“Taking in and blowing out smoke? And now you see girls smoking cigars. It got to be such a fad. Girls on the covers of magazines, smoking cigars. Give me a break. I didn’t want to be part of that. I don’t like ‘popular’.”
“It was the desire to do the complete thing. I only took acting lessons because my whole thing, really, was to direct. But my first jobs were acting jobs.”
“Studios have been trying to get rid of the actor for a long time and now they can do it. They got animation. No more actor, although for now they still have to borrow a voice or two. Anyway, I find it abhorrent.”
“The Magnificent Seven was really kind of a miraculous event that took place in my life.”
“First job I went out on in New York I got, and when I came back, the first job I went out on, I got.”
”My my my. Wow. You know, I’ve been around here — I’ve been working and doing this work for like over half my life. And I finally got one right, I guess. See, some of them you do for money, some of them you do for love. This is a love child.”
Year: 1998 (71st) Academy Awards
Category: Actor in a Supporting Role
Film Title: Affliction
Winner: James Coburn
Presenter: Kim Basinger
Date & Venue: March 21, 1999; Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
Quotes About James Coburn
“He looked like the child of the liaison between Lt Pinkerton and Madame Butterfly.”
— Pauline Kael, legendary film critic, remarked on Coburn’s unusual characteristics.
“He was a guy who looked like he was casual, but he studied and he worked and he understood character.”
— Hillard Elkins, James Coburn’s manager.
“The masculine male.”
— George Hickenlooper, who directed Coburn in The Man From Elysian Fields.
“The personification of class, the hippest of the hip.”
— Andy Garcia.
“He was of that 50’s generation. He had that part hipster, part cool-cat aura about him. He was one of those kind of men who were formed by the Rat Pack kind of style.”
— Paul Schrader.
“Coburn is a modern rarity: an actor who projects lazy, humorous sexuality…he was the best thing in his movies, smiling privately, seeming to suggest that he was in contact with some profound source of amusement.”