Audrey Hepburn Poster

Trivia (113)

Was first choice for the lead in A Taste of Honey (1961).

Ranked #50 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]

Mother of Sean Hepburn Ferrer, with first husband, Mel Ferrer.

Son, Luca Dotti (b. 8 February 1970), with second husband, Andrea Dotti.

Chosen by People magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the world. [1990]

After Wait Until Dark (1967) was offered the leads in Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969), 40 Carats (1973), Nicholas and Alexandra (1971), The Exorcist (1973), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), A Bridge Too Far (1977) and The Turning Point (1977) but decided to stay in retirement and raise her sons.

Interred in Tolochenaz, Vaud, Switzerland.

Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#8). [1995]

Turned down the film Gigi (1958) after creating the character in the Broadway non musical play.

Had a breed of tulip named after her in 1990.

Died on January 20, 1993, the day of Bill Clinton's first inauguration as President of the United States and the 67th birthday of Patricia Neal. They starred together in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961).

She won the 1953 Best Actress Academy Award for Roman Holiday (1953). On March 25th, 1954, she accepted the award from the much revered Academy president Jean Hersholt. After accepting the award, Audrey kissed him smack on the mouth, instead of the cheek, in her excitement. Minutes after accepting her 1953 Oscar, Audrey realized that she'd misplaced it. Turning quickly on the steps of the Center Theater in New York, she raced back to the ladies' room, retrieved the award, and was ready to pose for photographs.

Christened simply Audrey Kathleen Ruston, her mother Baroness Ella Van Heemstra temporarily changed her daughter's name from "Audrey" to "Edda" during the war, feeling that "Audrey" might indicate her British roots too strongly. During the war, being English in occupied Netherlands was not an asset; it could have attracted the attention of the occupying German forces and resulted in confinement or even deportation. After the war her father Joseph Victor Anthony Ruston found documents about his ancestors, some of whom bore the name "Hepburn". This is when he added it to his name, which caused her daughter to have to add Hepburn to her legal name as well, thus Audrey Kathleen Hepburn-Ruston.

Was fluent in English, Dutch, Spanish, French, and Italian. She was raised bilingually; speaking English and Dutch (resulting in her unique accent). Throughout her life, she used multilingualism to great advantage with international press in both her careers as an actress and humanitarian.

Was briefly considered for the main role in Cleopatra (1963) but the part went to Elizabeth Taylor

She confessed to eating tulip bulbs and tried to bake grass into bread during the hard days of World War II.

In 1990, on the TV show "Reflections on the TV screen", when asked about the longstanding rumor that she felt that she was miscast in one of her most popular roles as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961): "No, that is quite wrong. I had no misgivings about "Breakfast at Tiffany's". Some people had, but not me. I don't think Truman Capote thought I was right for the part. And some people thought it was a different era that it was a bit daring to play a call girl.".

Was trained as a dental assistant before making it big.

Henry Mancini said of her: "'Moon River' was written for her. No one else had ever understood it so completely. There have been more than a thousand versions of 'Moon River', but hers is inquestionably the greatest".

Turned down the lead role in the film The Diary of Anne Frank (1959) because she was too old for the part. Years later, in 1990, during her humanitarian career, she accompanied composer Michael Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony orchestra to narrate portions of Frank's diary for a symphonic work he had written, "From The Diary of Anne Frank", which she performed on a small tour in the United States and London. Proceeds from all the concerts benefited UNICEF.

Like Humphrey Bogart, Hepburn also starred in five of the movies listed by American Film Institute in its Top 100 U.S. love stories (2002). They are Roman Holiday (1953), ranked #4 on the list, Sabrina (1954) ranked #54, which co-starred Bogart, My Fair Lady (1964) ranked #12, Two for the Road (1967) at #57 and Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) #61.

During the battle of Arnhem, 16-year-old Audrey was a volunteer nurse in a Dutch hospital. The hospital received many wounded Allied soldiers, one of whom young Audrey helped nurse back to health was a young British paratrooper - and future director - named Terence Young. More than 20 years later, Young directed Hepburn in Wait Until Dark (1967).

In 1954 she was presented with her Best Actress Oscar for Roman Holiday (1953) by Jean Hersholt. In 1993 she was posthumously awarded the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

During World War II, she lived in Arnhem, Netherlands. She worked with the Dutch Underground, giving ballet performances to collect donations for the anti-Nazi effort and as an occasional courier. She also received dance training and later studied ballet in London.

Presented the Best Picture Oscar at the Academy Awards four times (in 1955, 1960, 1966, and 1975), more than any other actress.

Told People Magazine that she was very self-conscious about her size-10 feet.

She was voted the 21st Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.

In 1993 she became the thirteenth performer to win the Triple Crown of Acting. Oscar - Best Actress for Roman Holiday (1953), Tony for Best Actress in a Play for "Ondine" (1954) and Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement Informational Programming for Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn (1993).

Was fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy's muse, who dressed her for the films Sabrina (1954), Funny Face (1957), Love in the Afternoon (1957), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), Paris When It Sizzles (1964), How to Steal a Million (1966), Charade (1963) and Love Among Thieves (1987).

In 1996 the British magazine Harpers & Queen conducted a poll to find the most fascinating women of our time. She was in the #1 spot.

As of 2005, she is one of only nine performers to win an Oscar, a Tony, an Emmy and a Grammy Award.

Her father was of approximately one quarter English and three quarters Austrian descent. Her mother was Dutch, with remote French and English roots. Some reports incorrectly identified Audrey as having Irish ancestry on her paternal side (which even she believed), but her father's only ties to Ireland were having resided there in the latter part of his life.

Followed winning the Academy Award for Roman Holiday (1953) with winning Broadway's 1954 Tony Award as Best Actress (Dramatic) for "Ondine."

Voted #1 in's Top 100: Natural Beauties of all time.

She owned a Yorkshire Terrier called "Mr. Famous".

She was voted the 18th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Premiere Magazine.

Was named #3 on The American Film Institute's 50 Greatest Screen Legends

Her biggest film regret was not getting the Anne Bancroft role in The Turning Point (1977). "That was the one film", she later admitted, "that got away from me."

Is portrayed by Jennifer Love Hewitt in The Audrey Hepburn Story (2000)

When she failed to receive an Academy Award nomination for her role as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady (1964), Katharine Hepburn wired her with a message of encouragement: "Don't worry about it. You'll get it one day for a part that doesn't rate it." Ironically, when Audrey's next (and last) nomination came for Wait Until Dark (1967) in 1967, Hepburn beat her in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967) - in a part that arguably didn't rate it.

Her character in Funny Face (1957) was inspired by Suzy Parker, who made a fashionable cameo appearance in the film (her first film) in the "Think Pink" sequence.

According to her biography, "Audrey Hepburn: An Intimate Portrait", she made a vow to herself never to exceed 103 pounds. With the exception of her pregnancies, she succeeded.

Turned down the title role in Gigi (1958) to make Funny Face (1957). Ironically, her agent initially rejected the film, but Hepburn overrode the decision after reading the script. Her mother, Baroness Ella Van Heemstra, makes a cameo appearance as a sidewalk café patron, and her Yorkshire terrier "Mr. Famous" appears as the dog in the basket during the "Anna Karenina" train shot. Hepburn did not want to be separated from husband Mel Ferrer, so filming of the Paris scenes was timed to coincide with Ferrer's filming of Elena and Her Men (1956). Paris' unseasonably rainy weather had to be worked into the script, particularly during the balloons photo shoot scene. During filming of the Paris scenes, much of the crew and cast were on edge because of riots and political violence that were gripping the city. The soggy weather played havoc with the shooting of the wedding dress dance scene. Both Fred Astaire and Hepburn were continually slipping in the muddy and slippery grass. In "Funny Face" she was lucky enough to sing several songs. Her next full musical, My Fair Lady (1964), had her singing voice dubbed by Marni Nixon, much to Hepburn's disappointment. The face portrait unveiled in the darkroom scene was photographed by Richard Avedon. The film was shot back-to-back with Love in the Afternoon (1957).

According to director William Friedkin, Audrey was Warner Bros. first choice for the role of Chris MacNeil in The Exorcist (1973) after her box-office successes with the studio's productions The Nun's Story (1959), My Fair Lady (1964) and Wait Until Dark (1967). She would only agree to star if the film were made in Rome, so that she would be able to remain home to raise her sons. Both Friedkin and writer William Peter Blatty rejected the proposal, and eventually cast Ellen Burstyn.

Her performance as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) is ranked #32 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).

Asked for the part of Emma Jacklin in The Turning Point (1977) but Anne Bancroft had already been cast in the role.

Hepburn was diagnosed with appendiceal cancer on November 1, 1992 (not colon cancer, as it is often mistakenly called). The cancer spread into the lining of her small intestine. She had one foot of intestine removed in surgery and went through chemotherapy, but in a second surgery it was decided that the cancer had spread too far and could not be treated. Her son Sean Hepburn Ferrer believes it had probably been developing over the course of the previous five years.

From 1980 until her death, she lived together in Switzerland with her partner, Dutch actor Robert Wolders.

The US Postal Service issued a 37 cent commemorative stamp honoring her as a Hollywood legend and humanitarian (2003).

Her famous "little black dress" from Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), designed by Hubert de Givenchy, was sold at a Christie's auction for approximately $920,000 (5 December 2006).

Was voted "most beautiful woman of all time" by the readers of "New Woman" magazine (2006).

Godmother of Victoria Brynner, the daughter of Doris Kleiner and Yul Brynner.

Saved the life of her friend Capucine, who attempted suicide on several occasions.

In Italy she was almost exclusively dubbed by Maria Pia Di Meo, except in her first two films (Roman Holiday (1953) (Vacanze Romane) and Sabrina (1954)) and in Green Mansions (1959) (Verdi dimore), where she was dubbed by Fiorella Betti.

She was presented with her 1953 Best Actress Oscar for "Roman Holiday" by actor and humanitarian Jean Hersholt. Forty years later she would posthumously receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for her work with UNICEF.

As of 2007, she and Katharine Hepburn are the only "Best Actress" Oscar-winners to share a last name. Of course, they are not related.

Met future husband Mel Ferrer at a party hosted by Gregory Peck. It was Ferrer who sent Hepburn the script for "Ondine", which Hepburn agreed to play on Broadway, in which the couple co-starred.

Scottish writer A.J. Cronin was godfather of Sean Hepburn Ferrer, her first child.

Was friends with Eva Gabor.

Once admitted that she would not have accepted the role of Eliza Dolittle in My Fair Lady (1964) if she had known that producer Jack L. Warner planned to have all of her singing dubbed.

Hepburn was offered the role of a Japanese bride opposite Marlon Brando in Sayonara (1957) but turned it down. She later explained that she "couldn't possibly play an Oriental. No one would believe me; they'd laugh. It's a lovely script, however, I know what I can and can't do. And if you did persuade me, you would regret it, because I would be terrible".

Broke her back during filming of a horse-riding scene in The Unforgiven (1960).

Won a 1968 Special Tony Award (New York City).

Was considered for the part of Tony Gromeko in Doctor Zhivago (1965), but Geraldine Chaplin was cast instead.

Was a close friend of Gregory Peck, Ben Gazzara and French actress Capucine.

In December 1992, President George Bush presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of her work for UNICEF. She did not attend the ceremony, due to being ill with cancer.

Nearly married James (later Lord) Hanson, a businessman, after filming Roman Holiday (1953). An ivory satin wedding gown was designed by the Fontana sisters, but Hepburn called off the wedding at the last minute.

Her last humanitarian mission for UNICEF was to Somalia in September 1992. She was reported to have begun experiencing stomach pains towards the end of the trip, leading to her cancer diagnosis, two months later.

Returned to work nine months after giving birth to her son Sean Hepburn Ferrer in order to begin filming Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961).

Suffered from hydrophobia, a condition that severely hampered some of her scenes in Two for the Road (1967). When a shot called for co-star Albert Finney to throw Hepburn into a swimming pool, divers were placed on standby (off-camera) just to placate the actress after it was learned that she had a morbid fear of water.

During his acceptance speech honoring her work for UNICEF, Sean Hepburn Ferrer dedicated his mother's Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to "the children of the world".

One of only 15 individuals who are an "EGOT", meaning having received at least one of all of the four major entertainment awards: an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony, competitively. The other recipients are Richard Rodgers, Helen Hayes, Rita Moreno, John Gielgud, Audrey Hepburn, Marvin Hamlisch, Jonathan Tunick, Mel Brooks, Mike Nichols, Whoopi Goldberg, Scott Rudin, Robert Lopez, John Legend, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Six others (including Barbra Streisand, Liza Minnelli, James Earl Jones, Alan Menken, Harry Belafonte, and Quincy Jones) have won three of the four awards competitively and received an honorary fourth and thus do not, strictly speaking, qualify.

She donated all the salaries she earned for her final projects to UNICEF (Love Among Thieves (1987), Always (1989), and Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn (1993)).

Art was one of her longtime hobbies, she drew pictures of stories when she was a child to distract herself from chronic hunger pains during WWII. As an adult, she took up painting to pass time while pregnant with her son, Luca. Samples of her work can be seen in the book "Audrey Hepburn: An Elegant Spirit".

In addition to her first son Sean Hepburn Ferrer, Hepburn became pregnant another four times by her husband Mel Ferrer (in 1954, 1958, 1965, and 1967). However, she suffered miscarriages on all of those occasions. She fell pregnant twice with Dr. Andrea Dotti; giving birth in 1970 to her second son, Luca, but miscarried in 1974.

Is one of 17 actresses to have won the Triple Crown of Acting (an Oscar, Emmy and Tony); the others in chronological order are Helen Hayes, Ingrid Bergman, Shirley Booth, Liza Minnelli, Rita Moreno, Maureen Stapleton, Jessica Tandy, Anne Bancroft, Vanessa Redgrave, Maggie Smith, Ellen Burstyn, Helen Mirren, Frances McDormand, Jessica Lange, Viola Davis and Glenda Jackson.

Ranked #82 in Men's Health 100 Hottest Women of All Time (2011).

She auditioned for, and did a costume test for, the role of Lygia in Quo Vadis (1951), but M-G-M turned her down because she was too unknown at the time and went with Deborah Kerr.

When Hepburn was in the final stages of her illness, the press took pictures of her while she was at home, and published the photos, much to the disapproval of everyone who knew her.

While working in a minor movie, We Go to Monte Carlo (1953), in Monaco in 1951, Hepburn was spotted by novelist Colette, who deemed her the ideal choice to play the title role in the upcoming Broadway version of her play "Gigi." Although she lacked experience and confidence, she ultimately got the part.

She never singled out any of her films as a favorite, but often spoke fondly of Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), Roman Holiday (1953), Funny Face (1957), The Nun's Story (1959), and Charade (1963) in interviews. She reportedly did not enjoy working on The Unforgiven (1960) due to injuries sustained while shooting, and Wait Until Dark (1967) from the stress of her failing marriage. She was said to have also disappointed with the results of Paris When It Sizzles (1964) and Bloodline (1979). Nonetheless, she had a great reputation for her professionalism and almost always got along well with her co-stars and directors.

Studied Ballet in London under Madame Rambert, later known as Dame Marie Rambert.

Release of the biography, "Enchantment: The Life of Audrey Hepburn" by Donald Spoto. [2006]

Release of the biography, "Audrey Hepburn: An Elegant Spirit" by her son, Sean Hepburn Ferrer. [2003]

Was the 40th actress to receive an Academy Award; she won the Best Actress Oscar for Roman Holiday (1953) at The 26th Annual Academy Awards (1954) on March 25, 1954.

Is one of 25 actresses to have won an Academy Award for their performance in a comedy; hers being for Roman Holiday (1953). The others, in chronological order, are: Claudette Colbert (It Happened One Night (1934)), Loretta Young (The Farmer's Daughter (1947)), Josephine Hull (Harvey (1950)), Judy Holliday (Born Yesterday (1950)), Goldie Hawn (Cactus Flower (1969)), Glenda Jackson (A Touch of Class (1973)), Lee Grant (Shampoo (1975)), Diane Keaton (Annie Hall (1977)), Maggie Smith (California Suite (1978)), Mary Steenburgen (Melvin and Howard (1980)), Jessica Lange (Tootsie (1982)), Olympia Dukakis (Moonstruck (1987)), Cher (Moonstruck (1987)), Jessica Tandy (Driving Miss Daisy (1989)), Mercedes Ruehl (The Fisher King (1991)), Marisa Tomei (My Cousin Vinny (1992)), Dianne Wiest (Bullets Over Broadway (1994)) Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite (1995)), Frances McDormand (Fargo (1996)), Helen Hunt (As Good as It Gets (1997)), Judi Dench (Shakespeare in Love (1998)), Gwyneth Paltrow (Shakespeare in Love (1998)), Penélope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)), and Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook (2012)).

Hepburn is mentioned by name in the Frank Sinatra standard "Nancy with the Laughing Face.".

She accepted her final role as "Hap" in Always (1989) simply for the opportunity to work with Director Steven Spielberg. Hepburn was moved by Spielberg's film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) after taking her youngest son to see it in Rome, and remarked: "The man is a genius!" She vowed to work with him, ever since.

Was to play the lead in a screen version of the Henry Cecil novel "No Bail for the Judge," which was to be Alfred Hitchcock's followup to North by Northwest. Hepburn was to play the daughter of an English judge who enlists the aid of a thief ( Laurence Harvey ) to exonerate her father, a High Court Judge who has been arrested for the murder of a prostitute. Hepburn dropped out of the project when she became pregnant, and that, along with subsequent changes in British law regarding prostitution, caused Hitchcock to lose interest in the project, and it was never made. A few years later Hepburn starred with Cary Grant in Charade (1963) , which is sometimes referred to as "the best Hitchcock film that Hitchcock never made.".

Spoke 5 languages: English, French, Spanish, Italian and Dutch.

Increased her smoking habit to 60 cigarettes a day while filming The Unforgiven (1960).

Played by Caroline J. Smith in Hollywood Mouth 3 (2018).

Starred in three Best Picture Oscar nominees; Roman Holiday (1953), The Nun's Story (1959) and My Fair Lady (1964). My Fair Lady was the only winner.

The movie "Al di la dal fiume e tra gli alberi", English title "Across the River and into the Trees," directed by Valerio Zurlini, starring Burt Lancaster and Audrey Hepburn, was scheduled to being filming April 1981, but no evidence it was ever finished or released.

Like fellow five time nominees, Anne Bancroft and Jennifer Jones, won the Best Actress Oscar on her first nomination, but did not win again on subsequent acting nominations.

Samsung commissioned a poll as Audrey Hepburn was voted "The Most Stylish Brit of All Time" (2015).

The United Nations Special Session on Children, UNICEF honoured Audrey Hepburn's legacy of humanitarian work by unveiling a statue, "The Spirit of Audrey," at UNICEF's New York headquarters. Her service for children is also recognized through the US Fund for UNICEF's Audrey Hepburn Society (2002).

Since Hepburn's passing, her grave site in Tolochenaz, Vaud, Switzerland is one of the biggest tourist attractions throughout Europe as people from all over the world visit it, garnering hundreds of thousands of people year round.

Audrey Hepburn has constantly been named as one of the most inspirational idols of the careers, fashions and humanitarian works from endless amounts of celebrities including Angelina Jolie, Victoria Beckham, Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Olivia Wilde, Frieda Pinto, Taylor Swift, Mila Kunis and countless others.

She was named the "Most Beautiful Woman of All Time" and "Most Beautiful Woman of the 20th Century" in polls by Evian and QVC respectively (2004).

Stanley Kubrick wanted her to play Joséphine de Beauharnais in his unrealized film on the life of Napoléon Bonaparte. Hepburn wrote to Kubrick a letter expressing flattery on being offered the role, but kindly wrote that she wasn't interested in working on a film at the moment. Indeed, she wouldn't work on a film until Robin and Marian (1976).

She has appeared in four films that have been selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant: Roman Holiday (1953), Sabrina (1954), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) and My Fair Lady (1964).

Was Cecil B. DeMille's original choice for the role of Nefretiri in his biblical epic The Ten Commandments (1956), but her figure was considered too slender for the diaphanous Egyptian gowns and the part went to Anne Baxter.

On August 18, 2019, she was honored with a day of her film work on the Turner Classic Movies Summer Under the Stars.

Started smoking in 1944; the habit became lifelong. She was a three-pack-a-day smoker at one point.

After filming Roman Holiday (1953), Gregory Peck informed the producers that, as Audrey Hepburn was certainly going to win an Oscar (for this, her first significant role), they had better put her name above the title. They did and she did.

She replaced Marilyn Monroe in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961).

It is believed that smoking cigarettes heavily from the age of 15 made her more likely to develop appendiceal cancer.

There were plans to marry Robert Wolders who had previously been married to Merle Oberon.

Her second husband, Andrea Dotti, died in Rome on 30 September 2007 after complications from a colonoscopy.

Was chosen from 10,000 applicants for the role of the Princess Ann in Roman Holiday (1953).

An uncle was taken as a hostage by the Germans during WWII and shot.

The black dress that she wore in Breakfast at Tiffanys went up for auction in late 2014 at an estimated £70,000 and actually went for £410,000,.