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A Tribute to Audrey Hepburn

By CatherineYen(20,979) CatherineYen

Audrey Hepburn, born on May 4, 1929, a five-time oscar nominee and winner of the 1953 Academy Award for Best Actress, became one of Hollywood's best-known stars with her leading roles in films such as Roman Holiday(1953), Sabrina(1954), Funny Face (1957), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) and My Fair Lady(1964).

Her elegance, charm and stunning beauty were projected not only on the screen, but through her efforts as a humanitarian. She is a beloved actress and icon of style. In 1986,  Audrey Hepburn became a goodwill ambassador and spokesperson for the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund(UNICEF) and devoted the last years of her life tirelessly touring Africa and South America to help hungry children.

At the age of 63, Audrey Hepburn died from colon cancer in Tolochenaz, Switzerland on Jaunary 20, 1993. 

In viewing something in her smile, in her eyes, in her timeless and natural elegance, the following web-sites would raise you the memory that we spent good time in her unforgetable movies: 
Graceful former dancer and model, a much-loved star in films from 1951. After small parts in European productions, Hepburn scored a key break when she was chosen by no less than Colette herself to star onstage in the author's "Gigi" (1951). Shortly thereafter, the radiant young actress gained immediate prominence in Hollywood with the leading role in the feature romantic comedy, "Roman Holiday" (1953), which was followed by similarly enchanting performances in films such as the inspired fashion musical "Funny Face" (1957) and, as Holly Golightly, the warmly romantic "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (1961).

A spirited, incredibly chic gamine type famous for her waifish yet slightly tomboyish manner, thick eyebrows, bouncy bangs and Givenchy fashion flair, Hepburn proved a beautiful, elegant foil to fatherly older men Gary Cooper, Humphrey Bogart, Henry Fonda and Fred Astaire, as well as young leads George Peppard and Albert Finney. One of the most lovely and photographed of stars, the wistful, gentle-mannered Hepburn helped define one type of feminine beauty in her era (as opposed to the full-figured Marilyn Monroe-Jane Russell look at the opposite end of the spectrum). Her incredibly influential look also helped set the style for the slender, reed-like fashion model whose offshoots are still popular today.

Though not a prolific film actor, Hepburn had an extremely impressive string of fine movies and roles through the late 1950s, including Billy Wilder's romantic comedy "Love in the Afternoon" (1957) and the absorbing drama "The Nun's Story" (1959). The 1960s proved a thinner period, but besides "Tiffany's", Hepburn enjoyed notable success opposite Cary Grant in the light romantic mystery, "Charade" (1963). She had less success, however, in the title role of the ugly duckling turned beautiful swan in "My Fair Lady." Her radiance was evident in the latter half of the film but Hepburn, the daughter of a Dutch baroness and an English banker, was unable to pull off the raffish guttersnipe of the film's early sequences. She did rebound, however, as the blind heroine of the suspenseful thriller "Wait Until Dark" (1967), which netted Hepburn her fifth and final Oscar nomination.

After a nine-year absence from the screen Hepburn turned in a luminous "middle-aged" performance in "Robin and Marian" (1976), and continued to make occasional feature film appearances, such as her last, in Steven Spielberg's "Always" (1989). From 1988 Hepburn served as a special ambassador for the UN Children's Fund. Her untiring charitable work in this capacity, much of it in the field, had begun earning her worldwide admiration anew when she succumbed to colon cancer in 1993 at age 63. Her Jean Hersholt Award for humanitarian work was awarded posthumously by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

  • 1940 Trapped in the Netherlands when Nazis invaded
  • 1948 First film appearance as a stewardess in semi-travelogue, "Nederland in Lessen/Dutch at the Double" (as Edda Hepburn)
  • 1948 Moved to London on ballet scholarship to study with Marie Rambert; changed name to Audrey Hepburn
  • 1949 London stage debut in chorus of "High Button Shoes"
  • 1951 Broadway debut in title role of "Gigi"
  • 1951 First British film, "One Wild Oat" (as extra)
  • 1952 Made US TV debut in a guest spot on the "CBS Television Workshop" before she became a major star in this country
  • 1953 First starring film role in "Roman Holiday"; becomes international star
  • 1954 Returned to Broadway to star in "Ondine"
  • 1957 Played leading role in film musical "Funny Face" opposite Fred Astaire
  • 1957 TV debut in "Mayerling" (Producers Showcase) opposite then-husband Mel Ferrer
  • 1964 Moved to Switzerland
  • 1964 Played Eliza Doolittle in "My Fair Lady", one of the biggest boxoffice hits of her film career, the adaptation of Lerner and Loewe's Broadway musical hit revamp of George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion"
  • 1967 Last film for nine years, "Wait Until Dark"
  • 1970 Made a guest star appearance on the CBS Christmastime special saluting children worldwide, "A World of Love", hosted by Shirley MacLaine and Bill Cosby
  • 1976 Resumed acting after nine-year absence in "Robin and Marian"
  • 1987 US TV-movie debut, "Love Among Thieves", also starred Robert Wagner and Jerry Orbach; first US TV acting work in 30 years since adaptation of "Mayerling"
  • 1988 Named official spokesperson for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
  • 1989 Final film role as Hap, an angel, in Steven Spielberg's "Always"
  • 1991 Honored with a Gala Tribute by the Film Society of Lincoln Center
  • 1992 Underwent surgery for colon cancer in Los Angeles
  • 1993 Album entitled "Music from the Films of Audrey Hepburn" released
  • 1993 Was the subject of a special commemorative issue of PEOPLE
  • Acted as courier and performed in underground concerts to raise funds for the Dutch Resistance during WWII
  • Grew up in England, moved to the Netherlands after her parents separated

This Blog Post has been read 6,387 times.
Posted to ProBlogs.com on Monday, January 01, 2007
View other posts by CatherineYen

Comments on this blog post:

Comment by Creative(54,965) Creative (50 days 1 hour ago.)
Very informative article, thank you.

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