Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993)
Born: Edda van Heemstra Hepburn-Ruston in Brussels,
Belgium, 4 May 1929, to a British father and Dutch mother.
Education: Studied ballet at Arnhem Conservatory of Music
, Amsterdam, and in Marie Rambert's ballet school,
Married the actor Mel Ferrer, 1954 (divorced 1968),
Married Andrea Dotti, 1969 (divorced), son Luca.
Died of colon cancer, January 20, 1993,
in Tolochenaz, Switzerland
buried at the village church in Tolochenaz. Actress and social activist.
Height - 5' 7"
Academy Award-winning actress Hepburn was perhaps best known for her roles in movies such as
Roman Holiday, for which she won the award, and Breakfast at Tiffany's, for which she was
nominated. Noted for her grace and gamin-like quality, she complemented many of the industry's
contemporary leading men, starring opposite such actors as Cary Grant in Charade and Humphrey
Bogart and William Holden in Sabrina. Among Hepburn's other films are War and Peace, Paris When
It Sizzles, My Fair Lady, Robin and Marian, Always, and The Nun's Story and Wait until Dark, both of
which earned her Academy Award nominations for best actress. She also appeared on stage, making
her debut in the title role of Gigi, and winning an Antoinette Perry Award for her role in Ondine.
Hepburn spent the later portion of her life as "goodwill ambassador" for the United Nations
International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), raising money for the charity and drawing
attention to the plight of the world's needy children. Hepburn was posthumously awarded the Jean
Hersholt Humanitarian Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1993.
When Audrey Hepburn died in 1993 at the age of 63, the world mourned a film star who on-screen
and off embodied grace, elegance, and strength. At the pinnacle of her screen career, Hepburn gave
her audience the perfect postwar combination of tomboy and sophisticate. After her semi retirement
from film in the late 1960s, Hepburn held an honorary place among the Hollywood royalty. In 1988 she
began her second career as a tireless special ambassador for the United Nations Children's Fund.
Holly Golightly, whether dressed in a black Givenchy, enormous hat, and oval sunglasses hailing a
taxi with a shrill whistle or in pigtails, sitting on the fire escape strumming "Moon River" on her
guitar,epitomizes for many fans the essence of Audrey Hepburn's film career. Marked by the internal
contradictions of big city sophistication and rural, childlike innocence, Holly appears fragile, yet by the
end of Breakfast at Tiffany's the audience discovers her inner strength.
Like Holly Golightly, Hepburn's past contributed greatly to the complexity and richness of her public
persona. Hepburn was born in Belgium in 1929 to a Dutch baroness and an English banker who left
when Hepburn was six years old. Trapped in Nazi-occupied Holland with her mother throughout World
War II, Hepburn was reduced to eating tulip bulbs. She survived the war, but suffered many problems
associated with malnutrition. The waiflike fragility which so many have admired and emulated was one
result of wartime hardship.
After the war, Hepburn moved to London where she studied ballet and worked as a dancer and
model. Her film career began unnoticeably with several small parts in English movies. A chance
meeting with the writer Colette landed Hepburn on Broadway in the title role of the hit show Gigi. She
received critical acclaim, but was not chosen to recreate the role on-screen. (The role went to Leslie
Caron who has similar physical attributes.) Two years later, in her first major U.S. film role as Princess
Anne in William Wyler's Roman Holiday, Hepburn captured her audience's heart and won an Academy
Part of Hollywood's royalty, Hepburn played opposite the realm's most handsome charming
princes,Gregory Peck, Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, Gary Cooper, Burt Lancaster, Henry Fonda,
and Fred Astaire. That most of her leading men were older than her added to her gamine elegance
As Sabrina Fairchild, a chauffeur's daughter, Hepburn
was torn between the smooth, handsome bachelor
played by William Holden and his serious,
businesslike older brother (Humphrey Bogart).
Following her heart, Sabrina makes the right choice.
Audrey Hepburn's characters would continue to make
the heart's choice in all her best loved movies. Her
audiences loved and trusted her because she played
characters whose hearts, if occasionally misguided, in
the end were true and kind.
Sabrina also marked the beginning of Hepburn's
lifelong intimate friendship with the French fashion
designer Hubert de Givenchy. She considered
Givenchy one of her best friends and he has referred
to her as a sister. He designed most of her screen
clothes and she wore his designs offscreen as well.
The clothes he designed for her almost always
accentuated her long neck and showed off her strong
shoulders. The Hepburn/Givenchy look countered the
torpedo-breasted voluptuousness of the 1950s ideal
woman. Hepburn gave women the possibility of a
dignified, comfortable look in which intelligence and
wit matter as much as physical beauty.
(as Edda Hepburn) 1948 Nederland in 7 Lessen (Dutch at the
Double) (Linden and Josephson)
(as Audrey Hepburn)
1951 One Wild Oat (Saunders) (as extra)
1951 Laughter in Paradise (Zampi) (as cigarette girl)
1951 Young Wives' Tale (Cass) (as Eve Lester)
1951 The Lavender Hill Mob (Charles Crichton) (as Chiquita)
1951 Nous irons à Monte Carlo (Jean Boyer) (as Melissa Walter)
1951 Monte Carlo Baby (Jean Boyer and Fuller) (as Linda Farrel)
1951 Secret People (Dickinson) (as Nora Brent)
1953 Roman Holiday (Wyler) (as Princess Anne)
1954 Sabrina (Sabrina Fairchild) (Wilder)
1956 War and Peace (King Vidor) (as Natasha Rostov)
1957 Funny Face (Donen) (as Jo Stockton);
1957 Love in the Afternoon (Wilder) (as Ariane Chevasse)
1957 Mayerling (Anatole Litvak — for TV)
1959 The Nun's Story (Zinnemann) (as Sister Luke)
1959 Green Mansions (Ferrer) (as Rima)
1959 The Unforgiven (Huston) (as Rachel Zachary)
1961 Breakfast at Tiffany's (Edwards) (as Holly Golightly)
1961 The Children's Hour
(The Loudest Whisper) (Wyler) (as Karen Wright)
1963 Charade (Donen) (as Reggie Lambert)
1964 Paris When It Sizzles (Quine) (as Gabrielle Simpson)
1964 My Fair Lady (Cukor) (as Eliza Doolittle)
1966 How to Steal a Million (Wyler) (as Nicole Bonnet);
1966 Two for the Road (Donen) (as Joanna Wallace)
1967 Wait until Dark (Terence Young) (as Susy Hendrix)
1976 Robin and Marian (Lester) (as Marian)
1979 Bloodline (Terence Young) (as Elizabeth Roffe)
1981 They All Laughed (Bogdanovich) (as Angela Niotes)
1987 Love among Thieves
(Roger Young — for TV) (as Baroness Caroline DuLac)
1989 Always (Spielberg) (as Hap)
Princess Anne, Sabrina, and Holly Golightly share qualities with all of Audrey Hepburn's roles: as the
daughter of a private detective in Love in the Afternoon, an empathicist bookseller turned
photographer's muse in Funny Face, a typist in Paris When It Sizzles, and the daughter of an
eccentric art forger in How to Steal a Million, Hepburn charmed with her gamine elegance, her chic
wardrobe, her indistinctly European accent, her intelligent, simple beauty, and her wide, expressive
eyes. With The Nun's Story, The Children's Hour, and Two for the Road, she successfully attempted
grittier roles. Her 1967 portrayal of Suzie Hendrix, a blind woman trapped by a killer in Wait until Dark,
proved Hepburn capable of an edgy, tensile performance. During her semi retirement following Wait
until Dark, Hepburn returned to the big screen a few times, most notably perhaps in her critically
acclaimed role opposite Sean Connery in Robin and Marion. Hepburn's two-decade reign as one of
Hollywood's most extraordinary stars seems almost a fairy-tale interlude in a life ravaged by war and
then spent serving others similarly ravaged. A former recipient of UNICEF relief aid, she considered
her role as UNICEF special ambassador one of the most important in her life. Her final film
appearance as Hap, the romantic angel in Steven Spielberg's Always, left us with a screen image of
what Hepburn always was—a serene, radiant presence with force of spirit whose effortless elegance
and sovereignty inspires us all.
inducted into the Delta films Hall of Fame - Actress
Walk of Fame - Star on the Walk of Fame Motion Picture
At 1650 Vine Street.
Women in Film Crystal Awards - Won Crystal Award Posthumously.
Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
The award, which was voted prior to her death, was presented posthumously. Her son Sean H.
Ferrer accepted the award at the ceremony.
Emmy Awards - Outstanding Individual Achievement - Informational Programming
for: "Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn" episode "Flower Gardens"
Screen Actors Guild Awards - Life Achievement Award
Film Society of Lincoln Center - Gala Tribute
Golden Globes, USA - Cecil B. DeMille Award
BAFTA Awards - BAFTA Film Award - Best British Actress for: Charade
BAFTA Awards - BAFTA Film Award - Best British Actress for: The Nun's Story
San Sebastián International Film Festival - Zulueta Prize Best Actress
for: The Nun's Story (1959)
New York Film Critics Circle Awards - NYFCC Award - Best Actress for: The Nun's Story
Laurel Awards - Golden Laurel - Top Female Comedy Performance for: Love in the Afternoon
Golden Globes, USA - Henrietta Award World Film Favorite - Female
Academy Awards, USA - Oscar Best Actress in a Leading Role for: Roman Holiday
BAFTA Awards - BAFTA Film Award Best British Actress for: Roman Holiday
Golden Globes, USA - Golden Globe Best Motion Picture Actress - Drama for: Roman Holiday
New York Film Critics Circle Awards - NYFCC Award Best Actress for: Roman Holiday