Memorable Last Words of Famous People

Except for the person who has never spoken, everyone will utter his or her last words. Those words may be an expression of surprise, such as Julius Caesar’s famous, “Et tu, Brute?” (Actually, he said something else, but that’s covered in this article.) Parting thoughts might be ironic, such as General John Sedgwick’s half-spoken final utterance. They might be cringe-worthy, such as the daredevil who said, “Watch this!”

In the event you have some foreknowledge of your departure, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to give some thought to your eventual final words in this life. For some inspiration, we offer the following last words of some of history’s most famous people.

  • “Remember, Honey, don’t forget what I told you. Put in my coffin a deck of cards, a mashie niblick, and a pretty blonde.”
    — Chico Marx
  • “Yeah, country music.”
    — Buddy Rich, drummer (when asked, ““Is there anything you can’t take?” by a nurse before going into surgery)
  • “Bring me a bullet-proof vest.”
    — James W. Rodgers, convicted murderer (when asked if he had a last request before dying by firing squad)
  • “Surprise me.”
    — Bob Hope, comedian (when his wife asked him where he wanted to be buried)
  • “I’m tired of being the funniest person in the room.”
    — Del Close, comedian
  • “Hey fellas! How about this for a headline for tomorrow’s paper? ‘French fries.’”
    — James French, convicted murderer, before his execution in the electric chair. (Murderer George Appel had a similar witticism.)
  • “I’d hate to die twice. It’s so boring.”
    — Richard Feynman, physicist and author
  • “I did not get my Spaghetti-O’s; I got spaghetti. I want the press to know this.”
    — Thomas J. Grasso, convicted murderer, after he ate his last meal on death row
  • “I’d like to thank the Academy for my lifetime achievement award that I will eventually get.”
    — Donald O’Connor, actor
  • “I knew it! I knew it! Born in a hotel room and, [darn] it, dying in a hotel room.”
    — Eugene O’Neill, playwright, as he died in a hotel
  • “And now for a final word from our sponsor—.”
    — Charles Gussman, TV announcer
  • “On the contrary.”
    — Henrik Ibsen, playwright, after his wife said he was looking better
  • “I should have never switched from scotch to martinis.”
    — Humphrey Bogart, actor
  • “I am sorry to bother you chaps. I don’t know how you get along so fast with the traffic on the roads these days.”
    — Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, while ambulance crew took him to hospital
  • “Now is not the time for making new enemies.”
    — Voltaire, philosopher, after a priest asked if he wished to denounce Satan
  • “I’m looking for loopholes.”
    — W.C Fields, actor, when asked why he was reading the Bible
  • “This wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. Either it goes or I do.”
    — Oscar Wilde, author
  • “Gun’s not loaded… see?”
    — Johnny Ace, singer, while playing with a gun backstage during a concert
  • “Am I dying, or is this my birthday?”
    — Lady Nancy Astor, socialite, when she woke up and saw her family gathered around her bed
  • “Codeine… bourbon…”
    — Tallulah Bankhead, actress, when asked if she wanted anything
  • “No.”
    — Alexander Graham Bell, scientist, after his wife said, “Don’t leave me.”
  • “I didn’t do that on purpose.”
    — Marie Antoinette, after stepping on the foot of her executioner.
  • “This is no way to live.”
    — Groucho Marx, comedian
  • “I desire to go to Hell and not to Heaven. In the former I shall enjoy the company of popes, kings and princes, while in the latter are only beggars, monks and apostles.”
    — Niccolo Machiavelli, Italian diplomat
  • “Turn me over — I’m done on this side.”
    — Lawrence of Rome, deacon, while being burned alive as punishment
  • “Now why did I do that?”
    — Sir William Erskine, 2nd Baronet, after he jumped off a balcony
  • “Don’t let it end like this. Tell them I said something important.”
    — Pancho Villa, Mexican revolutionary
  • “I’m going to the bathroom to read”
    — Elvis Presley
  • “Go on, get out! Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough”
    — Karl Marx.

A Posthumous Jab at a Favorite Team

Many people are lifelong sports fans. For some, their dedication is so strong that it carries on past death, including the need to get in one last dig against their favorite team.

Keep reading

A Friend of Petty Criminals, Prostitutes and/or Republicans

From the obituary of Louis J. Casimir Jr.: Louis J. Casimir Jr. bought the farm Thursday, Feb. 5, 2004, having lived more than twice as long as he had expected and probably three or four times as long as he deserved. Although he was born into an impecunious family, in a backward and benighted part…

Keep reading

3 replies »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.