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Definition: Hepburn, Audrey from Philip's Encyclopedia

US actress, b. Belgium. Her ingénue performance in Roman Holiday (1953) won her an Academy Award for best actress. A succession of similiar roles in films such as Sabrina (1954) and Funny Face (1957) earned her further popular success. Other credits include Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) and My Fair Lady (1964). She later became involved in charitable and humanitarian work.

Summary Article: Hepburn, Audrey
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

English actor. She often played innocent, childlike characters. Slender and doe-eyed, she set a different style from the more ample women stars of the 1950s. After playing minor parts in British films in the early 1950s, she became a Hollywood star in Roman Holiday (1951), for which she won an Academy Award, and later starred in such films as Funny Face (1957) and My Fair Lady (1964).

Her break came when the French novelist Colette insisted Hepburn play in the Broadway version of her novel Gigi. This led to her casting in Roman Holiday and to a succession of films during the 1950s and 1960s: mainly comedies, such as Sabrina (1954) and Charade (1963), and the anarchic Holly Golightly in the bittersweet Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), but she also played Natasha in War and Peace (1956) and the doubting novice in The Nun's Story (1959).

Born in Brussels, Belgium, of Anglo-Dutch descent, she was trapped in Arnhem with her mother when World War II began, and spent the war years there in hardship, though managing to train as a dancer. She subsequently appeared in revues in London's West End, and small roles in several British films.

She turned down the title role in The Diary of Anne Frank (1959), saying that her memories of the Dutch occupation would have made it too painful. Her casting as Eliza Doolittle in the film version of My Fair Lady caused some controversy; many had expected the part to be played by Julie Andrews, who had created it on the stage. Among her later films were Wait Until Dark (1968) and Robin and Marian (1976). Her final film was Always (1988).

Latterly she was a special ambassador for the United Nations, and visited Somalia in 1992.


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