Audrey had the reputation of being a humble, kind and charming person, who lived the philosophy of putting others before herself.
New Woman magazine called Audrey the most beautiful woman of all time, in a 2006 poll. She was ranked as the third greatest female star of all time by the American Film Institute.
Audrey Hepburn (4 May 1929 – 20 January 1993) was an iconic Academy Award-winning actress, fashion model and humanitarian.Born Audrey Kathleen Ruston in Brussels, Belgium, she was the only child of John Victor Hepburn-Ruston, an Anglo Irish banker, and Baroness Ella van Heemstra, a Dutch aristocrat descended from French and English kings. Her father later appended the name Hepburn to his surname, and Audrey’s surname became Hepburn-Ruston.
Audrey had the reputation of being a humble, kind and charming person, who lived the philosophy of putting others before herself. She showed this side particularly towards the end of her life in her work for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
After the 2nd World war, Audrey and her mother moved to London, where she studied ballet, worked as a model, and in 1951, began acting in films, mostly in minor or supporting roles as Audrey Hepburn. She got into acting mainly to make money so that her mother would not have to work menial jobs to support them. Her first major performance was in the 1951 film The Secret People, in which she played a ballet dancer. Audrey had trained in ballet since childhood and won critical acclaim for her talent, which she showcased in the film. However, her ballet teachers had deemed her “too tall” to be a professional ballet dancer, since, at 5’7″, she was taller than many of the male dancers. She was chosen to play the lead character in the Broadway play Gigi that opened on 24 November 1951. She won a Theatre World Award for her debut performance, and it had a successful six-month run in New York City.
Audrey was then offered a starring role opposite Gregory Peck in the Hollywood motion picture, Roman Holiday. Peck saw her star quality and insisted she share top billing. For her performance, she won the 1953 Academy Award for Best Actress. Years later, when asked by Barbara Walters what her favorite film was, Audrey answered without hesitation, Roman Holiday, because it was the one that made her a star.
Audrey had the reputation of being a humble, kind and charming person, who lived the philosophy of putting others before herself.Having become one of Hollywood’s most popular box-office attractions, Audrey co-starred with other major actors such as Fred Astaire in Funny Face, Humphrey Bogart and Gary Cooper in Love in the Afternoon, George Peppard inBreakfast at Tiffany’s, Cary Grant in the critically acclaimed hit Charade, Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady, Peter O’Toole in How to Steal a Million, and Sean Connery in Robin and Marian. Many of these leading men became very close to her. Rex Harrison called Audrey his favorite leading lady; Cary Grant loved to humor her and once said, “all I want for Christmas is to make another movie with Audrey Hepburn;” and Gregory Peck became a lifelong friend. After her death, Peck went on camera and tearfully recited her favorite poem, “Unending Love.” Some believe Bogart and Audrey did not get along, but this is untrue.
Soon after Audrey’s final film role, she was appointed a special ambassador to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Grateful for her own good fortune after being a victim of the Nazi occupation as a child, she dedicated the remainder of her life to helping impoverished children in the world’s poorest nations.
Though she had done work for UNICEF in the 50’s, this was a much higher dedication. Those close to her say that the thoughts of dying, helpless children consumed her for the rest of her life. She visited countries in Africa and South Asia as part of UNICEF programs. She dedicated herself to spreading awareness of the conditions of these nations and doing what she could to help directly. In one interview, she mentioned buying camels and solar boxes so medicines could be delivered to a village in the middle of a desert. She worked tirelessly for UNICEF and various causes in Africa and other South Asian countries, even in the last months of her life.