Woody Allen is a gargantuan figure in the world of cinema. Over a career that spans 60 years, he has won 4 Academy Awards and, in the process, created some of the greatest classics in hollywood, including Annie Hall (1977), Manhattan (1979), and Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), although he considers Stardust Memories (1980), The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), and Match Point (2005).

While revered as a comedic genius, he has also written some of the most touching lines in the English language. See below for our favourite quotes from this greatly revered figure.

I Am Not Afraid Of Death

“I’m not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”
– Woody Allen

The Question

“I don’t know the question, but sex is definitely the answer.”
– Woody Allen

In My Next Life

“In my next life I want to live my life backwards. You start out dead and get that out of the way. Then you wake up in an old people’s home feeling better every day. You get kicked out for being too healthy, go collect your pension, and then when you start work, you get a gold watch and a party on your first day. You work for 40 years until you’re young enough to enjoy your retirement. You party, drink alcohol, and are generally promiscuous, then you are ready for high school. You then go to primary school, you become a kid, you play. You have no responsibilities, you become a baby until you are born. And then you spend your last 9 months floating in luxurious spa-like conditions with central heating and room service on tap, larger quarters every day and then Voila! You finish off as an orgasm!”
– Woody Allen

Life & Art

“Life doesn’t imitate art, it imitates bad television.”
– Woody Allen

Make God Laugh

“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.”
– Woody Allen

Attraction & Love

“Men learn to love the woman they are attracted to. Women learn to become attracted to the man they fall in love with.”
– Woody Allen

To Love Is To Suffer

“To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer; not to love is to suffer; to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be happy one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness.”
– Woody Allen

The Horrible & The Miserable

“I feel that life is divided into the horrible and the miserable. That’s the two categories. The horrible are like, I don’t know, terminal cases, you know, and blind people, crippled. I don’t know how they get through life. It’s amazing to me. And the miserable is everyone else. So you should be thankful that you’re miserable, because that’s very lucky, to be miserable.”
– Woody Allen

God

“If it turns out that there is a God…the worst that you can say about him is that basically he’s an underachiever.”
– Woody Allen

Living To A Hundred

“You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred.”
– Woody Allen

Jesus

“If Jesus came back and saw what was being done in his name, he’d never stop throwing up.”
– Woody Allen

Life

“Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering – and it’s all over much too soon.”
– Woody Allen

Bisexuality

“Bisexuality immediately doubles your chances for a date on Saturday night.”
– Woody Allen

“The artist’s job is not to succumb to despair but to find an antidote for the emptiness of existence.”
– Woody Allen

Tradition

“Tradition is the illusion of permanence.”
– Woody Allen

Agonizing Decisions

“We’re all faced throughout our lives with agonizing decisions, moral choices. Some are on a grand scale, most of these choices are on lesser points. But we define ourselves by the choices we have made. We are, in fact, the sum total of our choices. Events unfold so unpredictably, so unfairly, Human happiness does not seem to be included in the design of creation. it is only we, with our capacity to love that give meaning to the indifferent universe. And yet, most human beings seem to have the ability to keep trying and even try to find joy from simple things, like their family, their work, and from the hope that future generations might understand more.”
– Woody Allen

All Men Fear Death

“All men fear death. It’s a natural fear that consumes us all. We fear death because we feel that we haven’t loved well enough or loved at all, which ultimately are one and the same. However, when you make love with a truly great woman, one that deserves the utmost respect in this world and one that makes you feel truly powerful, that fear of death completely disappears. Because when you are sharing your body and heart with a great woman the world fades away. You two are the only ones in the entire universe. You conquer what most lesser men have never conquered before, you have conquered a great woman’s heart, the most vulnerable thing she can offer to another. Death no longer lingers in the mind. Fear no longer clouds your heart. Only passion for living, and for loving, become your sole reality. This is no easy task for it takes insurmountable courage. But remember this, for that moment when you are making love with a woman of true greatness you will feel immortal.

I believe that love that is true and real creates a respite from death. All cowardice comes from not loving or not loving well, which is the same thing. And when the man who is brave and true looks death squarely in the face like some rhino hunters I know or Belmonte, who is truly brave, it is because they love with sufficient passion to push death out of their minds. Until it returns, as it does to all men. And then you must make really good love again. Think about it.”

– Woody Allen

A Very Strange Paradox

“You will notice that what we are aiming at when we fall in love is a very strange paradox. The paradox consists of the fact that, when we fall in love, we are seeking to re-find all or some of the people to whom we were attached as children. On the other hand, we ask our beloved to correct all of the wrongs that these early parents or siblings inflicted upon us. So that love contains in it the contradiction: The attempt to return to the past and the attempt to undo the past.”
– Woody Allen

Teaching

“Those who can’t do, teach. And those who can’t teach, teach gym.”
– Woody Allen

If God Exists

“If God exists, I hope he has a good excuse.”
– Woody Allen

The Worst

“What if the worst is true? What if there’s no God, and you only go around once, and that’s it? Don’t you want to be a part of the experience? You know, what the hell? It’s not all a drag, and I’m thinking to myself: Geez! I should stop ruining my life searching for answers I’m never gonna get and just enjoy it while it lasts. And, you know, after–who knows? Maybe there is something, nobody really knows. I know that maybe is a very slim reed to hang your whole life on, but that’s the best we have.”
– Woody Allen