Audrey Hepburn born Audrey Kathleen Ruston; 4 May 1929 – 20 January 1993 was a British actress and humanitarian. Although modest about her acting ability, Hepburn remains one of the world's most famous actresses of all time, remembered as a film and fashion icon of the twentieth century. Redefining glamour with "elfin" features and a waif-like figure that inspired designs by Hubert de Givenchy, she was inducted in the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame, and ranked, by the American Film Institute, as the third greatest female screen legend in the history of American cinema.
Born in Ixelles, Belgium, Hepburn spent her childhood chiefly in the Netherlands, including German-occupied Arnhem during the Second World War. In Arnhem, she studied ballet before moving to London in 1948 where she continued to train in ballet while working as a photographer's model. Upon deciding to pursue a career in acting, she performed as a chorus girl in various West End musical theatre productions. After appearing in several British films and starring in the 1951 Broadway play Gigi, Hepburn gained instant Hollywood stardom for playing the Academy Award-winning lead role in Roman Holiday (1953). Later performing in Sabrina (1954), The Nun's Story (1959), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), Charade (1963), My Fair Lady (1964) and Wait Until Dark (1967), Hepburn became one of the great screen actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age who received nominations for Academy Awards, Golden Globes and BAFTAs as well as winning a Tony Award for her theatrical performance in the 1954 Broadway play Ondine. Hepburn remains one of few entertainers who have won Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Awards.
Although she appeared in fewer films as her life went on, Hepburn devoted much of her later life to UNICEF. Her war-time struggles inspired her passion for humanitarian work and, although Hepburn had contributed to the organisation since the 1950s, she worked in some of the most profoundly disadvantaged communities of Africa, South America and Asia in the late eighties and early nineties. In 1992, Hepburn was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of her work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
At the age of 63, Hepburn died of appendiceal cancer at her home in Switzerland.
* 1 Early life
o 1.1 Childhood and adolescence in World War II
* 2 Career
o 2.1 Career beginnings and early roles
o 2.2 Roman Holiday and increased popularity
o 2.3 Breakfast at Tiffany's and continued stardom
o 2.4 My Fair Lady
o 2.5 Departure from cinema and final entertainment-related projects
o 2.6 Contributions to UNICEF
* 3 Personal life
o 3.1 Romances, marriages, children and miscarriages
o 3.2 Pets
o 3.3 Miscellaneous
* 4 Death
* 5 Legacy
o 5.1 Style
* 6 Credits
* 7 Awards
* 8 See also
* 9 References
* 10 Further reading
* 11 External links
Audrey Kathleen Ruston,later double-barrelled by her father to the surname Hepburn-Ruston, was born on Rue Keyenveld (or Keienveldstraat in Dutch) in Ixelles (or Elsene in Dutch), a municipality in Brussels, Belgium. Hepburn, the only child of Joseph Victor Anthony Ruston (1889–1980), an English banker of Irish descent, and his second wife Ella, baroness van Heemstra (1900–1984), a Dutch aristocrat, had two half-brothers: Jonkheer Arnoud Robert Alexander "Alex" Quarles van Ufford (1920–1979) and Jonkheer Ian Edgar Bruce Quarles van Ufford (1924-2010), by her mother's first marriage.Although born in Belgium, Hepburn had British citizenship and attended school in England as a child.Hepburn's father's job with a British insurance company meant that the family often travelled between Belgium, England, and the Netherlands. From 1935 to 1938, Hepburn was educated at Miss Rigden's School, an independent girls' school in the village of Elham, Kent, in the southeast of England.