Oral History: Rodney Dangerfield’s No Regrets

by Jack Tewksbury June 20, 2019
Comedian Rodney Dangerfield

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For over 40 years the HFPA has recorded famous and celebrated actresses, actors and filmmakers. The world's largest collection of its kind - over 10,000  items - is now in the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Margaret Herrick Library.

In this excerpt from our archives from the 1980s, one of our funniest actors, comedians and stand up comics, Rodney Dangerfield, explains how he sees life decisions.

“When you look back upon your life and you think of things you’ve done when you’re younger and romances you’ve had, marriages you’ve had, you say ‘Where was I at?’ At the time it made sense. You don’t regret it at the time. As you grow older you change drastically in many areas, so you can regret a lot of things you did.  But then was then and your head now is now so at the time it makes sense.

People are constantly changing and changing so everyone can have regrets if they want to say ‘I shouldn’t have done this, shouldn’t do that’, and as you go through anyone’s life I’m sure there are many, many things you say 'I shouldn’t have done (that).  Shouldn’t have gone in that business. Shouldn’t have stayed with him.'  Who the hell knows, right? But everyone will have regrets but you can’t look at it that way because you’re growing and learning. At the time, it made sense,  then you grow - and so I have no regrets.  I guess I did things that whoa! took big chunks out of my life that were ridiculous and everything else but you can’t – that’s it. You’re growing up, you  know, you learn.”