Audrey Hepburn – film & fashion icon

Audrey Hepburn was a symbol of the twentieth century not only for fashion but also for cinema, art, good taste and philanthropy.

And with your eyes closed, if you turn around somehow, you can’t help but see those emblematic pictures of the black dress and the cigarette holder, anywhere, somewhere. These images are from the most famous film “Breakfast at tiffany’s”, released in 1961, screened after Truman Capote.

Audrey Hepburn on “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” in 1961

Her story begins on May 4, 1929 , when our dear actress was born in Belgium, close to Brussels. Initially her last name was Ruston. Hepburn came a little later because her father considered him a descendent of a noble family in Scotland. In reality it turned out not to be. Because Audrey Hepburn lived through Wold War II, her mother considering that having an English name was not a good thing, being under German occupation, she kept changing it. Audrey spent her childhood in the Netherlands, Great Britain and Belgium. In total, as far I know, she spoke 5 foreign languages (French, English, Dutch, Italian and Spanish) and this were very useful in her mission that she later had with Unicef.

As a child, she had British citizenship from her father and lived in Britain until somewhere in 1939. In 1935 her father decided to leave the family and this was to be the one of the most traumatic experiences of her life and which she never managed to get over. Despite the fact that he left her, she found him again in the ’60s. From my information, she mentained a close relationship with her father until the end of her life, even though he left her at the most inopportune moment, I say, because at the end of the ’30s the Second Wold War began. She even supported this father. I strongly believe that she was an extraordinarily person.

After the war began in 1939, the actress’ mother decided to move to Netherlands, somewhere in the countryside, a place she considered somehow safer for the family. Unfortunately it wasn’t the best decision. I say this because they will endure some unimaginable torments and sufferings, until the end of the war, more precisely they suffered from malnutrition. Audrey comes out with serious health problems (asthma, jaundice) and these diseases have plagued her all life.

Her first love, as a child, was not acting at all but rather ballet. Unfortunately it was her health problems that stopped her after a good period of dancing. Also, at 1.70 cm she was somehow too tall for ballet. Including in her interviews I heard her say that she’s still complexed by her physique, that she has never considered herself a beautiful woman.

In 2014 she was voted the most beautiful woman of all time. From my point of view she is a beautiful woman; so simple and pure and with such beautiful features. I personally find her beautiful.

During the Second World War she changed her name for the third time. From Hepburn, who had been Ruston at birth, the mother decided to change her name in a 100% dutch because she thought it was safer. After the end of the war, she returned to the name of Hepburn. Also after the war Audrey Hepburn was left with a very, very thin figure, but very feminine from my point of view.

In 1953 she debuted playing in “Roman Holiday”. She won the Oscar for The Best Actress, in 1954. For the same film she won this thing called Egot, a distinction for the characters who won Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony. Also in 1954 she received a role in the movie “Sabrina”, through which she met Hubert de Givenchy and remained very close friends until the end of her life. By the way, Hubert de Givenchy will arrange a private plane at the end of her life to take her to her home in Switzerland, where she will live for the last few weeks until she dies. Audrey Hepburn died of colon cancer.

Hubert de Givenchy adjust a scarf on Audrey Hepburn during fitting in Rome in 1958

Audrey meets Hubert when he had to chose her wardrobe for the movies “Sabrina”. He also created her wedding dress for the second marriage, but also the famous dress that appeared in the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. This dress will be sold for about a million dollars in 2004 or 2006, as far as I can remember. The money being donated to humanitarian causes. In the last part of her life she worked a lot with Unicef, she traveled a lot around the world to put an end to hunger and to help needy children in countries like Somalia, El Salvador, Nigeria etc.

Audrey Hepburn in Somalia for Unicef

She met her first husband in 1954 playing in the play “Ondine”, the protagonist being Mel Ferrer. Unfortunately in 1967 their marriage will end, their baby being still young, born in the early ’60s. She remarries the psychologist Andrea Dotti but this relationship will not last either because he already had a reputation. And from the second marriage results also a boy.

Since 1988 she has been working as an ambassador for Unicef. Since the ’50s she has donated to this foundation. She loved children very much. In 1992 she was diagnosed with the colon cancer and in 1993 she passed away in the presence of the one with whom she probably felt fulfilled, named Robert Wolders, at her home in Switzerland. She was a pure soul and a woman who suffered a lot.

Sources: from the vlog of Andreea Balaban – “The story of Audrey Hepburn”


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