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Thursday, 2 July 2015

Audrey Hepburn


She was born Audrey Kathleen Ruston on May 4, 1929 and didn't start calling herself Audrey Hepburn until 1948.

Audrey was born at 48 Rue Keyenveld in Ixelles, a municipality in Brussels, Belgium. Her father, Joseph Victor Anthony Ruston (1889–1980), was a British subject born in Úžice, Bohemia.  A one-time honorary British consul in the Dutch East Indies, Ruston had earlier been married to Cornelia Bisschop, a Dutch heiress.

Her mother, Baroness Ella van Heemstra (1900–1984), was a Dutch aristocrat and the daughter of Baron Aarnoud van Heemstra, who was mayor of Arnhem from 1910 to 1920 and served as Governor of Dutch Suriname from 1921 to 1928

During the Second World War, a teenage Audrey Hepburn survived in occupied Utrecht, in the Netherlands on a diet of turnips and tulip bulbs.

Audrey Hepburn as a ballet prodigy as a child. She worked with the Dutch Underground during the World War II, giving ballet performances to collect donations for the anti-Nazi effort.

During the Battle of Arnheim, 16-year-old Audrey Hepburn was a volunteer nurse in a Dutch hospital. She helped a young British paratrooper, Terence Young, who later directed her in Wait Until Dark in 1967.

After five years of malnutrition due to German occupation during World War II, Audtrey was permanently too weak to perform ballet anymore, so she turned to acting.


Audrey Hepburn got her first major break in 1951, when she was chosen by French writer Colette to play the lead role in the English version of her play Gigi on Broadway.

Hepburn made her Hollywood debut with Roman Holiday in 1953, after shooting several films in Britain. She played a princess who wants to escape the duties of royalty and goes AWOL in Italy.

She won her only Academy Award  for  role in Roman Holiday. Flustered from excitement, Hepburn left her Oscar in the ladies room after winning. She got it back.

Time magazine voted the white floral Givenchy dress worn by Audrey Hepburn at the 1954 Academy Awards as the greatest Oscar dress of all time.

She sang "Happy Birthday" to U.S. President John F. Kennedy in 1963 —the year after Marilyn Monroe.

Hepburn wanted to sing her own songs in My Fair Lady, and was devastated when she learned that Hollywood pro Marnie Nixon's voice would be dubbed.

In later life, she worked as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF and hosted a television series The Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn.

Audrey Hepburn is one of only fourteen people to win an Academy, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Award. She won an Emmy (hosting Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn), a Grammy (spoken word album Audrey Hepburn's Enchanted Tales), an Oscar (best actress in Roman Holiday), and a Tony (best actress in Ondine).


Audrey Hepburn was married twice; first to actor/director Mel Ferrer in 1954, with whom she had a son Sean in 1960, and second to Italian psychiatrist Doctor Andrea Dotti in 1969, with whom she had a second son Luca in 1970. Both marriages ended in divorce.

With first husband Mel Ferrer in Mayerling

She spoke five languages. - English, Spanish, French, Dutch, and Italian.

Hepburn had a pet baby deer named Pippin (and nicknamed 'Ip'). On the set of her 1959 film Green Mansions the animal trainer suggested Hepburn take the deer home with so that it would follow her on-screen. The fawn became her sidekick and even went with her to the supermarket.

Despite her small frame, Hepburn actually wore a size 10 in shoes. She reportedly also bought her signature ballet flats half a size larger to avoid a squeezed-in look.


Audrey Hepburn died of appendix cancer at her home in Switzerland on January 20, 1993, at the age of 63. After her death, Gregory Peck went on camera and tearfully recited her favorite poem, "Unending Love" by Rabindranath Tagore.

The asteroid 4238 Audrey is named after her.

Sources Marie Claire magazine, Food For Thought by Ed Pearce

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