Audrey Hepburn: 5 Facts You Didn’t Know
Audrey Hepburn is a well-known actress who starred with the likes of Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart and Gregory Peck and took over roles turned down by iconic actress Marilyn Monroe.
Hepburn was a standout during her time in Hollywood, but she also made herself well known with humanitarian efforts in helping poor children in the poorest nations of the world. She was named a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from US President George H.W. Bush for her work with the organization. After her death, Hepburn’s son accepted the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for her from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Hepburn was engaged, changed her mind and experienced two marriages and divorce during her lifetime. She wanted to have several children and had two sons, but suffered multiple miscarriages.
All of these important contributions to the world and facts about her personal life may be known to those with particular interests or the desire to study Audrey Hepburn’s life in detail. For those who know only her acting exploits, however, the following may be news.
She Had an Eye for Style
Hepburn was admired and emulated by many. However, she always said she never considered herself a fashion icon. Despite this statement, she did say she was very passionate about clothing. She loved the look and silhouette she was given by clothes designed by Hubert de Givenchy, so much so that she was given permission to take home some of her costumes to keep for her personal closet.
This relationship began when Hepburn convinced Givenchy to design the costumes for the movie, Sabrina. Despite the fact that Edith Head was hired for the job and ultimately took the credit for the costumes in Sabrina, the work was done by Givenchy as a result of a request from Hepburn to have him design the costumes.
Hepburn loved the French designer’s way with clothing and tended to stick to monochromatic colors, minimal accessories and a simple silhouette that brought focus to her slim build.
In fact, Hepburn was recognized for her style in many ways, including being named to the International Best Dressed List in 1961. She was considered to be a recognizable brand, making the Audrey Hepburn style a marketable product. With her short hair, slim build and thick eyebrows, her look was a welcome alternative for those who did not see themselves having much in common with Grace Kelly or Elizabeth Taylor.
Audrey Hepburn Was Fluent in Six Languages
While she is commonly considered a British actress, Hepburn was actually born in Belgium. She also lived in the Netherlands and Britain. This movement between countries was likely a significant contributing factor to her learning six languages. She could fluently speak French, Dutch, German and English before learning Italian and Spanish later in her life.
She also showed her intelligence in the versatility of her acting, performing in various movies that fit genres including comedy, suspense, dramedy (British) and even comic thrillers.
She Won an Oscar … and Immediately Misplaced It
Hepburn won an Oscar in 1954 for the movie Roman Holiday. In her excitement after winning the award, she made a trip to the ladies room, where she accidentally left her Oscar sitting. After returning to the auditorium, the Oscar winner realized her mistake. Her Oscar was retrieved, and Hepburn took it home with her.
Interestingly, Hepburn is a part of a very unique group of actors and actresses. She is one of an elite few that not only won an Oscar but also a Tony, an Emmy and a Grammy.
The Oscar was for Best Actress in the movie, Roman Holiday; the Tony was for Best Actress in Ondine; the Emmy was for hosting Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn and the Grammy was for the spoken word album titled Audrey Hepburn’s Enchanted Tales.
Audrey Hepburn’s Engagement Announcement Must Have Been Awkward
Hepburn was known to want to start a family. During her work on Sabrina, she began an affair with William Holden, a married man.
While Holden’s wife was aware of his behavior and his habitual stepping out, the affair with Hepburn came to an abrupt halt when she shared dreams of having a family and Holden let her know that he had already had a vasectomy and wouldn’t be having children.
Hepburn promptly began a relationship with Mel Ferrer. Since there was concern that Hepburn’s affair with Holden may make the papers, the film company forced the two to announce their engagement during a dinner party at Holden’s home, in the presence of Holden and his wife, Ardis.
Audrey Hepburn Had a Pet Deer
Hepburn, while working on the movie, Green Mansions, was told to take a fawn home with her so the deer would follow her around on-screen. After the movie, Hepburn adopted the fawn and named it Pippin, “Ip” for short.
She also owned a Yorkshire terrier named Mr. Famous, who benefited greatly from Hepburn’s work in the movies, as he received a diamante collar after Hepburn cashed her first paycheck in the industry.
Hepburn was a well-known animal lover. According to her, she considered a scene during Breakfast at Tiffany’s to be the “most distasteful” scene she was ever in. During that scene, she throws a tabby cat, named Cat, out of a cab and into streets soaked with rain. Despite her distaste for the way things went with the feline in that particular movie, the popularity of the film led to a widespread request for orange cats, according to rescue groups and pet stores.
To learn more about the impressive life of an iconic actress who lived a full life off the big screen, read Audrey Hepburn’s biography on geeker.