Audrey Hepburn, original name Audrey Kathleen Ruston, Belgian-born British actor known for her radiant beauty and style, her ability to project an air of sophistication tempered by a charming innocence, and her tireless efforts to aid children in need.
Recognised as both a film and fashion icon, she was ranked by the American Film Institute as the third-greatest female screen legend from the Classical Hollywood cinema and was inducted into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame.
Audrey Hepburn is remembered as one of America’s most beloved actresses, despite being British.
She won three Oscar awards with eight nominations throughout her career, a true star of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
Alas, her precious time on this Earth was cut short when she passed away of appendiceal cancer in Switzerland on January 20, 1993. She was 63 years old.
Beyond her one-of-a-kind acting skills and screen presence, Hepburn was also remarkable for her golden heart, living by a life philosophy that always put others first.
It is for this kindness that she is still cherished to this day alongside her time on the big-screen.
Audrey Hepburn was born in Belgium on May 4, 1929 to an English father and Dutch mother. Her parents divorced when Audrey was only eight years old, an experience she considered to be amongst the most traumatic of her life.
Things sadly would not get any better for little Hepburn as she witnessed firsthand the horrors of the Holocaust in World War II and very nearly starved to death.
It was a miracle that these experiences did not shatter Audrey’s faith in humanity; instead, they propelled her to do as much kindness as she could, harbored by her deep understanding of suffering which fueled an undying desire to do good.
In her youth, Hepburn trained as a Ballerina even while having barely anything to eat.
Once the war ended, Audrey Hepburn and her mother moved to England, where she continued pursuing her Ballerina studies in London.
By 1948, she had her first taste of what the world of acting was like after a stint in modeling. Soon enough, a film producer found her while she was modeling and she landed her first ever role in the European film, “Dutch in Seven Lessons”.
While it was a small role, it was just the beginning of Audrey Hepburn’s incredible career.
The 1960’s proved to be even more prosperous for Hepburn, not just because it marked the birth of her first child, but also saw her acting in the apex of her career, a film defining the Hollywood Golden Age and her entire career; “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.
Directed by Blake Edwards and based on a novel by Truman Capote, this romantic comedy-drama was released to critical acclaim and further bolstered Hepburn’s already shining reputation as a talented actress, permanently ensuring her place as a Hollywood darling.
While she died relatively young, Audrey Hepburn filled as much time of her life as she could to spread joy, whether it was through directly helping those suffering or filling the silver-screen with endless charm.
She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992, and after her death received the The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.