” For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness and for poise walk with the knowledge that you are never alone”- Audrey Hepburn ( May 4th,1929-January 20th,1993).
Though modest about her acting abilities, Audrey Hepburn remains today one of the world’s most famous and beloved actresses of all time and achieving iconic status as both a film and fashion figure of the 20th Century. She redefined glamour with grace and a wonderous form of classic beauty, which inspired designs for Hubert de Givenchy. She achieved immediate Hollywood success with her Academy Award winning American debut as a princess in Roman Holiday with Gregory Peck and Eddie Albert, receiving Tony awards as well as an Emmy and Grammy award, was inducted into the International Best Dressed Hall of Fame, and ranked by the American Film Institute as the 3rd greatest female screen legend in the history of Hollywood cinema (the 1st being Katharine Hepburn and the 2nd Bette Davis- all 3 actresses have made an immortal and indellible mark into the hearts of classic film lovers everywhere!).
She achieved all this despite her wartime struggles (which inspired her humanitarian work later on in her life), 2 divorces, 3 miscarriages, and a romantic involvement with actor William Holden. But in spite of her struggles, she devoted much of her later life to UNICEF, becoming their Goodwill Ambassador and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition for her humanitarian work in 1992. Audrey Hepburn’s legacy as an actress and a personality has endured long after her passing. Even in her last years of her life, she remained a visible presence in the film world: She received a tribute from the Film Society of Lincoln Center in 1991 and was a frequent presenter @ the Academy Awards. She was the recipient of 4 posthumous awards including the 1993 Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, which was accepted with love on her behalf by her son Sean Hepburn Ferrer, and competitive Grammy and Emmy awards. She has been the subject of numerous biographies since her untimely passing and the 2000 dramatization of her life entitled The Audrey Hepburn Story starring Jennifer Love Hewitt and Emily Rossum in the roles of the older and younger Hepburn, respectively.
Audrey Hepburn’s stardom also cemented her status as a fashion icon, exercising fashion both in her lifetime while continuing to influence fashion today. Givenchy remained Hepburn’s friend, his muse and ambassador throughout her life who was always amazed even after many years of collaboration. Hepburn’s fashion styles continue to be popular among women today- fashion experts have said that Hepburn’s longetivity as a style icon was because she stuck with a look that suited her “clean lines, simple yet bold accessories, minimalist palette”. One year after Marilyn Monroe sang ” Happy Birthday, Mr. President” to President John F. Kennedy, Hepburn, the president’s favorite actress, sang ” Happy Birthday, Dear Jack” to him on what turned out to be his final birthday (May 29th,1963).
Almost 30 years later, on the evening of January 20th,1993, Audrey Hepburn died in her sleep of appendiceal cancer @ her home in Tolochenaz, Vaud Switzerland. After her death, actor and friend Gregory Peck went on camera and tearfully recited her favorite poem ” Unending Love” by Rabindranath Tagore. The “Little Black Dress” from Breakfast @ Tiffany’s, designed by Givenchy, was sold at a Christie’s auction for 467,200 pounds (approximately $920,000)- the highest price paid for a dress from a film. The proceeds went to the City of Joy Aid charity to aid underprivileged children in India! Although it has been 18 years since the world lost Audrey Hepburn, I’ve always wanted to remember her for who she was: an immensely gifted actress and singer who gave the world the real meaning of beauty within, and who continues to be an enormous inspiration to classic film lovers everywhere. Audrey Hepburn once stated “As you grow older, you will discover that you have 2 hands: one for helping yourself, the other for helping others”. She used that incredibly special gift in so many memorable ways, and for that I’d like to dedicate this post to Audrey Kathleen Ruston- the woman and empathetic human being who would later become an elegance in limelight… Ms. Audrey Hepburn!