Audrey Hepburn is One of The Most Influential People in Hollywood, Still to This Day

Ava Bromley, Staff Writer

Audrey Hepburn is one of the most influential people in the world, let alone in Hollywood.

Hepburn, born Audrey Kathleen Ruston, was a British actress and humanitarian born May 4th, 1929 in Ixelles, Brussels. Hepburn lived in England and attended Arnhem Conservatory to study ballet from 1939 to 1945.  During her early school years, the Germans invaded Poland in World War II. Hepburn’s mother decided to take Audrey to Holland to live with her relatives, thinking they would be safer there. Soon after, the Germans invaded Holland, and the family struggled to survive; all they had to eat some days was plain flour.

Hepburn and her mother moved back to England after the war.  She was cast in bits and pieces of films in both Holland and England but soon was discovered in 1952 by a French Novelist, Collette, in Monte Carlo, Monaco. Colette insisted Hepburn play the lead role in the Broadway production of her novel Gigi. Her lack of experience started out as a problem, but she quickly developed, and she ended up winning a Theatre World Award for her work. In 1953, Hepburn was offered a starring role in Paramount Studios’ Roman Holiday, co-starring the famous Gregory Peck.

The role landed Hepburn her first-ever Academy Award, for best actress at the age of twenty-four.  Soon after her debut, Director Billy Wilder signed her up for his 1954 film Sabrina. This film led to her nomination for a British Academy Film Award. After this, she also went on to win twelve awards including one Academy Award, three BAFTA Awards, one Emmy Award, two Golden Globes, one Grammy, two New York Film Critics Circle Award, one Screen Actors Guild Award, and one Tony Award. 

While juggling her career, Hepburn’s first great love was co-star Mel Ferrer in the 1956 film War and Peace. The couple met on the set of the 1954 Broadway production Ondine. The couple ended up getting married in 1954 in Burgenstock, Switzerland. The couple was married for a total of 14 years.

During their married years, the couple had a son. On July 17, 1960, after a miscarriage, Hepburn welcomed her first baby boy, Sean Hepburn Ferrer. After they had their kid, the marriage bobbled. They both were having affairs during the marriage, and they announced their divorce in November 1968. She then went on to marry psychiatrist Andrea Dotti. He and Hepburn met in June 1968 on a cruise aboard a yacht owned by an Italian socialite and fell in love on a trip visiting Greek ruins. The couple married on January 18th, 1969, and shortly after, welcomed their first son, Luca Dotti. They were married for a total of 13 years, and on September 21, 1982, the couple called it quits.

The world-renowned actress wasn’t only an actress; she was also an avid humanitarian. In 1989 Hepburn became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Soon after she became an ambassador for UNICEF, traveled to Ethiopia. She went to Ethiopia to review relief operations in areas controlled by the government. While she was there she helped with food distributions. In the years that followed, Hepburn made a series of UNICEF trips and testified before the US Congress in order to take part in the World Summit for Children. As an ambassador, she launched UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children reports. In 1992, Hepburn received the United States’ highest civilian award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. 

About a year after she received these awards, we lost one of the most beloved and influential people in the world. On January 20th, 1993, Audrey Hepburn died in her home at 63 years of age. She had undergone surgery for colon cancer that previous November.  She didn’t let her cancer dictate her life. Her friends and Family say within her last few days, she cared more about the ones she loved, more than the illness she was carrying. 

Hepburn left an amazing legacy behind, and we witness it every day. After one of her most popular films Breakfast at Tiffany’s, she influenced fashion everywhere. Some celebrities who have said that they were influenced by Audrey Hepburn include Taylor Swift, Zooey Deschanel, Mila Kunis, Leighton Meester, Anne Hathaway, and her sons. In an article, Sean Hepburn said his mother always used to say “It’s’ the tune, not the words’. You can say anything you want, it’s the way you say it. And in another article, Luca Dotti said his mother was more than a steel butterfly, she was a battle-hardened badass and a warrior.

Audrey Hepburn is a person who had so much good, and she was willing to share it with the world. Audrey Hepburn will never be forgotten.