A Tribute to Audrey Hepburn
I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that Audrey Hepburn is the most universally beloved actress who ever worked in Hollywood. She literally has no detractors. It’s difficult to find another star who doesn’t have some negatives, or at least a hint of scandal. But as far as I know, the most derogatory thing anybody’s ever said about Audrey is that her voice was dubbed in My Fair Lady.
Audrey was born in Belgium as Edda Kathleen van Heemstra Hepburn-Ruston, the daughter of a countess. After developing an interest in acting at an early age and appearing in small roles in a half-dozen French and British films, she moved to the United States and was chosen by the author to star in the Broadway production of Gigi. (Wouldn’t you love to see a video of that performance?)
She caught the eye of Hollywood, and soon scored her Oscar-winning role in Roman Holiday (1953). She was an instant star, presenting a wonderful contrast to other contemporary actresses who were more likely to be blonde, buxom, and sexy in a less-than-cerebral way.
In the next 14 years, she appeared in a succession of unforgettable roles that kept here at the forefront of Hollywood stars, including Sabrina(1954), Funny Face (1957), Love in the Afternoon (1957), The Nun’s Story (1959), Green Mansions (1959), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), Charade(1963), and My Fair Lady (1964), among others. At the end of the sixties, she retired, and did not appear on film again until 1976, when she delighted her fans with her role as a middle-aged Maid Marian in Robin and Marian. She appeared in less than three dozen films, but she is thought of in the same category as actresses who worked twice as often.
Audrey devoted the last years of her life to helping children as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). She died of cancer in 1993.
Based on what I’ve discovered while putting together this article, Audrey Hepburn appears to be second only to Marilyn Monroe in the number of Web pages devoted to a classic actress. I’ve tried to choose a few of the better ones to highlight first, but they’re all very sincere and interesting in their own way. In addition to tribute sites, this feature also includes links to reviews, photos, posters, and more. Please note that this article has four pages, so don’t forget to click below for Parts II, III, and IV.
Part I: Introduction
Part III: Movie Reviews & Where to Find Her Movies
Part IV: Books, Photos, Art, and Posters