Audrey Hepburn: 10 Interesting Facts About The Actress
Till date, Audrey Hepburn is still considered as one of the most beautiful women to ever grace the silverscreen and stage, anywhere in the world. Born in May of 1929, she made her first appearance as a flight stewardess in the 1948 Dutch film, Dutch in Seven Lessons.
1948 saw her performing in the musical, High Button Shoes as a chorus girl and only three years after, she was on Broadway, playing the title character in the play Gigi. But true stardom did not find her until she made her way into Hollywood. Hepburn debuted as a runaway princess in William Wyler's Roman Holiday (1953) opposite Gregory Peck.
Audrey Hepburn was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from BAFTA and her laurels read like a history book. But here are 10 things you probably don’t know about Catherine Hepburn.
1. She belonged to 'EGOT' Club
First of all, there are only 12 people on earth who have won all 4 major awards (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony). These people belong to the esteemed group commonly referred to as EGOT. Catherin Hepburn happens to be one of them.
She won an Emmy for hosting Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn, a Grammy for the spoken word album, Audrey Hepburn’s Enchanted Tales), an Oscar for Best actress in Roman Holiday and a Tony for best actress in Ondine.
2. She had a medical background
Performance may have been her calling but Audrey did not get on stage overnight. She started out training to be a dental assistant. This lofty ambition did not see the light of day as she was soon discovered by a talent scout. This led to her performing in Gigi.
3. She was an agent of the Dutch resistance
Hepburn received ballet training under Sonia Gaskell, a famous Dutch ballet instructor, and Russian Olga Tarassova. She put her skills to good use as a supporter of the Dutch resistance. Audrey would carry messages hidden in her ballet slipper across enemy lines, despite the risk to her life if she were ever caught.
She barely escaped detention once by a Nazi patrol and continued to join performances meant to raise money for soldiers fighting in defiance of Hitler.
4. She was a volunteer nurse during the WWII
Audrey was only 16 at the time of the great war but she volunteered as a nurse to aid the war efforts. At the battle of Arnhem, she tended to soldiers injured. Of the many who were lucky to be tended by this icon, one soldier stood out. His name was Terrence Young.
This little-known paratrooper went on to become a film director and worked with Audrey on Wait Until Dark.
5. Once, she ate some tulip bulbs to survive
World War II was one event that rocked the world. With tensions on the rise and her hometown blockaded, Audrey and her family were in dire straits. Curfews were well in force and living conditions were less than ideal. There was barely enough food to go around and rationing was not helping a lot.
Audrey and her family had limited options. They could either defy the soldiers, go out and look for food, or starve to death. She recounts them having to grind tulip bulbs to eat and also, use grass to make bread. Thankfully, the family survived but not without a price. Audrey had to deal with the effects of these hard years.
Consequently, the complications associated with malnourishment haunted her for most of her life and was majorly responsible for her svelte physique.
6. She suffered 5 miscarriages
She wanted to have kids but Audrey never seemed to have any luck, no matter how many times she tried. This was one of the side effects of her experiences during the war. The pressure of a professional career in acting further aggravated her condition. As a result, Audrey became disillusioned at the prospects of motherhood.
Eventually, Audrey took leave from work to help her body prepare for the process of birth. She was blessed with two sons, Sean Hepburn Ferrer and Luca Dotti.
7. French designer Givenchy was her personal stylist
Her penchant for style was legendary and her appetite for classy clothes unmatched. Her life-long friendship with ace designer Givenchy was a match made in Hollywood heaven.
Due to his lack of faitn in Audrey making an appearance for a fitting, Givenchy is reported to have been pretty sour. But that changed as Audrey did show up eventually.
The designer would be Audrey’s personal stylist for the most part of her career. He provided wardrobe for many of her movies as well as other social activities.
8. She had a deer. The animal was her pet
Hollywood stars are known to have the occasional odd pet. Audrey loved pets. She was known to have a dog called Mr. Famous. For Audrey, her odd pet was a fawn. Pippin was the name of her pet fawn. The cute animal was a co-star on the set of 1959’s Green Masions (which Audrey appeared in). Following the advice of a trainer, Audrey agreed to take the deer home.
The intention was so the deer would become familiar with her and help make the film better but after shooting, Audrey was taken by the deer and decided to keep it.
9. She was madly in love with William Holden and had a affair
They met during the casting of Sabrina in 1954 and were an instant match. It didn’t help that Bill was still married to Brenda Marshall at the time. In spite of this, Audrey was head-over-heels in love with Williams.
Their relationship was far from pleasant as public opinion of the couple was largely negative. Furthermore, friction became aggravated when Audrey revealed her plans to have kids.
This was compounded by the insistence of William that he did not want to have children. The relationship ended soon after the movie was done.
10. One street was named after her
Finallly, the last thing you probably don not know. It was 1959. The people of Doorn, Holland honored Audrey by naming a street after her. Audrey is still on record as the first Hollywood star to ever have such an honor bestowed on them. The ceremony peaked at the grand reveal of the new name.
Despite the unexpected glitches, Audrey still was excited at the honor. As she said of the event, “It was the best day in my life!”
Hollywood remembers her
Audrey Hepburn shined bright for all the world to see. In addition, her most memorable performance was in William Wyler's Roman Holiday (1953). For her performance, she was presented with the Academy Award for Best Actress, the BAFTA Award for Best British Actress, and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama.
Audrey Hepburn still continues to inspire Hollywood starlets. What do you think about her?