Frances Farmer

American actress (1913–1970)

Frances Elena Farmer (19 September 19131 August 1970) was an American film actress.

Quotes edit

  • If a person is treated like a patient, they are apt to act like one.
    • This Is Your Life television show
  • I didn't think then, and I still don't, that I was actually sick.
    • This Is Your Life television show
  • There comes a point when a dream becomes reality and reality becomes a dream.
    • As quoted in "True Frances Farmer story remains elusive" by Rita Rose in The Indianapolis Star (23 January 1983)
  • It was pretty sad, because for the first time I found how stupid people could be. It sort of made me feel alone in the world. The more people pointed at me in scorn the more stubborn I got and when they began calling me the Bad Girl of West Seattle High, I tried to live up to it.
    • On reaction to her high school essay "God Dies", Collier's magazine, (8 May 1937)
  • What they had me doing first was autographing copies of Come and Get It at the Bon Marche, where I had been fired a couple of years back. That was bad enough but think of me autographing a book written by somebody else. That took crust but it didn't turn out so badly because when I got to the store, about twenty people finally strolled in and looked at me from a distance and kept their buying firmly in control. What the Goldwyn people had forgotten was that up that way I'm still remembered as the freak from West Seattle High.
    • Collier's magazine, (8 May 1937)
  • [Hollywood]: It's a nuthouse. The other day a man phoned and wanted me to endorse a certain brand of cigarettes. I had nothing against them and in fact will smoke them or anything else that comes along, but I didn't know why he was bothering me. I thought maybe if I was nice they'd give me a carton as a thank offering, so I rather tentatively broached the matter of remuneration. What was the endorsement worth, I asked, and he said three thousand dollars. What are you going to do in an atmosphere like that?
    • Collier's magazine, (8 May 1937)
  • I do not know Tyrone Power. I fucked him a lot, but I do not know him. Gentlemen, this meeting is over.

God Dies (1931) edit

An essay with which she won first prize in a writing contest during high school.
  • I went to Sunday School and liked the stories about Christ and the Christmas star. They were beautiful. They made you warm and happy to think about. But I didn't believe them. The Sunday School teacher talked too much in the way our grade school teacher used to when she told us about George Washington. Pleasant, pretty stories, but not true.
  • Religion was too vague. God was different. He was something real, something I could feel. But there were only certain times when I could feel it. I used to lie between cool, clean sheets at night after I'd had a bath, after I had washed my hair and scrubbed my knuckles and finger-nails and teeth. Then I could lie quite still in the dark with my face to the window with the trees in it, and talk to God. "I am clean, now. I've never been as clean. I'll never be cleaner." And somehow, it was God. I wasn't sure that it was… just something cool and dark and clean.
  • I couldn't get that same feeling during the day, with my hands in dirty dish water and the hard sun showing up the dirtiness on the roof tops. And after a time, even at night, the feeling of God didn't last. I began to wonder what the minister meant when he said, "God, the father, sees even the smallest sparrow fall. He watches over all his children." That jumbled it all up for me. But I was sure of one thing. If God were a father, with children, that cleanliness I had been feeling wasn't God. So at night, when I went to bed, I would think, "I am clean. I am sleepy." And then I went to sleep. It didn't keep me from enjoying the cleaness any less. I just knew that God wasn't there. He was a man on a throne in Heaven, so he was easy to forget.
  • I wondered a little why God was such a useless thing. It seemed a waste of time to have him. After that he became less and less, until he was… nothingness.

Quotes about Farmer edit

  • Frances was a rebel when it wasn't fashionable — a free-thinking woman of the '30s and '40s whose outspoken nature, shocking language and anti-social behavior landed her in jails and mental institutions.
    • Rita Rose in The Indianapolis Star (23 January 1983)
  • The nicest thing I can say about Frances Farmer is that she is unbearable.
    • Director William Wyler, after working with her on the film Come and Get It (1936), as quoted in Blackface to Blacklist : Al Jolson, Larry Parks, and The Jolson Story (1998) by Doug McClelland

External links edit

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