I wanted the attention I missed at home, so I became the leader of a gang. That way, I got attention and was recognized as being important. It wasn't a bad gang - you know, in poor districts in New York, there's a gang to every block. We never robbed at the point of a gun; we'd steal potatoes from a grocery store, or crackers.
Must I tell the story of my life again?
Reading is important.
I always wanted to be in the limelight, and I found I could get it by being on the stage. That was the beginning of everything for me.
I believe the more successful an actor becomes, the more chances he should take. An actor never stops learning.
I did a lot of jobs when I was a kid - paper boy, grocery boy, all those things. I guess maybe I got a point of view then.
I didn't learn anything about acting until I joined the Group Theatre. They taught me an entirely new approach, an entirely new technique.
I lived in a bad neighborhood. I knew so many things a boy shouldn't know. I did so many things a boy shouldn't do.
There was a revolution going on at home. Why didn't I earn some money? Why didn't I do something practical, like chicken farming?
There was no convincing me that a stepmother could be anything but a wicked ogre, and I acted accordingly.
To my surprise, I discovered that I could act, and I liked it even better than boxing.
There are many films in which minority groups are caricatured to the point where truth is all together lost. There are many more films, good in general, but untrue in their presentation of the Negro's life as totally divorced from the Caucasian's or the Caucasian's from the Negro.
When an actor doesn't face a conflict, he loses confidence in himself. I always want to have a struggle because I believe it will help me accomplish more.
When I think back, the neighbors were always sayin', 'Oh, that poor Julie, that poor orphan.' I loved it. The Italians would invite me in for dinner - it was an Italian neighborhood mostly. Oh, I loved it.