Thursday, October 23, 2008
Timeless Thursday: Audrey Hepburn
If I were to attempt to do justice to a post about silver screen legend Audrey Kathleen Hepburn-Ruston, I would be the first to concede that I don't feel as if I would be able to do so fittingly. I have been at this blogging thing for a little while and I know I do a pretty OK job of it. However, I know my limitations as a writer. Instead of trying to put into words the profound admiration and respect I have for this stalwart of a woman, this legend of an actress, this genuine humanitarian at heart, I will let her words and that of others paint a picture of the woman she was. What I can tell you in my own words though is that Audrey Hepburn is by far my most favorite and revered actress of all time as far as I am concerned. I well up with emotions at the very thought of dedicating this post to her. She had a career that spanned from 1952 - 1989 in which she made some 31 films. She retired just past the height of her career to raise her two sons and enjoy the rest of her life with them. She had absolutely no qualms about retiring. She knew her purpose in life, she knew what she wanted, she was content with what she had done and needed to do. How can you not love and respect her for it all? Audrey Hepburn, PMF (May 4, 1929 – January 20, 1993) was an English/Dutch Academy Award-, Emmy Award-, Tony Award-, and Grammy Award-winning film and stage actress, fashion icon, and humanitarian. In 1999, she was ranked as the third greatest female star of all time by the American Film Institute. She also served as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and was honoured with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work. She is often seen as one of the most beautiful women ever, named 8th in empires magazine 100 sexiest stars in film history (1995) and chosen by People Magazine as one of the most beautiful people in the world (1990). Born Audrey Kathleen Ruston on Keienveldstraat (Dutch) / Rue Keyenveld (French) in Elsene / Ixelles, a municipality in Brussels, Belgium, she was the only child of the Englishman Joseph Victor Anthony Ruston and his second wife, the former Baroness Ella van Heemstra, a Dutch aristocrat, who was a daughter of a former governor of Dutch Guiana. She was a descendant of King Edward III of England and Mary Queen of Scots' consort, James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, from whom Katharine Hepburn may have also descended. This also made her related to the other notable distant cousins including Humphrey Bogart and Prince Rainier III of Monaco. Having become one of Hollywood's most popular box-office attractions, Hepburn co-starred with actors such as Humphrey Bogart in Sabrina, Henry Fonda in War and Peace, Fred Astaire in Funny Face, Maurice Chevalier and Gary Cooper in Love in the Afternoon, Anthony Perkins in Green Mansions, Burt Lancaster and Lillian Gish in The Unforgiven, Shirley MacLaine and James Garner in The Children's Hour, George Peppard in Breakfast at Tiffany's, Cary Grant in Charade, Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady, Peter O'Toole in How to Steal a Million and Sean Connery in Robin and Marian. (All of the above directly taken from here) Personal Quotes: I never thought I'd land in pictures with a face like mine. I was asked to act when I couldn't act. I was asked to sing "Funny Face" when I couldn't sing and dance with Fred Astaire when I couldn't dance - and do all kinds of things I wasn't prepared for. Then I tried like mad to cope with it. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it's at the end of your arm. As you get older, remember you have another hand: the first is to help yourself, the second is to help others. I was born with an enormous need for affection, and a terrible need to give it. My own life has been much more than a fairy tale. I've had my share of difficult moments, but whatever difficulties I've gone through, I've always gotten a prize at the end. For me, the only things of interest are those linked to the heart. I never think of myself as an icon. What is in other people's minds is not in my mind. I just do my thing. I probably hold the distinction of being one movie star who, by all laws of logic, should never have made it. At each stage of my career, I lacked the experience. My look is attainable. Women can look like Audrey Hepburn by flipping out their hair, buying the large sunglasses, and the little sleeveless dresses. Success is like reaching an important birthday and finding you're exactly the same. I know I have more sex appeal on the tip of my nose than many women in their entire bodies. It doesn't stand out a mile, but it's there. [talking about a severe coughing attack she had when she was six weeks old, slowly turning blue and finally stopping breathing until her mother's prayers and spanking brought her back to life] If I were to write a biography, it would start like this: I was born in Brussels, Belgium, on May 4, 1929 . . . and I died six weeks later. [about her "comeback" in 1976] Whatever happens, the most important thing is growing old gracefully. And you can't do that on the cover of a fan magazine. It's that wonderful old-fashioned idea that others come first and you come second. This was the whole ethic by which I was brought up. Others matter more than you do, so 'don't fuss, dear; get on with it.' [On filming "Funny Face", while coping with extreme Paris weather and a grumpy co-star] Here I've been waiting for 20 years to dance with Fred Astaire, and what do I get? Mud in my eye! (all quotes obtained from here) If ever there was a legend, that would have been Audrey Kathleen Hepburn. If ever there was a timeless, phenomenal woman, that would have been Audrey Kathleen Hepburn.