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" You talk about what a director, he was smart. He said, Turn the camera on! "
" I used to take girls out on a date to Night Court. And I'll tell you, most girls, they got a kick out of going to Night Court. 'Cause you get a lot of laughs... and it's cheap. "
" In 1958, I was shooting a movie in Florida, and I decided to go to Havana, Cuba, to see what it was like. "
" It helps an actor an awful lot when he looks like the part. There's nothing more disconcerting, that makes you more anxious or more insecure, than when you don't look like who you're supposed to be. "
" Certainly, you envy the guys that have done all kinds of things, a variety of good scripts and good directors. Then again, having worked with Cassavetes has satisfied a big part of that. "
" I used to dread somebody saying, 'Whatsa matter with your eye?' "
" You think you're in another civilization, another time, and then you see antennas coming out of these hovels, and your mouth falls open when you see the descendants of the Incas shouting 'Columbo! Columbo!' "
" My father's whole life was work. He had a retail store in Ossining, New York, and I mean, he was down there at 6:15 every morning. The store didn't open until 9, but he hadda be down there. That's all he knew. "
" I've been there a thousand years, and I never felt comfortable. Beverly Hills - when I first saw it, I thought they put it up this morning. You got to pack water to get to the drugstore. "
" Hartford had the Mark Twain Masquers, which was fantastic. They had been in business I don't know how many years. They knew how to build sets and sell tickets and put on a play. My day started at night. When I left the office, that's when my day began. "
" Along came a police lieutenant named Columbo, and my life would never be the same. "
" I don't like getting up in the morning, getting in a car, driving on a freeway, and stopping at a gate where two guards are standing there, then walk into a studio that looks like a bunch of airplane hangars. "
" If I'm a guy reading a newspaper, and I hear this actor who I know gets great seats at basketball games, and he's complaining about being typecast, I think, 'Hey man, count your blessings.' "
" Most people think glamor is happiness. "
" I think people identify with Columbo because he is an average man. "
" You thought the stage, you thought Broadway: that was the pot at the end of the rainbow. The idea of being in Hollywood was like going to the Moon or Mars. "
" Before we ever had a script or anything, I was attracted to the idea of playing a character that housed within himself two opposing traits. "
" Strange thing, this television. "
" My wife loves to get all dressed up and go out, and I'm this gloomy Virgo. It works because of the mutual recognition that we are two democratic narcissists. She does what she has to do, and I do what I have to do. We respect that. "
" If it wasn't for the Mark Twain Masquers, I don't know where my life would have gone. "
" In the beginning, when you're acting in amateur theater and off-Broadway, it was unheard of that anyone else would get your costume. And it was important to get a good costume. You put time into that. "
" Sure, I miss some things about the stage. The thing I like is the immediacy. But then I complain, 'I gotta do the same part for six months.' "
" When I was a kid, the idea of gettin' paid to paint your face... listen, I grew up in Ossining, New York, a nice little town by the Hudson, and nothin' ever interested me except being your usual high school big shot, which I was an' loved it, played all the sports and goofed around, always out on the street with the guys, everything was funny t'me. "
" I'm old fashioned. I really think you should know how to draw before you start painting. I use charcoal and graphite; I put a skylight in. In my house, I turned the garage into an art studio. So I'm awash in art studios. "
" Usually, I get hired because I'm tall. "
" Sometimes I was in school plays, but only when the kid they'd originally picked got sick and they asked me to substitute. "
" I came to Hollywood and nobody knew me. I was on a coupla TV shows. "
" I hate to talk about typecasting, because being typecast as Columbo ain't cancer. "
" I've never worried about the grand concepts. "
" I didn't become an actor until I was an old man of 28 or 29. I declared to the world that I was an actor. Nobody heard me, but I did declare it. "
" There isn't an Eskimo who doesn't love 'Columbo.' "