Quod erat Hepburn

John Bayley

  • Katharine Hepburn: A Biography by Anne Edwards
    Hodder, 395 pp, £12.95, March 1986, ISBN 0 340 33719 2

As Sartre demonstrates in his play Kean, the great actor, however many different roles he plays, has to become an actor in the absolute sense, has to play that role in life, so that living and acting can no longer be distinguished. Waiters pretend to be waiters, until it becomes their proper nature. It is the same with writers and artists. Byron or David or Robert Lowell cannot slink off and become their ordinary selves in the intervals of being poets and painters and men of the age. Greta Garbo is always Greta Garbo, once she has found the part.

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