A Centennial Tribute to Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn was one of the few “constants” left for classic movie fans, and her death at the age of 96 left a huge void in our hearts. It seemed as if she had always been there — and in fact she was a movie actress since Herbert Hoover was President. We now celebrate what would have been her 100th birthday, on May 12, 2007.
She was full of contradictions. Though always gorgeous, she is not usually thought of as a glamour girl; while never a cult figure like Marilyn, she still finished second to MM in the balloting for our Favorite Classic Actress award and was #1 in the AFI voting for favorite actress; while she is known world wide, and is the only actress who consistently shows up on lists of the world’s most admired women, she always insisted on being just one of the folks in Hartford, CT.
There are no contradictions when it comes to her film career, however. She survived an early and probably deserved reputation as a “difficult” actress and went on to become the only woman to win four Academy Awards — in three different, non-consecutive decades, no less — after being nominated twelve times (a record until Meryl Streep’s 13th nomination). She appeared in 53 theatrical films and TV movies, and starred in all but three of them.
From her luminous performances in Morning Glory and The Philadelphia Story to her hilarious romps in Bringing Up Baby and Adam’s Rib to her strong portrayals in Long Day’s Journey Into Night, The African Queen, and The Lion in Winter, she never gave us less than her best. There has never been and probably never will be another Kate Hepburn.
I’ll let some of the tribute sites take over, beginning on page two of this four-part article. Look for many special presentations to celebrate this year’s centennial.
Part I: Introduction
Part III: Movie Reviews & Where to Find Her Movies
Part IV: Photos, Art, Sounds, and Posters