Actresses Audrey Hepburn And Cary Grant In Charade

Published on July 18th, 2009 | by Yellow Magpie


Audrey Hepburn: Icon Of Beauty And Style

Audrey Hepburn And Carey Grant

Audrey  Hepburn, beautiful, elegant and a style icon for millions of women. Hepburn was a super star in every sense of the word. Loved by millions, Audrey Hepburn had the ability to enthrall and captivate with her unique blend of charisma, charm and undoubted talent.

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Kathleen Ruston Hepburn was born in Belgium, On May 4, 1929. Her father John Victor Hepburn-Ruston was a wealthy business man and her mother, Ella van Heemstra, was a Dutch Baroness. Audrey had two half brothers from her mother’s first marriage, Alexander and Ian Quarles van Ufford.

Early Life

When Audrey was only six weeks old, she caught whopping cough, her mother however didn’t bring her to a doctor and instead prayed. Unfortunately, Audrey’s condition worsened, and following a particularly bad case of a whopping cough attack, she stopped breathing. Her mother, Ella, revived her by clapping her on the bottom.

Audrey Hepburn Winning Her Oscar

Audrey Hepburn Winning Her Oscar

World War Two

Audrey’s father abandoned the family when she was very young. Audrey, lived with her mother in Arnhem in the Netherlands. She was in the Netherlands when the German invasion occurred during World War 2. Audrey would later recall, how the family had nothing to eat with her brothers eating dog biscuits to pacify their hunger.

Audrey herself, often spent the entire day in bed reading, in the hopes of keeping the hunger pangs at bay. She suffered malnutrition at this time, which weakened her body.

A Natural Born Performer

When the war ended, Audrey and her mother went to live in London. Audrey won a scholarship to study ballet and soon began dancing in revues. She also took up modelling. Later she began acting, mostly playing bit parts. Her lucky break came when she was spotted by French novelist Sidonie-Cabrielle Colette, who picked her out from a crowd and insisted she play the part of Gigi, in the forthcoming  eponymous Broadway play.

Colette wrote the novel on which the play and later a film were based. Gigi opened on November 24, 1951. Although a novice, Audrey captivated audiences, winning a Theatre World Award for her debut performance.

In 1953, Audrey was cast in the role of Princess Ann, in the film Roman Holiday, with Gregory Peck, the film was a massive success, and earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress.

Roman Holiday, was followed by another smash hit, Sabrina, which also starred Humphrey Bogart and William Holden. Audrey and William Holden had a brief romance during and after the filming, but it didn’t last. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for Sabrina.

Audrey Hepburn In War And Peace

Audrey Hepburn In War And Peace

More Film Success

Audrey went back to the stage for her next role as a water sprite in Ondine, where she played opposite her future husband Mel Ferrer, whom she wed a year later. Audrey won the Tony Award for Best Actress, in 1954.

There followed a series of successful films, including War and Peacein 1956, with her husband Mel Ferrer and Funny Face with Fred Astaire in 1957. Another Oscar nomination came with her performance in The Nun’s Story, which she made in 1959 opposite Peter Finch.

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn

That same year the film Green Mansions, also starring Anthony Perkins, and directed by her husband Mel Ferrer, was released, followed in 1960, by The Unforgiven, both these films were considered weak and were given bad reviews.

Birth Of A Son And Oscar Glory

In 1960 Audrey Hepburn’s first son was born, Sean Hepburn Ferrer. In 1961, Audrey’s star was in the ascendant yet again, when she won another Oscar nomination for her portrayal of  Holly Golightly in Truman Capote’s, Breakfast At Tiffany’s, opposite George Peppard.

In 1964, came the enormously popular My Fair Lady, with Rex Harrison, Audrey received her fourth Oscar nomination for her portrayal of the cockney Eliza Doolittle.

Following 15 years of marriage to Mel Ferrer, they divorced in 1967. Then In 1969 she married Italian psychiatrist Dr. Andrea Dotti. The couple had another son Luca in 1970. However, the marriage didn’t last and they divorced in 1982.

Audrey’s next big hit came in 1967 with the thriller, Wait Until Dark, for which she won her fifth and final Oscar nomination.

Ronald Reagan, Audrey Hepburn And Robert Wolders

Ronald Reagan, Audrey Hepburn And Robert Wolders

Retirement And UNICEF

After this Audrey Hepburn, went into semi retirement preferring instead to work for UNICEF as a Goodwill Ambassador. She devoted her final years, to this work, travelling to Somalia, Kenya, Britain, and Switzerland. In 1992, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work with UNICEF.

Throughout her life, Audrey Hepburn, was lauded for her beauty, charm and style. However, she said she never thought she was beautiful, but she admitted, she developed ‘a look ‘ and that  that  was something everyone could do. She was also highly intelligent and spoke fluent English, Spanish, French, Dutch/Flemish and Italian.

She died of colon cancer at her home in Switzerland, on January 20, 1993, she was 63.

Further Reading

Audrey Hepburn, An Elegant Spirit: A Son Remembers is a wonderfully written and memorable book by her son, Sean. It pieces together her life, from her time spent in the Netherlands to her cherished work with UNICEF. A beautifully written and highly recommended book.

The Audrey Hepburn DVD Collection contains many of Audrey’s great films and is well worth watching.
For people living in Ireland or the United Kingdom, you can access Audrey Hepburn, An Elegant Spirit: A Son Remembers and The Audrey Hepburn DVD Collection here.
For those who live in Canada, you can obtain Audrey Hepburn, An Elegant Spirit: A Son Remembers and The Audrey Hepburn DVD Collection from here.
For Germany: Audrey Hepburn, An Elegant Spirit: A Son Remembers and The Audrey Hepburn DVD Collection.
For France: Audrey Hepburn, An Elegant Spirit: A Son Remembers and The Audrey Hepburn DVD Collection.

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