One of the best of Hollywood and Goodwill Ambassadors for children around the world.
Early Life Of Audrey Hepburn
Born Audrey Kathleen Ruston on May 4, 1929, to Joseph and Ella Ruston in Belgium. Audrey's schooling was at a boarding school in England. During WW II, she and her mother lived in Nazi-occupied Holland. At first, her mother was a Nazi sympathizer, but after Audrey's uncle was imprisoned, tortured, and shot, they became Dutch resistance workers. Audrey would pass messages to the allies as the Nazis considered her harmless as a little waif. Unfortunately, her dreams of being a ballet star would never materialize for many reasons.
The hardships and food shortages of the war would forever leave an impression on Audrey. She was forced to eat ground-up tulip bulbs for food against hunger and contributed to her lifelong food problems.
Audrey's father had abandoned her when she was only six years old, leaving a considerable void for her. It would be many years later when she enlisted the aid of the Red Cross to find him. Her father had never reached out to her, not wanting to gain anything from her fame. He was located in Dublin, Ireland, and not in good health. After finally finding the father she idolized, she supported him until he died in 1980.
Audrey Hepburn's Best Five Films
Listed here are five of the best films she made:
- 1953 Roman Holiday
- 1954 Sabrina
- 1957 Funny Face
- 1961 Breakfast At Tiffany's
- 1963 Charade
Audrey would win four of the most significant awards in the entertainment field. She won an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, and a Tony Award. In addition, she is ranked by the American Film Industry as the third greatest female screen legend.
Audrey Hepburn's Marriages
Audrey wanted children and a family for most of her life. She married twice and did have two sons. In 1954 she married Mel Ferrer and had a son after a miscarriage. Sean Hepburn Ferrer was born on 17 July 1960. She divorced Ferrer after his infidelities in 1968.
In 1969 Audrey married Andrea Dotti, and their son Luca was born 8 February 1970. They, too, were later divorced. In 1980 she met Robert Wolders, and although not married, they were together until she died in 1993. They were devoted to each other.
While filming Sabrina starring William Holden, it didn't take long before they were a couple and very much in love. Holden was married with children, but so in love with Audrey, he asked her to marry him if he would divorce his wife. Audrey debated, and when Holden told her he couldn't have any more children because of a vasectomy, Audrey immediately broke the relationship.
Audrey Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF
Audrey was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador in 1989. It was a perfect fit for her after the horrors she suffered in WW II. She said she would never forget the chocolate bar offered to her by a soldier during that time. As a Goodwill Ambassador, Audrey made over fifty trips worldwide. She didn't do this for photo ops. he did it for her love of the children, picking them up, hugging them, and embracing the mothers. She worked in some of the poorest communities of Africa, South America, and Asia.
President George W. Bush awarded Hepburn the Medal of Freedom Award. In addition, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts And Science awarded her the Jean Hersholt Award for her contribution to humanity.
In 1992, while in Somalia, she complained of stomach pains. Testing discovered rare cancer and suggested surgery and chemo. Instead, she went home to her restored farmhouse, La Paisible, Switzerland, and died on 20 January 1993.
Today, her granddaughter, Emma Ferrer, keeps Audrey's tradition of Ambassador alive.
Shirley MacLaine offered this remark about Audrey, "if there was a cross between the salt of the earth and a regal queen, then she was it."
Estate Of Audrey Hepburn
When Audrey died in 1993, her estate valued at 55 million dollars. In her will, she left her personal memorabilia to be split 50/50 between her two sons, Sean and Luca. But, she never gave specific pieces to them, and consequently, it would take court proceedings and mediation for her sons to agree on disposition. Finally, the auction house Christie's would auction her memorabilia and the profits to be split 50/50. The auction netted her two sons 6.2 million dollars. Probably, Audrey would not have approved of the fighting between her sons.
Today, both sons are in the film industry, and both are significantly out of the public eye, including their families.