Born on May 4, 1929, in Brussels, Belgium, Audrey Hepburn was a talented performer known for her beauty, elegance and grace. Often imitated, she remains one of Hollywood’s greatest style icons. A native of Brussels, Hepburn spent part of her youth in England at a boarding school there. During much of World War II, she studied at the Arnhem Conservatory in The Netherlands. After the Nazis invaded the country, Hepburn and her mother struggled to survive. She reportedly helped the resistance movement by delivering messages, according to an article in The New York Times.
After the war, Hepburn continued to pursue an interest in dance. She studied ballet in Amsterdam and later in London. In 1948, Hepburn made her stage debut as a chorus girl in the musical High Button Shoes in London. More small parts on the British stage followed. She was a chorus girl in Sauce Tartare (1949), but was moved to a featured player in Sauce Piquante (1950).
That same year, Hepburn made her feature film debut in 1951’s One Wild Oat, in an uncredited role. She went on to parts in such films as Young Wives’ Tales (1951) and The Lavender Hill Mob (1951), starring Alec Guiness. Her next project on the New York stage introduced her to American audiences.
1950Saturday-Night Revue (TV Mini-Series)
I understood the dismay of people who had seen Julie on Broadway. Julie made that role her own, and for that reason I didn’t want to do the film when it was first offered. But Jack Warner never wanted to put Julie in the film. He was totally opposed to it, for whatever reason. Then I learned that if I turned it down, they would offer it to still another movie actress. So I felt I should have the same opportunity to play it as any other film actress. – On My Fair Lady (1964).
My own life has been much more than a fairy tale. I’ve had my share of difficult moments, but whatever difficulties I’ve gone through, I’ve always gotten a prize at the end.
Had a breed of tulip named after her in 1990.
Audrey felt that she was miscast as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) although it was one of her most popular roles.
Was trained as a dental assistant before making it big.
Henry Mancini said of her: “‘Moon River’ was written for her. No one else had ever understood it so completely. There have been more than a thousand versions of ‘Moon River’, but hers is inquestionably the greatest”.
Like Humphrey Bogart, Hepburn also starred in five of the movies listed by American Film Institute in its Top 100 U.S. love stories (2002). They are Roman Holiday (1953), ranked #4 on the list, Sabrina (1954) ranked #54, which co-starred Bogart, My Fair Lady (1964) ranked #12, Two for the Road (1967) at #57 and Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) #61.
In 1996 the British magazine Harpers & Queen conducted a poll to find the most fascinating women of our time. She was in the #1 spot.
Studied Ballet in London under Madame Rambert.