Quotation by Helen Hayes

The flattering, if arbitrary, label, First Lady of the Theatre, takes its toll. The demands are great, not only in energy but eventually in dramatic focus. It is difficult, if not impossible, for a star to occupy an inch of space without bursting seams, cramping everyone else's style and unbalancing a play. No matter how self-effacing a famous player may be, he makes an entrance as a casual neighbor and the audience interest shifts to the house next door.
Helen Hayes (1900–1993), U.S. actor. On Reflection, ch. 6 (1968).

Hayes, a professional actress from age five until into her seventies, was by this time routinely referred to as the "First Lady of the Theater."
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