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Audrey Hepburn

Actress - Advanced




A udrey Hepburn was born Audrey Kathleen Ruston on May 4th 1929 in Brussels, Belgium. Her father’s family was of British descent and thus, Audrey was also a British citizen attending school in England until the British declared war on Germany in 1939. Her parents had divorced a few years prior, and Audrey’s mother decided the Netherlands, a neutral country during the First World War, would be the safest place for her and her daughter to live. Unfortunately, WWII spread to the Netherlands and the family experienced the hardships of war.

After the war, Audrey briefly pursued a career as a professional ballerina studying in Amsterdam and London. She was eventually told her body was not strong enough to become a professional dancer due to malnutrition she had suffered during the war. Audrey changed her focus to acting and started to appear in minor theatre and film roles. In 1951, she was offered the lead role in a Broadway show called ‘Gigi’. Despite her inexperience, Audrey was praised as a success. Two years later she starred in the film ‘Roman Holiday’ and her performance won the Academy Award for Best Actress. She won a Tony Award the following year for the Broadway show ‘Ondine’ and married her co-star, Mel Ferrer the same year.

After ‘Ondine’, Hepburn returned to Hollywood and enjoyed great success on screen. She would be idolized for her fashion sense and would appear in more than 25 films during her career. She played a variety of roles including as an actress, including a nun, a blind women, and even a mythical sea creature. Her most iconic movie may have been ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’. Hepburn is one of the only people in the world to have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and a Tony Award.

After acting, Hepburn focused her attention on volunteering and motherhood. She traveled to over 50 countries around the globe as a special ambassador for UNICEF, helping children in need. It is said that Hepburn spoke 4-5 languages and her passion for volunteering came from her own struggles as a child growing up during the war. She also took great care raising her own two sons.

Audrey Hepburn died on Jan 20th, 1993 of cancer. Shortly after her death, Hepburn was honored with an Academy Award for humanitarian work. She is remembered today for her style and beauty, her work in films, and her humanitarian aid.

Sources:  https://www.biography.com/people/audrey-hepburn-9335788 

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