Facts about Audrey Hepburn

  • Biography of Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993)
  • Audrey was born Audrey Kathleen Ruston; 4 May 1929 in Brussels, Belgium
  • Her mother Baroness Ella van Heemstra was a Dutch Aristocrat, though she had British nationality because of her father.
  • During the 1930s, her parents were members of the British Union of Fascists, during the Second World War, the young Audrey suffered under the brutal Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.
  • In 1940, after the fall of Holland, she adopted the pseudonym Edda van Heemstra to avoid using an English sounding name.
  • She learnt to be a ballerina and used to perform to raise money the Dutch Resistance.
  • After the liberation of the Netherlands, she was so malnourished she fell ill after eating some sugar and a can of condensed milk – she was so unused to proper quantities of food. This experience of hunger led to a lifelong support to the charity UNICEF.
  • Her malnutrition during the war was one reason she decided to drop a career as a professional ballerina.

Film

  • Her first significant film role was The Secret People (1952), where she played a ballerina
  • Her favourite role was said to be in Roman Holiday (1953) with Gregory Peck, where she plays the role of a European Princess living incognito.

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  • The director had initially wanted Elizabeth Taylor for the role but found “She (Audrey Hepburn) had everything I was looking for: charm, innocence and talent. She also was very funny.”

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Audrey Hepburn with Gregory Peck in Rome.

  • Her most iconic film was perhaps ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’

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Initially, the plot involved playing a New York hooker, but Audrey Hepburn said she couldn’t play the role of a hooker, so the film was very different to the original book.

  • The little black dress worn by Hepburn at the beginning of the film is cited as one of the most iconic items of clothing in cinema.
  • French couturier Hubert de Givenchy helped create the ‘Hepburn look’, through is costumes for the film ‘Sabrina’.
  • Her last film was directed by Steven Speilberg and was called ‘Always’ It was made in 1989. She played the role of an angel.

Humanitarian Work

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  • She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of her work with UNICEF.
  • After visiting starving children in Ethiopia, she commented: “The ‘Third World’ is a term I don’t like very much because we’re all one world. I want people to know that the largest part of humanity is suffering

Family Life

  • She had two sons. Sean was born on July 17, 1960, and Luca was born on February 8, 1970.
  • She married twice to Mel Ferrer and Andrea Mario Dotti.
  • She died of cancer at the age of 63

 

Biography Audrey Hepburn

 

 

Recommended Books on Audrey Hepburn

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Audrey Style at Amazon

 

 

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Audrey Hepburn Treasures at Amazon.

In this illustrated biography, Audrey’s own words are given centre stage to create a unique personal narrative. Highly Recommended

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