Audrey Kathleen Ruston
4 May 1929
|Died||20 January 1993 (aged 63)|
Tolochenaz, Vaud, Switzerland
|Resting place||Tolochenaz Cemetery, Tolochenaz, Vaud.|
|Other names||Edda van Heemstra|
|Height||170 cm (5 ft 7 in)|
(m. 1954–1968, divorced)
(m. 1969–1982, divorced)
|Partner(s)||Robert Wolders (1980–1993; her death)|
Early life[change | change source]
Born in Brussels, Belgium, to an English father and a Dutch mother who were divorced in 1935. She grew up in Arnhem municipality in the Netherlands during the war, with her mother and two maternal half-brothers. When World War II ended, she and her mother moved to England. There, she studied ballet, and began working as a model and appearing in bit parts in the theatre and in movies.
Career[change | change source]
This led to her being cast in the lead female part in the movie Roman Holiday (1953), opposite Gregory Peck. The movie made her an instant international star. Her performance won her the Academy Award, the Golden Globe Award and the BAFTA for best actress. She then appeared in a string of successful romantic comedies, such as Sabrina (1954), Love in the Afternoon (1957), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), Charade (1963), How to Steal a Million (1967), etc. She also appeared in two musicals; Funny Face (1957) and My Fair Lady (1964) and tackled more dramatic roles in movies such as War and Peace (1956), The Nun's Story (1959), The Children's Hour (1961), Two for the Road (1967) and the thriller Wait Until Dark (1967).
After an eight years absence from the screen to take care of her family, she returned with Robin and Marian (1976), opposite Sean Connery. She also appeared in Bloodline (1979) and They All Laughed (1981) but retired for good shortly after.
In later life, she worked as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF and hosted a television series The Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn.
She was married twice; first to actor/director Mel Ferrer in 1954, with whom she had a son Sean (b. 1960), and second to Italian psychiatrist Doctor Andrea Dotti in 1969, with whom she had a second son Luca (b. 1970). Both marriages ended in divorce.
Death and legacy[change | change source]
Hepburn died of appendix cancer in January 1993. Her elder son, Sean Ferrer, later wrote a book about his mother, called Audrey Hepburn: an elegant spirit. The asteroid 4238 Audrey is named after her.