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#1 Movie of All-Time
#1 Movie Character
Audrey Kathleen Ruston
May 4, 1929 - January 20, 1993
Ranked by the American Film Institute as the third greatest female screen legend in the history of American cinema.
Regarded by many to be the most naturally beautiful woman of all time.
Hepburn remains one of few people who have won Academy, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Awards.
Although born in Belgium, Hepburn had British citizenship through her father. Because of her mother's family in the Netherlands and her father's British background and job with a British company, the family often travelled between the three countries. With her multinational background, she went on to speak fluent English, Dutch, French, Spanish and Italian. Hepburn participated in ballet by the age of 5.
In 1937, Ella and young Audrey moved to Kent, where Hepburn was educated at a tiny independent school in the Market Square of the village of Elham, run by two sisters (The Mesdamoiselles Smith) at their father's house called Rigdens and then attended by about 14 children. In September 1939, Hepburn's mother relocated her back home in Arnhem, in the belief that (as during World War I) the Netherlands would remain neutral and be spared a German attack. Whilst there, Hepburn attended the Arnhem Conservatory from 1939 to 1945 where, in addition to the standard school curriculum, she trained in ballet with Winja Marova. After the Germans invaded the Netherlands in 1940, Hepburn adopted the pseudonym Edda van Heemstra, because an "English sounding" name was considered dangerous during the German occupation.
By 1944, Hepburn had become a proficient ballet dancer. She had secretly danced for groups of people to collect money for the Dutch resistance. "The best audience I ever had made not a single sound at the end of my performances," she remarked. She also occasionally acted as a courier for the resistance, delivering messages and packages.
After the Allied landing on D-Day, living conditions grew worse and Arnhem was subsequently devastated in the fighting during Operation Market Garden. During the Dutch famine that followed in the winter of 1944, the Germans had blocked the resupply routes of the Dutch already-limited food and fuel supplies as retaliation for railway strikes that were held to hinder German occupation. When the country was liberated, United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration trucks followed. Hepburn's war-time experiences sparked her devotion to UNICEF.
Hepburn was signed to a seven-picture contract with Paramount with twelve months in between films to allow her time for stage work while spawning what became known as the Audrey Hepburn "look" after her illustration was placed on the September 1953 cover of TIME magazine.
1954 Roman Holiday Best Actress Won
1955 Sabrina Best Actress Nominated
1960 The Nun's Story Best Actress Nominated
1962 Breakfast at Tiffany's Best Actress Nominated
1968 Wait Until Dark Best Actress Nominated
1954 Roman Holiday Best Actress in a Leading Role Won
1955 Sabrina Best Actress in a Leading Role Nominated
1957 War and Peace Best Actress in a Leading Role Nominated
1960 The Nun's Story Best Actress in a Leading Role Won
1965 Charade Best Actress in a Leading Role Won
Golden Globe Awards
1954 Roman Holiday Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama Won
1955 N/A Henrietta Award for World Film Favorite – Female Won
1957 War and Peace Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama Won
1958 Love in the Afternoon Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Won
1960 The Nun's Story Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama Nominated
1962 Breakfast at Tiffany's Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Won
1964 Charade Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Nominated
1965 My Fair Lady Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Nominated
1968 Two for the Road Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Nominated
1968 Wait Until Dark Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama Nominated
1990 N/A Cecil B. Demille Award Won
1993 Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn Outstanding Individual Achievement – Informational Programming Won
1954 Ondine Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play Won
1968 N/A Special Tony Award Won
Hepburn was appointed Goodwill Ambassador of UNICEF. Then-United States president George H. W. Bush presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of her work with UNICEF, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences posthumously awarded her the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for her contribution to humanity. Grateful for her own good fortune after enduring the German occupation as a child, she dedicated the remainder of her life to helping impoverished children in the poorest nations.
On the evening of 20 January 1993, Hepburn died at home in her sleep of appendiceal cancer. After her death, Gregory Peck went on camera and tearfully recited her favourite poem,
I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times…
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs,
That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms,
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, its age-old pain,
Its ancient tale of being apart or together.
As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge,
Clad in the light of a pole-star piercing the darkness of time:
You become an image of what is remembered forever.
You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount.
At the heart of time, love of one for another.
We have played along side millions of lovers, shared in the same
Shy sweetness of meeting, the same distressful tears of farewell-
Old love but in shapes that renew and renew forever.
Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you
The love of all man’s days both past and forever:
Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life.
The memories of all loves merging with this one love of ours –
And the songs of every poet past and forever.
- Rabindranath Tagore
War and Peace
Love In The Afternoon
Breakfast At Tiffany's
My Fair Lady
Wait Unftil Dark
"How shall I sum up my life?
I think I’ve been particularly lucky."