An Excerpt from Ephraim Katz's The Film Encyclopedia
Hepburn, Audrey. Actress. b. Audrey Hepburn-Ruston, May 4, 1929, near Brussels, Belgium. d.1993. The daughter of an English banker and a Dutch baroness, she was sent to a girls' school near London after her parents' divorce. She was vacationing with her mother in Arnhem, Holland, when WW II broke out. She spent the war years in the Nazi-occupied town, attending a local public school and receiving ballet training at the Arnhem Conservatory. After the war she went to London on a ballet scholarship. Graceful, slender, and long-legged, she soon began winning modeling assignments from fashion photographers. In the early 50s she joined Felix Aylmer's acting classes and began playing bit parts in British movies. While filming Monte Carlo Baby on the French Riviera, in 1951, she met Colette, the French novelist, who insisted that Audrey play the lead in the forthcoming Broadway adaptation of her Gigi.
Fragile and radiant, projecting both childlike and feminine qualities, Miss Hepburn was an ideal Colette heroine. Her success in the play led to a starring part opposite Gregory Peck in the film Roman Holiday, for which she won an Academy Award (she would later be nominated for Oscars four more times, for Sabrina, The Nun's Story, Breakfast at Tiffany's and Wait Until Dark). Six weeks after the Oscar ceremonies she won the Tony Award for her performance in the Broadway play 'Ondine.' Later in 1954 she married Mel Ferrer, her co-star in the play. They also co-starred in King Vidor's War and Peace, she as Natasha and he as Andrei. Ferrer later directed her in Green Mansions and produced her last picture of the 60s, Wait Until Dark (1967), for which she received her fifth Oscar nomination, for her portrayal of a terrorized blind woman. But Ferrer had no part in the real highlights of her career, notably Funny Face, Love in the Afternoon, The Nun's Story, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Charade and My Fair Lady. They divorced in 1968. The following year she married an Italian psychiatrist nine years her junior and made her home in Rome and later in Switzerland. She was named a Special Ambassador for UNICEF and devoted much of her free time to charity. She returned to the screen in 1976 after a nine-year absence as a luminous Mid Marian in Robin and Marian, but her subsequent film appearances were few and far between. Shortly after a highly-publicized 1992 mission of mercy to famine- and wartorn Somalia, she was diagnosed with colon cancer. She sucumed after a brief struggle with the disease. Her death was mourned internationally as the loss of one of the favorite film actresses of all time, an icon to style, elegance, dignity, and charity.
from Ephraim Katz. The Film Encyclopedia. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.,1994, page 616.
Microsoft Encarta entry for Audrey Hepburn
Hepburn, Audrey (1929-93), Belgian-born actor and humanitarian, who became one of Hollywood's best-known stars with her leading roles in films such as Roman Holiday (1953), Funny Face (1957), and Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961). She was born Edda van Heemstra Hepburn-Ruston in Brussels. Her father was a British banker and her mother a Dutch baroness, and Hepburn was educated at private schools in England and the Netherlands. In World War II (1939-45) she suffered opppression and malnutrition while living in the Netherlands with her family during the Nazi occupation of 1944 to 1945. She later worked as a model, and started acting in films in 1951.
Hepburn starred in many movies, including War and Peace (1956), The Unforgiven (1960), Charade (1963), and My Fair Lady (1964). She won an Academy Award as best acress for her role in Roman Holiday, and was nominated for best actress for her role in Sabrina (1954), The Nun's Story (1959), Breakfast at Tiffany's, and Wait Until Dark (1967). In 1988 Hepburn became a special ambassador to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and spent the last years of her life working for needy children, especially in Africa and Latin America.
From Microsoft Encarta
Microsoft Cinemania entry for Audrey Hepburn
Birth Name: Edda van Heemstra Hepburn-Ruston
Born: May 4, 1929, Brussels, Belgium
Died: January 20, 1993, Tolochenaz, near Lausanner, Switzerland
Education: Arnhem Concervatory (ballet)
Graceful former model, in films from 1951. After small parts in European productions, Hepburn gained immediate prominence in the US with Roman Holiday (1953), which was followed by similarly enchanting performances in films such as Funny Face (1957) and, as Holly Golightly, Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961). She proved a beautiful, elegane foil to fatherly older men Gary Cooper, Humphrey Bogart and Fred Astaire, as well as young leads George Peppard and Albert Finney.
After a nine-year absence from the screen Hepburn turned in an impressive "middle-aged" performance in Robin and Marian (1976) and continued to make occasional apperances, most recently in Steven Spielberg's Always (1989). She was married to actor Mel Ferrer from 1954 to 1968.
Actress 1953: Roman Holiday
Nominated for Actress 1954: Sabrina
Nominated for Actress 1959: The Nun's Story
Nominated for Actress 1961: Breakfast at Tiffany's
Nominated for Actress 1967: Wait Until Dark
Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award 1992.
Awarded posthumously to Ms. Hepburn for her work as Unicef's ambassador to the world's children. Award accepted by her son, Sean Hepburn Ferrer.
From Microsoft Cinemania
* Read Quotes by Audrey!