Famous last words

marilyn monroe face

Read the famous words of those who failed to recognize outstanding talent before them. If they had listened to the so-called experts, Marilyn Monroe would have been a secretary, Elvis Presley a delivery boy, and Beethoven would not have been a composer. 
Click and listen to the pronunciation of their names.

Marilyn Monroe

“You’d better learn secretarial work or else get married”. This is precisely what Emmeline Snively, former fashion model and director of the renowned Blue Book Modelling Agency, told Norma Jean Baker, an aspiring model, in 1944. Later on, Norma Jean became Marilyn Monroe.

The Beatles

"Guitar groups are on the way out. The Beatles have no future in show business". It was 1962 and an experienced manager of Decca Records, the label of Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday, refused to sign the Fab Four to a contract after an audition.

Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds

It was 1959. A Universal Studios producer dismissed Clint Eastwood with these words: "Your Adam’s apple sticks out too far, you talk too slow, and you have a chipped tooth you are not getting it fixed." 
The same year, it was Burt Reynolds's turn to be fired by the same Universal Studios producer with this remark: "Mr. Reynolds, you have no talent.”

Elvis Presley 

"Stick to truck driving because you're never going to make it as a singer". It was 1953 and the musician and singer Eddie Bond, who was auditioning for his band, rejected the 18-year-old Elvis Presley, advising him to stick with his truck driving. Shortly after, the man who would later become "The King of Rock and Roll" recorded his first single with Sun Records.

George Orwell 

"I am not sure… this is the right point of view from which to criticize the political situation at the present time". So read the rejection letter for the publication of an unusual work entitled Animal Farm George Orwell received in 1944 from T. S. Eliot, director of the publishing house Faber and Faber at the time. Orwell did not get discouraged and, the following year, he tried with British publishers Secker & Warburg: the masterpiece was published. 

Fred Astaire 

"Can't act. Can't sing. Balding. Can dance a little". A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer producer, who evaluated Frederick Austerlitz's first screen test for a film in 1928, had no hesitation in rejecting him. Too bad he was the future Fred Astaire.

Rudyard Kipling 

“I'm sorry, Mr. Kipling, but you just don't know how to use the English language”. These were the exact words that an editor for the daily San Francisco Examiner said to Rudyard Kipling in 1889. Eight years later, in 1907, the author of The Jungle Book won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Ronald Reagan 

"He doesn’t have a presidential look". It was 1964, and at the United Artists, they were looking for an actor to play the President of the United States in the film The Best Man. Ronald Reagan did not get that part for the reason above-mentioned. 17 years later, he became the 40th President of the United States of America.

Ludwig van Beethoven 

"An orgy of vulgar noise". This was the curt judgment of the celebrated German composer Louis Spohr after listening to the Fifth Symphony by a then unknown Ludwig van Beethoven, in 1808.

Giuseppe Verdi

“Forget about the Conservatorio: find a private teacher”. Giuseppe Verdi, the most famous Italian composer of all time, in June 1832, applied as a paying student to the Conservatorio di Milano, the renowned school of music in Milan. He was rejected because he had just turned 18, which was the maximum permitted age, and he was said to have a wrong technique in the posture of his hand.
The school was later renamed Il Conservatorio di musica Giuseppe Verdi in his honour.

27 October 2023
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