field running.|
|Reality is just a crutch for people who can’t cope with drugs.|
|For me, comedy starts as a spew, a kind of explosion,, and then you sculpt it from there, If at all. It comes out of a deeper, darker side. Maybe it comes from anger, because I’m outrages by cruel absurdities, the hypocrisy that exists everywhere, even within yourself. Where it’s hardest to see.|
|If heaven exists, to know that there’s laughter, that would be a great thing.|
|Comedy is acting out optimism.|
|Being in the same room with people and creating something together is a good thing.|
|If it’s the physic network why do they need a phone number?|
|Reality: What a concept!|
|In America they really do mythologise people when they die.|
|Carpe per diem – seize the check.|
|You can start any ‘monty python’ routine and peopl finish it for you. Everyone knows it like short hand.|
|Canada is like a loft apartment over a really great party.|
|The statue of liberty is no longer saying, ‘Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses.’ She’s got a baseball bat and yelling, ‘You want a piece of me?’|
|When Jonathan Winters died, it was like, ‘Oh, man!’ I knew he was frail, but I always thought he was going to last longer. I knew him as being really funny, but at the same time, he had a dark side.|
|We had gay burglars the other night. They broke in and rearranged the furniture.|
|My mother’s idea of natural childbirth was giving birth without makeup. She was hyper – positive – the world is a wonderful place, rainbows and unicorns. If you said anything contrary to her, you were basically exiled.|
|Acting is different from stand-up. It gives you this ability to enter into another character, to create another person.|
|When you look at Prince Charles, don’t you think that someone in the Royal family knew someone in the Royal family?|
|I bought one of the first Nintendo systems and brought that home, and we were playing ‘ Legend of Zelda’ at the time, and it was addicting, and I was playing it for hours and hours and hours.|
|I only ever play Vegas one night at a time. It’s a hideous, gaudy place; it may not be the end of the world per see, but you can certainly see it from there.|
|Performing comedy in San Francisco to begin with is pretty wild. You ‘ve got to – you ‘ve got the human game preserve to play off of. And it’s a lot of great characters everywhere. You work of that, and then you play the rooms, and eventually you get to a point where you ‘re playing a club that is a comedy club, with other comics.|
|I started going comedy because that was the only stage that I could find. It was the pure idea of being on stage. That was the only thing that interested me, along with learning the craft and working, and just being in productions with people.|
|I write on big yellow legal pads – ideas in outline form when I’m going stand- up and stuff. It’s vivid that way. I can’t type it into an Ipad – I think that would put a filter into the process.|
|I like my wine like my women – ready to pass out.|
|The idea of having a steady job is appealing.|
|I basically started performing for my mother, going, ‘Love me!’ What drives you to perform is the need for that primal connection. When I was little,my mother was funny with me, and I started to be charming and funny for her, and I learned that by being entertaining, you make a connection with another person.|
|I have a difficult time doing an Irish accent; Even now, it kind of fades slowly into Scottish.|
|The essential truth is that sometimes you ‘re worried that they ‘ll find out it’s a fluke, that you don’t really have it. You ‘ve lost the muse or – the worst dread – you never had it at all. I went through all that madness early on.|
|Sometimes over things that I did, movies that didn’t turn out very well – you go. ‘Why did you do that?’ But in the end, I can’t regret them because I met amazing people. There was always something that was worth it.|
|The second amendment says we have the right to bear arms, not to bear artillery.|
|The bad things about being a famous comedian is that every now and then someone approaches me to tell an old joke. Don’t tell me jokes – I have that. People also say the weirdest things, sometimes sarcastic things, and even evil things. They like to provoke to get a reaction.|
|Cricket is basically baseball on valium.|
|A woman would never make a nuclear bomb.They would never make a weapon that kills – no, no. They’d make a weapon that makes you feel bad for a while.|
|Do I perform sometimes in a manic style? Yes. Am I manic all the time? No. Do I get sad? Oh yeah. Does it hit me hard? Oh yeah.|
|I think it’s great when stories are dark and strange and weirdly personal.|
|I don’t have a college degree, and my father didn’t have a college degree, so when my son, Zachary, graduated from college, I said, ‘My boy’s got learnin’!’|
|I have an idea for a movie called ‘The walken dead’ which is about a town where, instead of Zombies, everyone become Chris walken.|
|Gentiles are people who eat mayonnaise for no reason.|
|Tweets? That stuff kills conversation. And people taking pictures with their phone or recording you, sometimes surreptitiously, is creepy. They come up and just start talking to you, and you can see the red light on their phone.|
|Divorce is expensive.I used to joke they were going to call it ‘all the money,’ but they changed it to ‘alimony.’ It’s ripping your heart out through your wallet.|
|I believe Ronald Reagan can make this country what it once was…A large arctic region covered with ice.|
|Look at the walls of Pompeii. That’s what got the internet started.|
|In the process of looking for comedy, you have to be deeply honest. And in doing that, you ‘ll find out here’s the other side. You ‘ll be looking under the rock occasionally for the laughter.|
|You ‘ll notice that Nancy Reagan never drinks water when Ronnie speaks.|
|I do believe in love; It’s wonderful – especially love third time around, it’s even more precious; It’s kind of amazing.|
|The Russians love Brooke Shields because her eyebrows remidn them of Leonid Brezhnew.|
|I don’t do well with snakes and I can’t dance.|
|When the media ask George W. Bush a question, he answers, ‘can I use a lifeline?’|
|In ‘the secret agent,’ it’s basically a character that was admired by Theodore Kaczynski, which is some fan mail you don’t really want to open. This is a man who is a Chemist and who specializes in making bombs and despises humanity.|
|Politics is so personal,vicious and immediate, how are you going to get anything done? Even the local politics where I live have gotten so ugly.|
|One of my favorite actors of all time,although he doesn’t necessarily play Villains, is Peter Lorre.|
|Okra is the closest thing to Nylon I’ve ever eaten. It’s like they bred cotton with a green bean. Okra, tastes like snot. The more you cook it, the more it turns into string.|
|The ‘Aladdin’ thing – that’s not work; That’s just fun. Three days in the recording studio going mad,then the animators, do all the work. Not a bad way to cash a large check, my friend.|
|With film roles,it just has to be a character either I haven’t done before, or a role with somebody really interesting or with an interesting person or group of people.|
|I’ve never been asked to appear on I’m a celebrity… get me out of here!,’ so I guess I mustn’t be on the professional skids just yet.|
|Sometimes you have to make a movie to make money.|
|From the point of view of being in the public radar, comedians have less problems than other actors. Action movie stars like Stallone or Schwarzenegger usually attract the more aggressive fans.|
|Winning an Oscar is an honor, but, between you and me, it does not make things easier.|
|I loved school, maybe too much,really. I was summa cum laude in High School. I was driven that way.|
|My style is bad white – boy dancing. I can do swing a little bit,but nothing beyond that. My solo dancing is sad. I use my arms, badly.|
|I was only leading man for a minute; Now I’m a character actor.|
|I loved running, but all of a sudden everything hurt so much. I started cycling when Zelda was born.|
|There’s a show in America where all these people compete with ferrets, and they don’t even do anything. They basically just hold them up, and if they don’t bite you, they might win.|
|I knew Matt Damon and Ben Affleck were really talented. As actors, they were both studly young men, and they had great writers’ chops.|
|Having George W. Bush giving a lecture on business ethics is like having a leper give you a facial, it just doesn’t work!|
|You have this idea that you’d better keep working otherwise people will forget. And that was dangerous.|
Find out more about your personality by taking Motto Cosmos’ Personality Test here
Filmography of Robin Williams
|1977||Sorority ’62||TV Pilot|
|The Richard Pryor Show||Various characters||2 episodes|
|Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In|
|Eight Is Enough||Episode: “The Return of Auntie V”|
|1978||America 2-Night||Jason Shine||2 episodes|
|Happy Days||Mork||Episode: “My Favorite Orkan”|
|1978–82||Mork & Mindy||92 episodes|
|1979||Happy Days||Episode: “Mork Returns”|
|Out of the Blue||Episode: “Random’s Arrival”|
|1981–2010||Saturday Night Live||Himself||5 episodes; 4 as host, 1 as guest|
|1982||E.T. and Friends: Magical Movie Visitors||Host / various characters||TV special|
|Faerie Tale Theatre||Frog / Prince Robin||Episode: “Tale of the Frog Prince”|
|SCTV Network||Various||Episode: “Jane Eyrehead”|
|1982-83||Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/Fonz Hour||Mork (voice)||26 Episodes|
|1984||Pryor’s Place||Gaby||Episode: “Sax Education”|
|1987||Carol, Carl, Whoopi and Robin||Various characters||TV special (comedy); Williams won Emmy award |
|Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam||Baby-san (voice)||Documentary|
|1990||The Earth Day Special||Everyman|
|1990–2012||Sesame Street||Himself||6 episodes|
|1991||Big Bird’s Birthday Celebration||Sesame Street special|
|A Wish for Wings That Work||The Kiwi (voice)||Credited as Sudy Nim|
|1992–94||The Larry Sanders Show||Himself||2 episodes|
|1994||Homicide: Life on the Street||Robert Ellison||Episode: “Bop Gun”|
Episode: “The One with the Ultimate Fighting Champion“
|1998||One Saturday Morning||Genie||2 episodes|
|1999||L.A. Doctors||Hugo Kinsley||Episode: “Just Duet”|
|2000||Whose Line Is It Anyway?||Himself||Season 3, episode 9 (Guest star)|
|2003||Freedom: A History of Us||Josiah Quincy
Ulysses S. Grant
|Life with Bonnie||Kevin Powalski||Episode: “Psychic”|
|2006||Extreme Makeover: Home Edition||Himself||Episode: “The DeAeth Family”|
|Mind of Mencia||Episode: “That’s F**king Historical”|
|Blue’s Clues||“Behind the Clues: 10 Years of Blue” Blue’s Clues special|
|2008||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Merritt Rook||Episode: “Authority“|
|2009||SpongeBob SquarePants||Himself||Episode: “SpongeBob’s Truth or Square“|
|2012||Wilfred||Dr. Eddy / Himself||Episode: “Progress”|
|2013–14||The Crazy Ones||Simon Roberts||22 episodes|
|1997||Disney’s Math Quest: Aladdin||Genie|
- Off the Wall/ Live at the Roxy(1978) dir. Marty Callner
- An Evening with Robin Williams(1982–1983) dir. Don Misscher
- Robin Williams: An Evening at the Met(1986) dir. Bruce Gowers
- Activity in Theater in 1994, 2001 and 2011
- Robin Williams: Live on Broadway(2002) dir. Bill Crooks and Marty Callner, Sony Pictures Entertainment
- Robin Williams: Inside the Actors Studio, with James Lipton, Shout! Factory(2008)
- Weapons of Self Destruction(2009) dir. Marty Callner
|Golden Globe Awards||6||12|
|MTV Movie Awards||2||6|
Awards and nominations
|1987||Good Morning, Vietnam||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|1989||Dead Poets Society||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|1991||The Fisher King||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|1997||Good Will Hunting||Best Supporting Actor||Won|||
|1988||Good Morning, Vietnam||Best Actor in a Leading Role||Nominated|||
|1990||Dead Poets Society||Best Actor in a Leading Role||Nominated|||
|1979||Mork & Mindy||Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy||Won|||
|1980||Mork & Mindy||Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy||Nominated|||
|1985||Moscow on the Hudson||Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy||Nominated|||
|1988||Good Morning, Vietnam||Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy||Won|||
|1990||Dead Poets Society||Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama||Nominated|||
|1991||Awakenings||Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama||Nominated|||
|1992||The Fisher King||Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy||Won|||
|1993||Aladdin||Special Award for Vocal Work||Won|||
|1994||Mrs. Doubtfire||Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy||Won|||
|1998||Good Will Hunting||Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture||Nominated|||
|1999||Patch Adams||Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy||Nominated|||
|2005||N/A||Cecil B. DeMille Award||Won|||
|1980||Reality…What a Concept||Best Comedy Album||Won|
|1980||Himself||Best New Artist||Nominated|
|1984||Throbbing Python of Love||Best Comedy Album||Nominated|
|1988||A Night at the Met||Best Comedy Album||Won|
|1989||Good Morning, Vietnam||Best Comedy Album||Won|
|2003||Robin Williams Live – 2002||Best Comedy Album||Won|
|2011||Weapons of Self Destruction||Best Comedy Album||Nominated|
|1992||Hook||Favorite Movie Actor||Won|
|1994||Mrs. Doubtfire||Favorite Movie Actor||Won|
|1996||Jumanji||Favorite Movie Actor||Nominated|
|1997||Jack||Favorite Movie Actor||Nominated|
|1998||Flubber||Favorite Movie Actor||Nominated|
|2000||Bicentennial Man||Favorite Movie Actor||Nominated|
|2006||Robots||Favorite Voice from an Animated Feature||Nominated|
|1992||The Fisher King||Best Male Performance||Nominated|
|1993||Aladdin||Best Comedic Performance||Won|
|1994||Mrs. Doubtfire||Best Comedic Performance||Won|
|1994||Mrs. Doubtfire||Best Male Performance||Nominated|
|1997||The Birdcage||Best Comedic Performance||Nominated|
|1997||The Birdcage||Best On-Screen Duo (shared with Nathan Lane)||Nominated|
Online Film & Television Association Awards
|1998||Good Will Hunting||Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|2003||One Hour Photo||Best Actor||Nominated|
|2007||Happy Feet||Best Voice-Over Performance||Nominated|
|1979||Mork & Mindy||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series||Nominated|||
|1987||Carol, Carl, Whoopi and Robin||Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Music Program||Won|||
|1988||ABC Presents A Royal Gala||Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Music Program||Won|||
|1994||Homicide: Life on the Streets||Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series||Nominated|||
|1996||Comic Relief VII||Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program (shared with Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg)||Nominated|
|2003||Robin Williams: Live on Broadway||Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program and Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program||Nominated|
|2008||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series||Nominated|||
|2010||Robin Williams: Weapons Of Self Destruction||Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Special||Nominated|||
|2000||Jakob the Liar||Worst Actor||Nominated|
|2000||Bicentennial Man||Worst Actor||Nominated|
|2003||Death to Smoochy||Worst Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|1998||Good Will Hunting||Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture||Nominated|||
|1999||Patch Adams||Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy||Nominated|
|2003||One Hour Photo||Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama||Nominated|
|1992||The Fisher King||Saturn Award for Best Actor||Nominated|
|1993||Toys||Saturn Award for Best Actor||Nominated|
|1993||Aladdin||Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor||Won|
|1996||Jumanji||Saturn Award for Best Actor||Nominated|
|2003||Insomnia||Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|2003||One Hour Photo||Saturn Award for Best Actor||Won|
|1997||The Birdcage||Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture||Won|||
|1998||Good Will Hunting||Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role||Won|||
|1998||Good Will Hunting||Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture||Nominated|||
|2014||The Butler||Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture||Nominated|||
White jumpsuit, collar up and chains around his neck. Raised eyebrow, distinctive voice and sideburns. At other times, with plaid jacket, open-necked patterned shirt, black pants and black shoes. We are talking about the arguably most important artist of “Rock and Roll”. The king of infinite charm, elegance, style and generosity. Always having a modest look, he would let the crowd cheer for him, flirt with him and he would feel with them the ultimate expression of freedom. A freedom that he had never experienced.
This man would give his love generously, in order to fill and substitute the misfortunes that deprived him of the most important people in his life. Always with his innocent puerility accompanying him and sweetening up his everyday life, with his craziness following him and with the smile on his face encouraging him, he enticed the female audience and made the men be jealous of him and desire to look like him.
An innocent child with angel’s eyes and distinct voice, who, even nowadays, enters people’s homes through his successful songs, has remained in everyone’s memory as the ultimate male sex symbol and as the person who not only changed music, language and clothing, but also rebelled against a whole country. These characteristics could be linked to no one but the name of the unique Elvis Aaron Presley.
“The people were looking for something different and I came along just in time. I was lucky.”
Elvis Presley’s childhood
Elvis was born and raised in a remarkable family, on January 8, 1935, in East Tupelo, Mississippi. It was a particularly close-knit family, with the little back then Elvis being the protagonist; he was the center of their interest and attention.
Unfortunately, the family’s economic difficulties made the situation very hard, both for the parents and for the little star. Elvis was forced to grow up faster than the kids of his age, and to be deprived of playing and having friends, that is, from all the elements that are needed and essential for a kid of his age to be socialized properly.
He used to attend the Humes school in the mornings, a school without prospect and without hope. All the children that attended classes in that particular school were considered by the society of the day to be inferior, since the majority of students came from poor and impoverished families. As a pupil, he was rather shy and quiet, and as a result he was unnoticed in the classroom. His performance at school was from mediocre to bad and generally he did not show much interest in the lessons.
As a teenager and only son, he kept attracting all the devotion of his parents, and as a consequence he didn’t care about the indifference that his peers were showing to him. He used to do things off his own bat and he didn’t use to go with the crowd.
“University” was a word that he didn’t even dare to utter, since there was no chance for him to reach this point, due to his negative performance, but also the economic difficulties of his family. University would certainly remain a pipe dream. Once he said: “I’d like to have gone, but I never thought about it. We just didn’t have the money.”
“A little less fight and a little more spark, close your mouth and open your heart.”
His life was as special as he was. InIn the afternoons, he used to do different occasional jobs since he was a little boy, in order to assist financially his parents that were in need.
He was different from the other children, although he lived a life that millions of children in America used to live as well. When he had some spare time, he would watch movies at the outdoor cinema, standing outside the railings of the forecourt, because he didn’t have enough money to buy a ticket, and he would listen to music with the radio that his parents had given him as a present on his birthday. Sometimes, he was allowed to play soccer with the cool guys of the neighborhood, with his stylish soccer skills drawing the attention of the children.
His stylistic preferences as a teen
A shy and dreamy boy with few friends, with no discernible talent and no ambition whatsoever, but with lacy shirts and collars up, that definitely stood out. He loved girls, he admired cars and he was lost for hours listening to music.
As he was growing up, Elvis was changing style and appearance, he hated his hair, he liked sideburns, and he preferred moustache, because he wanted to look like his father, truck drivers and wild looking guys.Like all children of his age, Elvis wanted to belong to a peer group, to feel a member of this group, but at the same time he wanted to stand out, to be different. He preferred wearing fancy clothes, so everybody would stare at him. However, this was not only positive, for a big number of people pointed at him and mocked him, calling him a freak.
Even though through his style he tried to reflect his personality, he felt strangely, differently. He felt like nobody in a big city, like nothing in the endless chaos. “I guess I always knew if you want to stand out in a crowd you gotta be different.” But why did he have this feeling? Certainly, it was not only the financial problems that concerned him since he was a small kid.
“Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time,but it ain’t goin’ away.”
Elvis Presley, the infinite love and the special relationship with his mother
Elvis and his family – a relationship that was strange, but at the same time so strong. Elvis’ father, Vernon Presley, an honest worker, worked very hard as a milkman on a farm, a truck driver, a carpenter and sometimes as a painter. He was forced to be away from his wife and his only son for a long time. The financial needs and his inability to feed his family on his own destroyed him psychologically. He felt little and had no self-confidence.
His mother, on the other hand, Gladys Love Smith Presley, a quiet and low-key woman, was a sewing machine operator in a factory. Once, she was actually about to abandon their house with her son, because their money was not enough to pay the rent.
Since he was a small kid, Elvis felt inferior to the other children of his age. He had no money and he could not follow the everyday activities of the children. Nevertheless, no member of this family gave up, even though they were accompanied by two prevailing powers: poverty, but also hope.
“Rhythm is something you either have or don’t have, but when you have it, you have it all over.”
Both his parents gave anything for Elvis and he would reciprocate in whatever way he could. Life was giving them a hard time, which resulted in their deciding to move to Memphis, Tupelo for a better tomorrow.
Elvis had been raised with principles and good manners. His parents used to consider it very important, because they tried to give the best possible impression as a family.
The second Elvis
The motto of their family was “We were always happy, when we were together.” And truly, only united they managed to survive. But, behind the excessive love and devotion to their precious son, a huge and sad secret was hiding, which they had kept well-hidden for years. A tragic event that happened during childbirth radically changed the life of his mother as well as his, and influenced his subsequent development. Elvis Presley had a twin brother, Jessie. Jessie was born 35 minutes before Elvis, also on January 8, 1935 in Graceland.
“Whatever I will become will be what God has chosen for me.”
Unfortunately, the first child of the twins was born dead, as some hours before labor his heart had stopped beating. The loss of his twin brother had a great impact on Elvis and his parents. The entire family buried him a few days later outside the city of Princeville, next to a tree.
The loss of a child in a family is one of the most scary and traumatic events that can happen in life. The demise undoubtedly causes a huge shock, excruciating pain and unbearable grief to parents and develops psychological stress, which affects the psychological and physical well-being of a human. Soon thereafter, intense and unusual effects are observed to the parents themselves. Besides, it is horrible for a mother who has had her baby in her womb for nine months and she has loved it even before she meets it, to suddenly lose it.
The same thing happened to Elvis’ parents, but in this case they were expecting one more child: his twin brother. Some minutes later, Elvis was born like a gift from God, in order to alleviate his mother’s pain and to give joy and hope to the whole family.
Both his parents gave everything for him, but especially Elvis’ mother gave all the maternal devotion and affection that she had to this child. Just from the fear of losing him, her love turned into obsession. She had become overprotective, she was watching every step of him and she preferred to sleep even in the same bed with him, for fear of anything bad happening to him. This situation continued until his teen years. She was always beside him, but to the extent that he did not have the chance to take any decision on his own and this continued happening even when he was older.
“The image is one thing and the human being is another. It’s very hard to live up to an image, put it that way.”
The consequenes of excessive love on the child’s mental state
Being excessive can cause harm, and this applies to everything in this world. Elvis, through the excessive love and maternal devotion that he received, became a pretty shy and sensitive child. He didn’t speak much, and he had an introverted and low-key personality.
He too, though, felt the need for maternal affection, but maybe more intensely than normally. He saw in her a piece of his lost brother. The passionate relationship that these two had, had affected both Elvis’ life and his mother’s. Elvis considered her as the perfect woman. And indeed, it is said that because of his mother, Elvis wanted to marry somebody who looked like his mother, both internally and externally.
This is not unusual, due to the fact that people are programmed to look for partners who come from the same “kind”. So, since the first close contact of a man with the opposite sex is his mother, she becomes the model for his next relationships. The man is looking for a mother substitute in her, scary as it may sound.
However, in Elvis’ case, the above mentioned almost seemed to be like the so-called Oedipus complex. No, he did not have erotic tendencies with his mother, but his love for this woman looked like the feelings of love and worship. This fact definitely played an important role in his adult life, since, until his death, he wasn’t able to find this satisfaction and love that he had felt with his own mother.
It is said that at some point after his mother’s death, he bought a Cadilac for an elderly lady who reminded him of his mother, because once he had promised her that he would buy one for her, but he could never fulfill his promise to her personally.
“I would beg and steal just to feel your heart beating close to mine.”
Remorse for the death of his twin brother
Elvis’ life was not only influenced by his mother, but also the loss of his twin brother played a significant role.
In the early years of his life, Elvis grew up carrying the feeling of vast emptiness inside him. Even before he learnt that he is a twin child, he didn’t feel complete, but he felt that something was missing from his life, like an intuition. This intuition was not at all unlikely. It has, actually, been proven scientifically.
Studies have shown that there is undoubtedly a close relationship and connection between twins, which is much stronger than for siblings born separately. In view of the fact that they share the same space during the fetal period, usually a physical and emotional bond develops between them, even before they are born. This bond is transferred to their life as well, when the twins are born and this feeling accompanies them throughout their life.
Certainly, the most powerful and unexplainable bond between people is felt by twin siblings. A twin kid is like a mirror of the other twin kid. They have their differences, which are both external and internal, but they never feel alone. They have the feeling that someone knows everything about them: their secrets, their ambitions, but also that someone senses their fears, dangers, as well as their needs.
“If you cry when you’re in love, it sure ain’t no disgrace.”
Let us not forget, however, that where there is love, there is fear too. The fear of loss that twins feel to a greater extent.
Therefore, this feeling of loss and emptiness that Elvis had during the first years of his life was not something difficult to find or puzzling, as for nine months he had been sharing his sac in his mother’s uterus with one more fetus that never existed in his life.
Once his parents, after a certain age, informed him about the loss of the firstborn twin, something changed inside him. Fragile as he was, he believed since he was a small kid that he was the cause of the death of his only brother, as – he believed – he must have moved in a wrong way inside his mother’s womb, thus convicting his brother to death. This, of course, was something that was not true, but his mind couldn’t give another explanation. Watching, also, his mother suffer from this demise, he felt even guiltier, and he gave her all his love. Besides, he owed it to her, to his father as well as to his dead brother.
The guilt and emptiness that he felt left their mark. Over the years, psychological and physical problems were created. He as well as his mother suffered from sleep disorders, sleepwalking and chronic anxiety.
“Money honey, if you want to get along with me.”
On the other hand, he was accustomed to these feelings and thoughts. So, Elvis had built a wall around him and let no one break it. He kept to himself, he didn’t speak much, he didn’t break anyone’s heart and he always tried to have a smile on his lips, in order not to show his real self and his sad feelings.
So, thinking of his brother, Elvis started imagining him. He used to imagine his appearance that definitely, according to Elvis, would resemble him, his character, that would for certain be stronger than his so that he could any time help and support Elvis. Just imagine there would be one more Elvis! It was exactly this love and support that he needed. And in his thoughts, his brother was there, throughout his life, at every step he took.
“There’s no job too immense, when you got confidence.”
Elvis loved the idea of his twin brother. This fact made him feel even more special and different from the others. It was his big secret against humanity.
People close to him, like his best friend, Jerry, and his wife, Priscilla, said that Elvis never mentioned his lost brother, but, on the contrary, he felt guilty that he was the lucky one to survive and that he later became a famous and successful artist.
But he always felt that his brother was next to him and sometimes he was speaking to him secretly. Besides, his mother once said: “When one twin died, the one that lived got all the strength of both.”, giving him courage and hope to move on. Sometimes, Elvis believed that maybe it was better that his brother died before he was even born, because he didn’t need to live in this ugly world, but he lived eternally inside his beautiful heart.
“When things go wrong, don’t go with them.”
Elvis Presley and his love for God
All the issues that concerned Elvis since he was a small child made him find shelter and belief to God and church. He and his mother went to church every week, where he prayed for his family and his brother. “God was not a distant figure up in the sky, but someone walking beside me each and every day.”
And in fact, in his free time he used to go to the steps of the church and listen to the Gospel Choir singing. He loved the music and the singers pronouncing the songs in such harmony. He used to say: “That music became such a part of my life, that it was as natural as dancing. It was a way to escape from problems and my ways of release.”
The church, and particularly his belief in God, gave him strength and hope to go on. There he felt closer to what he believed and even closer to his brother and to heaven.
“I forgot to remember to forget.”
Music as a way of expression
People had noticed from early on that Elvis had an exceptional voice. At the age of ten he gave his first public performance. That year, actually, he got his first guitar, a gift from his parents for his birthday. Elvis loved playing the guitar. He would take it with him everywhere and he would play it with every chance he was given. He never attended singing or guitar lessons. Even at the end of his career, Elvis had never learnt to read notes. But he was self-taught, he observed the singers that he admired and learnt to distinguish the notes aurally.
Later, and after they had moved to Memphis, the little star was exposed to a wide range of music. His dream was to sing in front of an audience and express with his music everything he was keeping inside himself. All he wanted was to touch people and break their hearts with his music. When he had some time, he went to Charlie’s record shop, just to listen to music. Moreover, he was given the opportunity to record at the Memphis Sun Records studio. His first song was the “My happiness”, which he clearly dedicated to his mother.
“Never wait for tomorrow, what if tomorrow never comes?”
Generally, Elvis’ songs refer to people and things that he couldn’t have in his life, like his brother, his mother, his dream for a perfect life and the lost innocence.
Jerry Leiber later mentions: “He had an incredible, attractive instrument that worked in many registers. He could falsetto like Little Richard. He could sing. The equipment was outstanding. His ear was uncanny. His sense of timing was second of none.”
Later, in 1955, he teamed up with a band and worked with Scotty Moore (guitar) and Bill Black (bass). Besides concerts, Elvis started taking part in movies, playing minor roles initially, and later he even played leading roles in a few of the 33 movies that he took part in during his career. Since he was a small kid, his idols were Robert Mitchum, Tony Curtis, and James Dean.
One year later, he gave his first performance at Dorsey Brothers’ Stage Show in NYC. Now as a musician, singer and film actor, Elvis became the most successful star of his era, with many appearances, much tiredness, many parties, little sleep and staying in many different hotels.
“The child needs a helping hand or he’ll grow up to be an angry young man some day.”
The sudden change in his career
It must be highlighted that the band’s start was not perfect. Sun Records was not pleased; until Elvis, during a break, grabbed his guitar and started singing with his one-of-a-kind voice the blues song which was also dedicated to his mother, “That’s All Right”. The other two members of the band followed him and the result was amazing. Surely, he didn’t know how to sing perfectly, but his incredible emotion while singing left the audience astonished. Elvis’ career had just begun.
He knew his skills and believed in himself. When getting up on stage, he gained confidence and the insecurities of his everyday life disappeared. Nineteen years old then, he had come one step closer to his dream. The only thing he lacked was a girlfriend.
After appearances in local nightclubs, he signed an agreement with RCA Records, and the director Colonel Tom Parker, who changed his life for good. Some television shows and few interviews followed, as Elvis was not interested in this kind of promotion.
“Animals don’t hate and we’re supposed to be better than them.”
As time was passing, he realized that his voice suited more to the rhythm of “Rock and Roll”, so he changed direction and devoted himself to songs of this style.
When he was twenty years old, he had already the power of a star, hitting the headlines, like in Variety with a publication with heading “Elvis a millionaire in one year.” He sold more than ten million singles.
The sudden rise of his success changed not only his life, but also that of his parents. With the first money that he got, he bought a piece of land for his father in Graceland in 1957, so that he could build and use it as a farm. Suddenly, poverty became wealth! His father once said: “What happened, El? The last thing I remember is that I was working in a little paint – factory and you were driving a truck.”
The only one who was not so happy was his mother, who was worried about Elvis. She felt that this way she was losing her child, she was afraid of something happening to him and she always had an endless sorrow in her face. She didn’t care about the money. Her son had distanced himself from her and their home was always full with strangers. Nothing was the same anymore. They may have been poor once, but they were united. At that moment, on the contrary, everyone did his own thing. For his mother, the family had fallen apart.
She preferred simple things in life. She couldn’t control Elvis anymore and this was killing her more and more every day.
“I go for all the belles, except the wedding kind.”
The connection between music and Elvis’ experiences
Elvis developed into one of the greatest and most successful stars in the field of music. The secret of his success was the unique way of his performance and the unique style of the songs he chose to sing. Everyone, young people and the elderly, adored him from the first moment they listened to him.
Through his way of expression, he seemed to represent an energy, an optimism, the cute childhood, and the whole America. There was a vitality, a rebelliousness on the stage – a power that affected and touched all those who were listening to him. He seemed to offer to teenagers a new way of life and he helped them interpret themselves differently.
“I’m left, you’re right, and she’s gone. You’re right, and I’m left all alone.”
On stage, he was always unpredictable, to the point that not even the members of the band knew what was going to happen in the next minute and he never gave the same show twice. Elvis always worked with his instinct and nothing was planned – as unplanned his life up to now was. Through singing he used to forget his mother’s worries, the helplessness of his father and his guilt about his brother.
Marion Keisker once said: “He was like a mirror in a way, whatever you were looking for, you were going to find in him. It was not in him to lie or say anything malicious. He had all the intricacy of the very simple.”
Elvis was so much addicted to singing, that when he didn’t sing he was nervous, he could not control his feelings and he could not sleep.
“Now and then, there’s a fool such as I.”
Love is the cure to everything
Getting up on stage, not only did he do what he had always been dreaming of, but also he took from the audience what he was in fact searching for: love. Elvis always believed in its power and he had felt it from his precious mother – nothing could have been compared to that love. But because of the loss of his brother, something was always missing, that not even his own mother could fill.
Here, his audience played their role. They hugged him in any way they could, they cheered for him, they loved him. Elvis as a boy was week, Elvis as a singer felt strong. And he did the same: he loved them more than anything else. He knew that they had made him a star and he owed everything to these people.
He believed that love and the possibility for redemption could sooth his life from his eternal guilt, the difficulties and the negative thoughts he had from time to time, more than his talent.
The once introverted boy, started opening up. Music was now his life, his way of speaking, his was of behaving, his way of expressing himself, his way of not feeling lonely.
“The road to love is full of danger signs.”
Elvis Presley and the women of his life
Elvis and his women – definitely a big topic. While as a little boy he did not pay much attention to the opposite sex, growing up it was, along with his music, one of the most important things. The truth is that he had a special charm, deep eyes, a unique voice, perfect proportions and thick black hair that made women fall for him.
Elvis had met many women in his life. For him, each one of them was something special. He mainly preferred young women, full of freshness and innocence, because he liked taking care of them and feeling that he protects them. He was a very romantic character, and he stated that he had loved every girlfriend that he had. For every parent, Elvis was the perfect potential groom, since he made women crazy with his charm, his impeccable manners and his puerility. Some of the ladies that had a relationship with Elvis were Connie Stevens, Ann-Margret, Candice Bergen, Cybill Shepherd, Linda Thompson and Ginger Alden.
“We can’t build our dreams on suspicious minds.”
What a future Mrs. Presley had to know
Elvis’ requirements were not a few and generally he was quite demanding about the woman he wished to have next to him. This was the reason why so many years had passed until he found his other half.
- Elvis was never monogamous. He justified it by saying that he has so much love inside him that he wants to share it with many women. He had even cheated several times the only woman that he ever married, Priscilla.
- He had no idea about housekeeping and he would never agree to help women with household chores.
- Even though many women had passed from his life, Elvis was determined to marry a virgin woman.
- The woman that would be with him had to be always available and to keep all possible days open for a possible meeting.
- Elvis, on the contrary, was almost never available and he never answered phone calls, which means that there was never a normal communication as a couple.
Also, Elvis always forgot important celebrations, like Christmas and birthdays.
“You’ve got to follow that dream, wherever that dream may lead.”
Elvis’ strange habits
- Elvis always preferred singing and playing music at night sitting on the benches of his neighborhood. He believed that at night the man changes, calms, hushes and has the ability to listen more carefully. At night, nobody cares about appearance, style, facial expressions. Nobody judges you for what you are. The only thing that matters at night is the melody that is heard.
- Elvis loved sleeping during the day and got up only after sunset, like a vampire. At night everything calms down, all the problems disappear, everything is simpler and people show their real selves.
“Life has taught me one big lesson, always keep the girlies guessing.”
Favorite food of Elvis
Elvis loved food and especially the homemade food that his mum was preparing with much love. Some of his favorite tastes were the following:
- Simple Southern fare food
- mama – made fried chicken
- mashed potatoes with gravy burnt bacon
- steak cooked through and through
- eggs and bacon
- home-fried potatoes
- pancakes with applesauce
- ice bottles of Mountain Valley water
Apparently, there were some tastes that Elvis didn’t prefer, or better, detested:
The explanation was very simple. The smell of fish and egg reminded him of their old poor years and the difficult days he and his family had.
Nevertheless, Elvis was mad about one specific recipe of cookies that his mother used to make.
This recipe is written below, exactly as it was originally written down by his grandmother, (Minnie Mae Hood Presley):
“Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind. Memories, sweetened through the ages just like wine.”
- 5 cups self – rising flour
- 1 tsp. Baking soda
- 8 tsp. Sugar
- ½ tsp. Salt
- 1 (1/4 oz.) envelope yeast
- ½ cup lukewarm water
- 1 cup Crisco or other shortening
- 2 cups buttermilk
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt. In a teacup or small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over lukewarm water, stir to dissolve, and then cover with plastic wrap and let sit for about 10 minutes. You want to keep the yeast warm. After the yeast has proofed (it will look bubbly), add the yeast mixture, shortening, and buttermilk to the flour mixture. Mix together well with a wooden spoon or use a Kitchen Aid with dough hook (this is far easier although historically inaccurate). Cover loosely with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place for about an hour. Knead on a floured surface just a little. Put back in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425 F. Take out the amount needed and roll out to about ½ inch thickness on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Cut with biscuit cutter and place biscuits on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Serve it hot with lots of butter.
Perhaps, if we try it, we will bring the same smell to our home that Elvis had in his, and who knows, maybe it becomes our fevourite taste too. Eventually, we may have more things in common withElvis than we believe.
“When we’re dancing it almost feels the same, I’ve got to stop myself from whispering your name.”
Elvis and his relationship with his audience
Unlike other artists, Elvis owed everything to his audience and he was completely dedicated to it. He would always stop for autographs or photographs, no matter how tired or busy he may have been, because he knew very well that they had brought him where he was.
He had turned into a man with childish personal beliefs, doing exactly what pleased him, with money and his imagination supporting him: he lived a life many people wanted to have. He enjoyed the magic ability of money inducing positive energy to others. The offerings to his audience were so that he wouldn’t have the feeling of loneliness. He believed that goodness can unite people. He gave generously to get, not something material, but love!
He pointed out: “They see me as someone who was lifted from poverty and dropped into a world of glamour and excitement. My job is to share that glamour and excitement with them. I want each person to feel I’m performing for him or her,… I love the idea of overwhelming a total stranger with a gift…”
Elvis was very proud of his audience. His audience imitated him and the people listening to him were polite, civilized, they worked hard, they paid their taxes, and they taught their children to hope. They had been taught all these by Elvis.
“I love only one girl, one in every town.”
The stylistic changes of Elvis Presley during his artistic life
His style could be divided into three parts, as during his life he changed rapidly both his appearance and his music and dancing skills:
- 1950’s “The New York Elvis” (purest Elvis with a slouchy lanky jacket àhere we meet Elvis for the first time, as a novice singer at the outset of his career)
- 1960’s “Hollywood Elvis” (neutered Elvis as a wide-eyed country boy à here Elvis is recognized as a singer with his unique vocal and performing skills)
1970’s “The Vegas Elvis” (glamorous Elvis in hand-studded jumpsuits à here Elvis has reached the next and top stage of his career as an entertainer who is revered by the crowd and is turned into the “King of Rock and Roll”)
“I’m with a crowd but oh so alone.”
Throughout his career, Elvis created an individual style which had never existed before in this form. No one looked like him. If we dared comment on his character, we would say that Elvis had extremely good and polite manners. Since he was a small kid, his mother had taught him that regardless of the poverty of their family, he should be honest, show respect to his fellow men and especially to the older ones, not be involved in fights, not interrupt people while discussing and always answer with a “yes, sir” or “no, ma ‘am”. Also, he always won people’s heart with his musicality, he was discreet, he showed compassion, never offended anyone, never had prejudices against others, he was original and the most important thing was that he was not a creation of journalists. A real gentleman.
His style could be characterized as provocative – his clothes, his hair, the way he sang, the way he moved on the stage, the expression in his look, his jokes. In fact, he was declared as “The greatest cultural force in the 20th century.” We could say that he had a bit of everything: Beale Street, the church, the army, Hollywood, Las Vegas, and something from a poor street kid.
Elvis quickly realized the importance of style in the society he lived, as he remarked that: “In a tuxedo, I’m a star. In regular clothes, I’m nobody.”
“It’s not how much you have that makes people look up to you.”
Elvis’ songs were special not only because he wrote them himself and he had a unique way of expressing himself, but also because he felt his songs body and soul, he absolutely believed in them. “I’m never going to record another song I don’t believe in.”
A distinctive feature of Elvis before every concert was the phrase that he used to say and took courage from: “Well, that’s all right mama, that’s all right for you.”
“Make this fire in my soul dear, forever burn”
His military service
In the prime of his career, in 1957, Elvis was called to report to the American army in order to carry out the duties of his military service for two whole years. It certainly was too crucial a period to stay away from publicity, but he saw it as a break and as an opportunity to give to his country even little of what it had offered to him.
Joining the army, he said: “Every able – bodied American boy should go into the service and I’m an able – bodied American boy, so why not?”.
Of course, due to his status he had the opportunity to keep his sideburns and his hair, but he didn’t want to differ from the others for the first time in his life.
The same year, one more tragedy happened, that changed his life once again: the death of his mother. The loss and shock that hit the family were devastating. The house was empty and every time Elvis came back to it, he had no one to speak to and no one to hug. Everything reminded of her and this exactly was what made this place so beautiful and sad at the same time.
“One night of sin is what I’m now paying for.”
Elvis once again felt remorse. Remorse for the little time he used to see her over the last years, remorse for not taking care of her as much as he should. He missed the love of his mum and he knew that nobody could ever replace her.
A true love that had no place in the superficial friendships of the last years. A love without interest. The doom of his mother was something more than this.
Some time later, he was transferred to Germany, from where he was discharged in 1960, giving the money that he got from there to charities.
“What’s the good of reaching 90, if you waste 89?”
The woman of his life
During his service in Germany, Elvis met the 14-year-old Priscilla Beaulieu. At that time, he was 24 years old. This acquaintance was different. After the death of his mother, Elvis might have been searching for a substitute in another woman, who would look like his mother and would love him like her.
Elvis and Priscilla fell in love and he gave everything to make her happy. He was romantic and protective towards her. The only difference that sometimes caused problems was the big difference in age. Priscilla was still a kid, while Elvis had become a man.
Despite her young age, she always tried to protect Elvis and their relationship, and she would never give answers concerning him to strangers.
Priscilla had recently lost her father and she saw in Elvis a substitute, a guardian angel, a protector. For the first time Elvis felt that he could trust a woman after his mother. He spoke to her about his thoughts, his fears, his mother and his love towards her, his career and finally the pressure to fulfill the others’ expectations.
“You’re so square, baby, I don’t care.”
Priscilla tried everything to keep her relationship with Elvis. In the morning she went to school, at night she became Elvis’ girlfriend. Her double life was very tiring, so Elvis offered her pills (Dexedrine), which were the ones that he also used to take all the time so that his body would not be exhausted. Priscilla had never taken those pills and she was worried about Elvis’ use.
Elvis really loved Priscilla. He had finally found what he had always been looking for in a woman: she was timid, quiet, non-smoker and taciturn. Nevertheless, a sex symbol probably wasn’t able to cut his bad habits, resulting in cheating his Priscilla several times. Even though she knew it, she accepted it because she loved him.
Her sadness was more a result of the requirements Elvis had regarding her. We shouldn’t forget that it was about a 14-year-old young girl, who should have been as modest as possible, totally unassertive and follow Elvis’ directions faithfully, so that she could stay by his side.
Time had passed and Elvis had to return to his country, without Priscilla. The only thing that was left now was his uniform and the hope to meet again.
She was disappointed and she had to get used to Elvis’ negligence. They hardly ever communicated. The only thing they did was that she was sending letters to him and he was sending money to her.
After three whole years of distance relationship, Elvis decided to bring his girlfriend to Graceland in 1963. This happening didn’t go unnoticed by the social media of Memphis, since nobody had met her until then. At Elvis’ side, Priscilla learnt the importance of styling and generally she developed into a fine lady, who underwent a lot of pressure, though, for now she belonged publicly to the sexiest man of her time.
But his habits and the scandals involving him and other women irritated Priscilla. In 1967, Priscilla and Elvis got married in absolute secrecy in Las Vegas. This would surely disappoint many women, but it did not bother him. Some time later, Priscilla got pregnant and gave birth to the daughter of Elvis, named Lisa Marie.
“Do what’s right for you, as long as I don’t hurt no one.”
Elvis Presley’s last years
During the last years of his career, Elvis continued starring in movies and releasing record-breaking songs. In 1968, he even used to appear in a particular channel which played his music continuously.
One year before, Presley had broken up with his then wife, which hit him very hard. Successful now, but alone, Elvis started becoming peculiarly distant and constantly gaining weight, even though when he was younger he used to take care of his body by exercising daily.
“I have much more money than I could spend, I have thousands of fans out there and many people saying that they are my friends. However, I am the saddest young man you have ever seen…”
“I don’t want to be a tiger, tigers play too rough. I don’t want to be a lion, cause lions ain’t the kind you love up.”
Elvis suffered from chronic fatigue, resulting in him taking several pills per day in order to stay awake. The pills gave him energy, but gradually destroyed his body without him realizing it. His audience became aware of his mental and physical decline, because of his poor performance on stage. He had lost his dignity, he was not himself and he was exhausted mentally and physically. He mentioned: “We pay the price for fame with our nerves.”
His health deteriorated considerably. Elvis suffered from coronary heart disease, hypertension, had bad living habits and extreme lifestyle. Eventually, Elvis Presley, when he was only 42 years old, breathed his last on August 16, 1977 due to heart failure, in the bathroom of his home in Memphis. The cause: drug overdose. He was buried in Graceland, close to the graves of his mother and father. Hundreds of people he knew and strangers attended his funeral to honor him. Everything hushed, like time had stopped.
Years later, he remains a legend and he is still successful. So, what would he say if he knew that? Maybe then he would have found the love he was looking for in the honor that he is given even nowadays.
“I’ve spent a life time waiting for the right time, now that you’re near, the time is here at last.”
Elvis Presley – a wonderful person
A handsome and special man, who loved his mother, put on mascara and sang like an angel. He always looked happy, but only he knew if he really was. And what really made Elvis unique? Certainly not his perfection, but his humanity and simplicity instead.
Today, he is linked to a stylistic nickname for a particular kind of clothing, life and behavior. For sure, his brother would have been very proud of him.
Elvis managed to prove that it is possible to create your own world, simply relying on style, beliefs, talent and love! He inspired singers from many parts of the world to make their own songs based on his music.
“When I was a child, I was a dreamer. I read comic books, and I was the hero of the comic book. I saw movies and I was the hero in every movie.” In fact, Elvis made it to become the hero of his own life and to fill many hearts with love. A love that he may never have received himself.
“When I first saw you with your smile so tender, my heart was captured, my soul surrendered.”
Facts about Elvis
- Elvis had the famous crooked smile
- His movements with his pelvis gave him the nickname “Elvis, the pelvis”
- He usually wore jumpsuits and white sequined costumes with rhinestones
- He had a deep and powerful voice with southern accent
- The back of his head was often oily
- He was known to his friends and his audience for his exceptionally kind and generous personality
- At some point in his life he weighed 113 kg
- In the last year of his life, doctors gave him about 10,000 pills
- He signed his autographs on peculiar spots of his female fans, like “Elvis” on the left breast and “Presley” on the right one
- He hated fish, and he didn’t even let his daughter, Lisa Marie, eat it
- He enjoyed smoking slim German cigarettes
- He dyed his hair, so that it looked darker on television
- He used to dye his eyelashes too, which caused health problems later
- He spoke with a slight stutter
- His daughter got married later to the well-known to everyone Michael Jackson
- He was a nominee for 14 Grammy awards, winning 3 times
Quotes of Elvis Presley
Below, you will be able to be inspired by Elvis Presley’s greatest quotes:
|Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man; but for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.|
|The army teaches boys to think like men.|
|It’s human nature to gripe, but I’m going ahead and doing the best I can.|
|Until we meet again, may God bless you as he has blessed me.|
|I’m not trying to be sexy. It’s just my way of expressing myself when I move around.|
|From the time I was a kid, I always knew something was going to happen to me. Didn’t know exactly what.|
|That’s why I hate to get started in these jam sessions. I’m always the last one to leave.|
|Those people in New York are not gonna change me none.|
|I like to sing ballads the way Eddie Fisher does and the way Perry Como does. But the way I’m singing now is what makes the money.|
|I’ve never written a song in my life. It’s all a big hoax.|
|Just because I managed to do a little something, I don’t want anyone back home to think I got the big head.|
|My movements, ma’am, are all leg movements. I don’t do nothing with my body.|
|I think I have something tonight that’s not quite correct for evening wear. Blue suede shoes.|
|The colored folks been singing it and playing it just like I’m doin’ now, man, for more years than I know. I got it from them.|
|I’m no hillbilly singer.|
|I’m strictly for Stevenson. I don’t dig the intellectual bit, but I’m telling you, man, he knows the most.|
|I was an overnight sensation.|
|When I got outta High School I was driving a truck. I was just a poor boy from Memphis, Memphis.|
|I’ve been getting some bad publicity – but you got to expect that.|
|They put me on television. And the whole thing broke loose. It was wild, I tell ya for sure.|
|I like entertaining people. I really miss it.|
|I was an only child, and Mother was always right with me all my life. I used to get very angry at her when I was growing up-it’s a natural thing.|
|I’ve tried to lead a straight, clean life, not set any kind of a bad example.|
|I’ll never make it, it will never happen, because they’re never going to hear me ’cause they’re screaming all the time.|
|I’ll never feel comfortable taking a strong drink, and I’ll never feel easy smoking a cigarette. I just don’t think those things are right for me.|
|Man that record came out and was real big in Memphis. They started playing it, and it got real big. Don’t know why-the lyrics had no meaning.|
|I’m trying to keep a level head. You have to be careful out in the world. It’s so easy to get turned.|
|I miss my singing career very much.|
|I’ll stay in Memphis.|
|After a hard day of basic training, you could eat a rattlesnake.|
|I learned how important it is to entertain people and give them a reason to come and watch you play.|
|Every time I think that I’m getting old, and gradually going to the grave, something else happens.|
|I’m so nervous. I’ve always been nervous, ever since I was a kid.|
|I don’t think I’m bad for people. If I did think I was bad for people, I would go back to driving a truck, and I really mean this.|
|When I was a boy, I always saw myself as a hero in comic books and in movies. I grew up believing this dream.|
|I hope I didn’t bore you too much with my life story.|
|The closest I ever came to getting married was just before I started singing. In fact, my first record saved my neck.|
|I don’t know anything about music. In my line you don’t have to.|
|More than anything else, I want the folks back at home to think right of me.|
|A live concert to me is exciting because of all the electricity that is generated in the crowd and on stage. It’s my favorite part of the business, live concerts.|
|Man, I really like Vegas.|
|The Lord can give, and the Lord can take away. I might be herding sheep next year.|
|I was training to be an electrician. I suppose I got wired the wrong way round somewhere along the line.|
|I have no use for bodyguards, but I have very specific use for two highly trained certified public accountants.|
|Rock and roll music, if you like it, if you feel it, you can’t help but move to it. That’s what happens to me. I can’t help it.’|
|I never expected to be anybody important.|
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Filmography of Elvis Presley
- Change of Habit (1969)
- The Trouble with Girls (1969)
- Charro! (1969)
- Live a Little, Love a Little (1968)
- Speedway (1968)
- Stay Away, Joe (1968)
- Clambake (1967)
- Double Trouble (1967)
- Easy Come, Easy Go (1967)
- Spinout (1966)
- Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966)
- Frankie and Johnny (1966)
- Harum Scarum (1965)
- Tickle Me (1965)
- Girl Happy (1965)
- Roustabout (1964)
- Viva Las Vegas (1964)
- Kissin’ Cousins (1964)
- Fun in Acapulco (1963)
- It Happened at the World’s Fair (1963)
- Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962)
- Kid Galahad (1962)
- Follow That Dream (1962)
- Blue Hawaii (1961)
- Wild in the Country (1961)
- Flaming Star (1960)
- I. Blues (1960)
- King Creole (1958)
- Jailhouse Rock (1957)
- Loving You (1957)
- Love Me Tender (1956)