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" The last couple of years have been a write-off, though I'm beginning to feel like a person now. My energy is coming back. "
" The performances you have in your head are always much better than the performances on stage. "
" I like the ephemeral thing about theatre, every performance is like a ghost - it's there and then it's gone. "
" I longed to be bright and most certainly never was. I was rather hopeless, I suspect. "
" Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes. "
" My career is chequered. Then I think I got pigeon-holed in humour; Shakespeare is not my thing. "
" I said 'It can't go on' and he said 'No, it can't.' Honestly, I don't think I could have mattered less to him by then. But by then, nothing mattered to him. "
" When you get into the granny era, you're lucky to get anything. "
" I believe that I am past my prime. I had reckoned on my prime lasting till I was at least fifty. "
" The chemotherapy was very peculiar, something that makes you feel much worse than the cancer itself, a very nasty thing. I used to go to treatment on my own, and nearly everybody else was with somebody. I wouldn't have liked that. Why would you want to make anybody sit in those places? "
" If you're lucky, I think you know what you want to do with your life. I think that's a greater gift that any of the gifts you might have when you do know, if you know what I mean. It must be awful to not know what to do. "
" I had been feeling a little rum. I didn't think it was anything serious because years ago I felt a lump and it was benign. I assumed this would be too. It kind of takes the wind out of your sails, and I don't know what the future holds, if anything. "
" I loved Robert Altman, so gentle yet naughty! And Julian Fellowes writes so beautifully. "
" It's true I don't tolerate fools but then they don't tolerate me, so I am spiky. Maybe that's why I'm quite good at playing spiky elderly ladies. "
" I have many good friends, but I tend to keep to myself anyway. It's odd, doing things and having no one to share them with. "
" People say it gets better but it doesn't. It just gets different, that's all. "
" I've been playing old parts forever. I play 93 quite often. When you've done it more than once, you take the hint. I think it's a great burden if you're one of those fantastic stars who've always been beautiful; then I think it's hard. "
" There is a kind of invisible thread between the actor and the audience, and when it's there it's stunning, and there is nothing to match that. "
" When I started acting almost 50 years ago, it wasn't about fame. It was about acting. "
" The thing is, often press people ask questions that are so personal that even your nearest and dearest wouldn't ask them. "
" I like being outside and working with the elements. The elemental aspects of it. The physicality of it. "
" There's a difference between solitude and loneliness. "
" There's this wonderful first assistant and he'll be saying, 'Now Harry goes down among the dragons.' You have to hold yourself together. Because if you lose it for a second then you're sunk. "
" Chris and Toby are far too sane to be upset any more. "
" Listen, I must be 110 by now. Granny is going to kick the bucket at some point. "