Birth NameAudrey Kathleen Ruston
Audrey Hepburn was born on May 4, 1929 in Brussels, Belgium. She really was blue-blood from the beginning with her father, a wealthy English banker, and her mother, a Dutch baroness. After her parents divorced, Audrey went to London with her mother where she went to a private girls school. Later, when her mother moved back to the Netherlands, she attended private schools as well. While vacationing with her mother in Arnhem, Holland, Hitler's army took over the town. It was here that she fell on hard times during the Nazi occupation. Audrey suffered from depression and malnutrition. After the liberation, Audrey went to a ballet school in London on a scholarship and later began a modeling career. As a model, she was graceful and, it seemed, she had found her niche in life - until the film producers came calling. After being spotted modeling by a producer, she was signed to a bit part in the European film Dutch in Seven Lessons (1948) in 1948. Later, she had a speaking role in the 1951 film, Young Wives' Tale (1951) as Eve Lester. The part still wasn't much, so she headed to America to try her luck there. Audrey gained immediate prominence in the US with her role in Roman Holiday (1953) in 1953. This film turned out to be a smashing success as she won an Oscar as Best Actress. This gained her enormous popularity and more plum roles. One of the reasons for her popularity was the fact that she was so elf-like and had class, unlike the sex-goddesses of the time. Roman Holiday (1953) was followed by another similarly wonderful performance in the 1957 classic Funny Face (1957).Sabrina (1954), in 1954, for which she received another Academy nomination, and Love in the Afternoon (1957), in 1957, also garnered rave reviews. In 1959, she received yet another nomination for her role in The Nun's Story (1959). Audrey reached the pinnacle of her career when she played Holly Golightly in the delightful film Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) in 1961. For this she received another nomination. She scored commercial success again in the espionage caper Charade (1963). One of Audrey's most radiant roles was in the fine production of My Fair Lady (1964) in 1964. Her co-star, Rex Harrison, once was asked to identify his favorite leading lady. Without hesitation, he replied, "Audrey Hepburn in 'My Fair Lady.'" After a couple of other movies, most notably Two for the Road (1967), she hit pay dirt and another nomination in 1967's Wait Until Dark (1967). By the end of the sixties, after her divorce from actor Mel Ferrer, Audrey decided to retire while she was on top. Later she married Dr. Andrea Dotti. From time to time, she would appear on the silver screen. One film of note was Robin and Marian (1976), with Sean Connery in 1976. In 1988, Audrey became a special ambassador to the United Nations UNICEF fund helping children in Latin America and Africa, a position she retained until 1993. She was named to People's magazine as one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world. Her last film was Always (1989) in 1989. Audrey Hepburn died on January 20, 1993 in Tolochnaz, Switzerland, from appendicular cancer. She had made a total of 31 high quality movies. Her elegance and style will always be remembered in film history as evidenced by her being named in Empire magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time."
Hepburn was a cosmopolitan from birth as her father was an English banker and her mother a Dutch baroness. In the movies she appeared as a delicate adolescent, a look which remained until her last movie Always (1989) directed by Steven Spielberg. Her career as actress began in the English cinema and after having been selected for the Broadway play "Gigi" she debuted in Hollywood in 1953. With Roman Holiday (1953) she won an Oscar; her favorite genres were the comedies like Sabrina (1954) or Love in the Afternoon (1957). At the end of the sixties she retired from Hollywood but appeared from time on the set for a few films. From 1988 on she worked also for UNICEF.
Was first choice for the lead in A Taste of Honey (1961).
Ranked #50 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]
Son, Luca Dotti (b. 8 February 1970), with second husband, Dr. Andrea Dotti.
Chosen by People magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the world. 
After Wait Until Dark (1967) was offered the leads in Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969), 40 Carats (1973), Nicholas and Alexandra (1971), The Exorcist (1973), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), A Bridge Too Far (1977) and The Turning Point (1977) but decided to stay in retirement and raise her sons.
Interred in Tolochenaz, Vaud, Switzerland.
Turned down the film Gigi (1958) after creating the character in the Broadway non musical play.
Everyone remembers when Marilyn Monroe serenaded President John F. Kennedy on his birthday in 1962. What is often forgotten is that Audrey Hepburn sang "Happy Birthday Mr. President" to JFK for his final birthday in 1963.
Had a breed of tulip named after her in 1990.
Died on January 20, 1993, the 67th birthday of Patricia Neal. They starred together in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961).
She won the 1953 Best Actress Academy Award for Roman Holiday (1953). On March 25th, 1954, she accepted the award from the much revered Academy president Jean Hersholt. After accepting the award, Audrey kissed him smack on the mouth, instead of the cheek, in her excitement. Minutes after accepting her 1953 Oscar, Audrey realized that she'd misplaced it. Turning quickly on the steps of the Center Theater in New York, she raced back to the ladies' room, retrieved the award, and was ready to pose for photographs.
Was fluent in English, Spanish, French, Dutch/Flemish and Italian.
She confessed to eating tulip bulbs and tried to bake grass into bread during the hard days of World War II.
Audrey felt that she was miscast as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) although it was one of her most popular roles.
Was trained as a dental assistant before making it big.
Henry Mancini said of her: "'Moon River' was written for her. No one else had ever understood it so completely. There have been more than a thousand versions of 'Moon River', but hers is inquestionably the greatest".
Turned down a role in the film The Diary of Anne Frank (1959) because, as a young girl in Holland during the war, she had witnessed Nazi soldiers publicly executing people in the streets and herding Jews onto railroad cars to be sent to the death camps. She said that participating in the film would bring back too many painful memories for her.
Like Humphrey Bogart, Hepburn also starred in five of the movies listed by American Film Institute in its Top 100 U.S. love stories (2002). They are Roman Holiday (1953), ranked #4 on the list, Sabrina (1954) ranked #54, which co-starred Bogart, My Fair Lady (1964) ranked #12,Two for the Road (1967) at #57 and Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) #61.
During World War II, 16-year-old Audrey was a volunteer nurse in a Dutch hospital. During the battle of Arnhem, Hepburn's hospital received many wounded Allied soldiers. One of the injured soldiers young Audrey helped nurse back to health was a young British paratrooper - and future director - named Terence Young. More than 20 years later, Young directed Hepburn in Wait Until Dark (1967).
In Arnhem, Holland, during the Second World War, she worked with the Dutch Underground, giving ballet performances to collect donations for the anti-Nazi effort.
Told People Magazine that she was very self-conscious about her size-10 feet.
In 1993 she became the thirteenth performer to win the Triple Crown of Acting. Oscar - Best Actress for Roman Holiday (1953), Tony for Best Actress in a Play for "Ondine" (1954) and Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement - Informational Programming for "Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn" (1993).
Was fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy's muse, who dressed her for the films Sabrina (1954), Funny Face (1957), Love in the Afternoon(1957), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), Paris When It Sizzles (1964), How to Steal a Million (1966), Charade (1963) and Love Among Thieves(1987) (TV).
In 1996 the British magazine Harpers & Queen conducted a poll to find the most fascinating women of our time. She was in the #1 spot.
As of 2005, she is one of only nine performers to win an Oscar, a Tony, an Emmy and a Grammy Award.
Followed winning the Academy Award for Roman Holiday (1953) with winning Broadway's 1954 Tony Award as Best Actress (Dramatic) for "Ondine."
She owned a Yorkshire Terrier called "Mr. Famous".
Her biggest film regret was not getting the Anne Bancroft role in The Turning Point (1977). "That was the one film", she later admitted, "that got away from me."
When she failed to receive an Academy Award nomination for her role as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady (1964), Katharine Hepburn wired her with a message of encouragement: "Don't worry about it. You'll get it one day for a part that doesn't rate it." Ironically, when Audrey's next (and last) nomination came for Wait Until Dark (1967) in 1967, Hepburn beat her in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967) - in a part that arguably didn't rate it.
Her character in Funny Face (1957) was inspired by Suzy Parker, who made a fashionable cameo appearance in the film (her first film) in the "Think Pink" sequence..
Turned down the title role in Gigi (1958) to make Funny Face (1957). Ironically, her agent initially rejected the film, but Hepburn overrode the decision after reading the script. Her mother, Baroness Ella Van Heemstra, makes a cameo appearance as a sidewalk café patron, and her Yorkshire terrier "Mr. Famous" appears as the dog in the basket during the "Anna Karenina" train shot. Hepburn did not want to be separated from husband Mel Ferrer, so filming of the Paris scenes was timed to coincide with Ferrer's filming of Elena and Her Men (1956). Paris' unseasonably rainy weather had to be worked into the script, particularly during the balloons photo shoot scene. During filming of the Paris scenes, much of the crew and cast were on edge because of riots and political violence that were gripping the city. The soggy weather played havoc with the shooting of the wedding dress dance scene. Both Fred Astaire and Hepburn were continually slipping in the muddy and slippery grass. In "Funny Face" she was lucky enough to sing several songs. Her next full musical, My Fair Lady (1964), had her singing voice dubbed by Marni Nixon, much to Hepburn's disappointment. The face portrait unveiled in the darkroom scene was photographed by Richard Avedon. The film was shot back-to-back with Love in the Afternoon (1957).
According to director William Friedkin, Audrey was Warner Bros. first choice for the role of Chris MacNeil in The Exorcist (1973) after her box-office successes with the studio's The Nun's Story (1959), My Fair Lady (1964) and Wait Until Dark (1967). She would only agree to star if the film were made in Rome. Both Friedkin and writer William Peter Blatty rejected the proposal.
Her performance as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) is ranked #32 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
Hepburn was diagnosed with appendiceal cancer in 1992 (not colon cancer, as it is often mistakenly called). The cancer spread into the lining of her small intestine. She had one foot of intestine removed in surgery and went through chemotherapy, but in a second surgery it was decided that the cancer had spread too far and could not be treated.
Lived together with Robert Wolders in the final years of her life.
Her famous "little black dress" from Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), designed by Hubert de Givenchy, was sold at a Christie's auction for approximately $920,000 (5 December 2006).
As of 2007, she and Katharine Hepburn are the only "Best Actress" Oscar-winners to share a last name. Of course, they are not related.
Was friends with Eva Gabor.
|FUNNY FACE w/Fred Astiere|
Hepburn was offered the role of a Japanese bride opposite Marlon Brando in Sayonara (1957) but turned it down. She later explained that she "couldn't possibly play an Oriental. No one would believe me; they'd laugh. It's a lovely script, however, I know what I can and can't do. And if you did persuade me, you would regret it, because I would be terrible".
Broke her back during filming of a horse-riding scene in The Unforgiven (1960)..
Was a three pack a day smoker.
Died on the day of Bill Clinton's first inauguration as President of the United States.).
Returned to work nine months after giving birth to her son Sean H. Ferrer in order to begin filming Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961).
She donated all the salaries she earned for her final projects to UNICEF (Love Among Thieves (1987) (TV), Always (1989), and "Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn" (1993)).
I never thought I'd land in pictures with a face like mine.
I was asked to act when I couldn't act. I was asked to sing "Funny Face" when I couldn't sing and dance with Fred Astaire when I couldn't dance - and do all kinds of things I wasn't prepared for. Then I tried like mad to cope with it.
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it's at the end of your arm. As you get older, remember you have another hand: the first is to help yourself, the second is to help others.
I was born with an enormous need for affection, and a terrible need to give it.
My own life has been much more than a fairy tale. I've had my share of difficult moments, but whatever difficulties I've gone through, I've always gotten a prize at the end.
For me, the only things of interest are those linked to the heart.
I never think of myself as an icon. What is in other people's minds is not in my mind. I just do my thing.
I probably hold the distinction of being one movie star who, by all laws of logic, should never have made it. At each stage of my career, I lacked the experience.
My look is attainable. Women can look like Audrey Hepburn by flipping out their hair, buying the large sunglasses, and the little sleeveless dresses.
Success is like reaching an important birthday and finding you're exactly the same.
I know I have more sex appeal on the tip of my nose than many women in their entire bodies. It doesn't stand out a mile, but it's there.
[talking about a severe coughing attack she had when she was six weeks old, slowly turning blue and finally stopping breathing until her mother's prayers and spanking brought her back to life] If I were to write a biography, it would start like this: I was born in Brussels, Belgium, on May 4, 1929 . . . and I died six weeks later.
[about her "comeback" in 1976] Whatever happens, the most important thing is growing old gracefully. And you can't do that on the cover of a fan magazine.
It's that wonderful old-fashioned idea that others come first and you come second. This was the whole ethic by which I was brought up. Others matter more than you do, so 'don't fuss, dear; get on with it.'
[On filming Funny Face (1957), while coping with extreme Paris weather and a grumpy co-star] Here I've been waiting for 20 years to dance with 'Fred Astaire', and what do I get? Mud in my eye!
I think sex is overrated. I don't have sex appeal and I know it. As a matter of fact, I think I'm rather funny looking. My teeth are funny, for one thing, and I have none of the attributes usually required for a movie queen, including the shapeliness.
I think other than Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn has to be the most inspired look that most young girls try to achieve, Little black Dress, Pearls , French Twist........Pure BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S and back in the day when I was doing makeup for Proms , she was the most requested. "can you make me look like Breakfast At Tiffany's?" to myself I'm thinking, You know she was a escort right? a classy hooker! but who was I to pop there bubbles , just the idea alone that these young one's where even watching these amazing classics was enough for me. I love Audrey's strong brows, which never where tweezed until extinction. I still love a woman with a full brow. I used to watch FUNNY FACE and just be in awe, The fashion, dance, the fashion shows! all of it only fueled my love for makeup.....to me she embodied a grace that few if any actress have at all these days. When you watch he,r you watch her, and only her she captivates your every sense. Can you name someone today that can do that? I'm pretty sure for every makeup artist out there she was and still is a Major influence in what we do, her looks became epic, almost taking on a persona themselves. She is the stuff that makes legends and so as long as DVD, tape, film exist there will be a new batch of girl that watch ROMAN HOLIDAY, SABRINA or BREAKFAST AT TIFFANYS And feel like there discovered her that she's new a fresh and she will be again and again. Simple, Elegant, Grace, Strength, Compassion & Beauty~ can you blame anyone for coping her?
1967 ~ TWO FOR THE ROAD
1967~ WAIT UNTIL DARK [Won Oscar Best Actress]
1979 ~ BLOODLINE~ [her only r-rated film]
1981~ THEY ALL LAUGHED
|And still Looked like Audery Hepburn|
Moon river - Audrey Hepburn
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