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May 20 Notable Births, with Quotes

Published by: Carolyn Brooks Fleming on May 19, 2022.

Explore memorable and revealing quotes from public figures, past and present, who were born on May 20.

Timothy Olyphant, actor (May 20, 1968–present)

“No one ever said to me the greatest thing about ‘Deadwood’ was the plot.” —Timothy Olyphant
Meslow, Scott. “Timothy Olyphant’s Moment Is Now, Then, and Always.” GQ, May 30, 2019, https://www.gq.com/story/timothy-olyphant-profile.

“When you find yourself in Eastern Europe—with your head shaved, in a movie that really you have no business doing, but you need the money—you start thinking: ‘What do you want? It's not enough to just say you just want to be a star of a big movie.’” —Timothy Olyphant
Meslow, Scott. “Timothy Olyphant’s Moment Is Now, Then, and Always.” GQ, May 30, 2019, https://www.gq.com/story/timothy-olyphant-profile.

Cher, singer and actor (May 20, 1946–present)

“We’ve gone backwards 20 years. We were making great progress and now all these conservative people don’t want black people voting, they don’t want Latino people voting. They don’t want trans people here. They want to go back to the 50s; antebellum days, if they could.” —Cher
Hattenstone, Simon. “Cher at 74: ‘There are 20-year-old girls who can’t do what I do.’” The Guardian, December 14, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2020/dec/14/cher-at-74-there-are-20-year-old-girls-who-cant-do-what-i-do.

“I don’t like going out now because everybody’s got a camera and it’s not safe. People rush you, and you don’t know if they’re going to kill you or take your picture. Either way, I don’t like it.” —Cher
Hattenstone, Simon. “Cher at 74: ‘There are 20-year-old girls who can’t do what I do.’” The Guardian, December 14, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2020/dec/14/cher-at-74-there-are-20-year-old-girls-who-cant-do-what-i-do.

Joe Cocker, singer (May 20, 1944–December 22, 2014)

“I took my dad to Rock Around the Clock with Bill Haley and he was absolutely horrified. To him it was the start of something new, and he was dead right. I used to go out and dress in all the insane rock'n'roll clothes, and he never got it. Until I was on ‘Top of the Pops.’” —Joe Cocker
Hann, Michael. “Joe Cocker: ‘I took black acid once … it was a very dark trip.’” The Guardian, January 31, 2013, https://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/jan/31/joe-cocker-took-black-acid-once.

“I actually saw myself with Eric Clapton – you know you see all your old stuff on YouTube now – and I was horrified at myself, with my arms just flailing around. I guess that came with my frustration at never having played piano or guitar. If you see me nowadays I'm not quite so animated, but it's just a way of trying to get feeling out – I get excited and it all comes through my body.” —Joe Cocker
Hann, Michael. “Joe Cocker: ‘I took black acid once … it was a very dark trip.’” The Guardian, January 31, 2013, https://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/jan/31/joe-cocker-took-black-acid-once.

Moshe Dayan, politician and military leader (May 20, 1915–October 16, 1981)

“A generation of settlement are we, and without the steel helmet and the maw of the cannon we shall not plant a tree, nor build a house. Our children shall not have lives to live if we do not dig shelters; and without the barbed wire fence and the machine gun, we shall not pave a path nor drill for water.” —Moshe Dayan
Ginsberg, Mitch. “When Moshe Dayan delivered the defining speech of Zionism.” The Times of Israel, April 28, 2016, https://www.timesofisrael.com/when-moshe-dayan-delivered-the-defining-speech-of-zionism/.

“The millions of Jews, annihilated without a land, peer out at us from the ashes of Israeli history and command us to settle and rebuild a land for our people.” —Moshe Dayan
Ginsberg, Mitch. “When Moshe Dayan delivered the defining speech of Zionism.” The Times of Israel, April 28, 2016, https://www.timesofisrael.com/when-moshe-dayan-delivered-the-defining-speech-of-zionism/.

Jimmy Stewart, actor (May 20, 1908–July 2, 1997)

“I sort of got a heavy crush on every girl that was in every picture I did.” —Jimmy Stewart
Merrill, Reba. “A Charming Last Interview with Jimmy Stewart.” YouTube, November 26, 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuRyciCmhGE.

“The name ‘movie star’ is all right, but I never thought of myself like that. I like to call myself an actor.” —Jimmy Stewart
Merrill, Reba. “A Charming Last Interview with Jimmy Stewart.” YouTube, November 26, 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuRyciCmhGE.

Honore de Balzac, novelist and playwright (May 20, 1799–August 18, 1850)

“Reading brings us unknown friends.” —Honore de Balzac
Balzac, Honore de. “The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Works Of Balzac.” Project Gutenberg, February 3, 2019, https://www.gutenberg.org/files/31565/31565-h/31565-h.htm.

“Laws are like spiders’ webs; the big flies get through, while the little ones are caught.” —Honore de Balzac
Balzac, Honore de. “The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Works Of Balzac.” Project Gutenberg, February 3, 2019, https://www.gutenberg.org/files/31565/31565-h/31565-h.htm.

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