Audrey Hepburn

by: Sapna Krishnaprasad

"I have learnt how to live…how to be in the world and of the world, and not just to stand aside and watch." -Audrey Hepburn

Childhood

  • Audrey was born on May 4, 1929 in Brussels, Belgium.
  • Her father left the family when Audrey was eight years old.
  • She studied at the Arnhem Conservatory in Holland. She started to show interest in ballet and stated to dance.
  • Audrey and her mom struggled to survive during the Nazi invasion. Audrey continued to dance to help with the war effort.
  • At a dance studio in London, Audrey worked very hard to improve, but was let down when her dance instructor informed her that she was too tall and not strong enough.
  • She went to Monte Carlo to star in a movie, and was discovered by French novelist Colette. Colette offered her a role in the broadway show Gigi.
  • This show was a huge success and opened the doors for other acting opportunities for Audrey.

Carrer in Acting

  • In 1953, Audrey stared in her first American movie Roman Holiday. A story about a runaway princess who leaves her responsibility as a princess to have an adventure around Rome.
  • Audrey won an Academy Award for her role in Roman Holiday.
  • Hepburn continued her career in acting by staring in many light hearted comedies such as: Sabrina and Funny Face.
  • In Funny Face, Audrey Hepburn showed off her dancing skill. The clothes used in this movie were designed by Hubert de Givenchy, Hepburn's friend.
  • In 1956, Hepburn stared in Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace along side her husband at time Mel Ferrer and Henry Fonda.
  • 1959, Hepburn earned another Academy Award nomination for The Nun's Story.
  • In the following year Audrey Hepburn appeared in another comedy: Paris, When It Sizzles.
  • One of most iconic films was Breakfast at Tiffany's. This movie narrated the story of Holly Golightly who was a lighthearted yet troubled girl living in New York City and gets involved with George Peppard.
  • In 1964, Audrey Hepburn accepted the role as Eliza Doolittle in motion picture My Fair Lady. Many people believed this role belonged to Julie Andrews and became a controversial topic.
  • Audrey Hepburn starred in a romantic thriller called Charade.
  • In the next 20 years, Audrey Hepburn acted in movies sporadically.
  • Her last role was in 1989, in a movie called Always directed by Steven Spielberg.

Unicef

  • Audrey Hepburn devoted her final years in UNICEF.
  • She became the Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF.
  • Her first mission was to Ethiopia. There she saw the struggle the children faced everyday and it encouraged her to dedicate her time to help the children.
  • Audrey Hepburn conducted 15 interviews to explain to the world the problems in Ethiopia such as: drought, civil strife, and famine.
  • Audrey Hepburn also made a trip to Turkey to visit a polio vaccine project.
  • She also visited Venezuela and initiated programs that trained women and she helped with projects for children living on the streets of Ecuador.
  • Moreover, Audrey Hepburn went to schools in Bangladesh and Thailand and helped with projects that helped the impoverished children.
  • When Hepburn was not on her field trips she would work tirelessly with UNICEF to improve conditions for children.
  • Audrey Hepburn testified before Congress for World Summit for Children. She also designed fundraising cards, participated in benefit concert tours, and gave many speeches promoting UNICEF's work.
  • In 1992, Hepburn received the Unites State's highest civilian award, The Presidential Medal of Freedom.
  • Sadly, in 1993 Audrey Hepburn died of colon cancer.

Additional Information

  • Audrey Hepburn was motivated to work in charity and help children because she felt robbed of her childhood.
  • She became a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF
  • Audrey would go to various countries such as Africa and volunteer and help out the children
  • Audrey Hepburn conducted many interviews and gave speeches to inform the public about the problems around the world and what they can do to help.
  • Audrey Hepburn gave up her job as an actress to fully dedicate her life into charity work.
  • Hepburn would of been involved in the protest to end child labor and enforce laws to protect children.

Compare and Contrast

If Audrey Hepburn were to be alive during the 1920's I think she would of had a larger impact on the people. The 1920's was a pivotal moment for women because the were going out and expressing themselves more than before. Women took part in jobs and earned a living.Hepburn's acting career would of been influential on women who wanted to go out and get a job. Also, Audrey Hepburn was a non-conformist and she created new standards for beauty that influenced women everywhere. In the 1920's women wore extravagant dresses that were more provocative than before, and Audrey Hepburn would of contributed to the development of new styles of clothing.

If Audrey Hepburn were to be born during the Progressive Era she would of been very active in the various movements that were taking place. Audrey was very passionate in bettering other people's lives. In the Progressive Era she would of participated in the Women's Right Movement and fight for equal suffrage. Audrey advocated for children to get the best opportunity possible for them. She strongly believed that children should be able meet basic requirements such as food, water, and education. Her success in this time period would of been beneficial because at this time children were forced to engage in factory work and quit school to make and earning. Hepburn would help fight for labor laws and enforce school education.

If I had the same skills and abilities as Audrey Hepburn, I would use my position and continue to fight for the end of poverty. Many celebrities engage in charity work, but it was nothing to the extent of Audrey Hepburn. She solely dedicated her life in bettering those who are less fortunate. If I had the impact of Audrey Hepburn I too would donate my time and money in giving back to others. I personally believe that those who are in poverty should get the chance to nourish their bodies. I would help organize charities for people in poverty to be able to get food and clean water. I believe that everyone deserves an equal opportunity and I would help fight for everyone to have an opportunity to live a happy, successful life.

Historiography

Article: http://content.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1580936-1,00.html

In Richard Corliss' "Audrey Hepburn: Still the Fairest Lady" the author goes into depth about the key aspects of Audrey Hepburn and why she was so influential. He begins by giving background information on her on screen debuts as an actor. Her famous movies such as "Roman Holiday" and "Breakfast at Tiffany"s" set the precedent for women everywhere to adopt her sense of grace. In these movies Audrey Hepburn showed her conformist beliefs by creating new styles and fashions that influenced girls everywhere. The author also mentions Hepburn's involvement in charity work. Her notable black Givenchy dress that appeared in Breakfast at Tiffany's was sold for $900,000 and the money was donated to The City of Joy to help children in India. Corliss portrays Audrey Hepburn as a well rounded and genuine woman and describes her passion and drive to succeed. Audrey Hepburn was and is very influential among women because not only was she beautiful, she was loving and caring. Corliss applauds Hepburn's gracious efforts both on screen and off screen.
Audrey Hepburn Book Trailer

Book Trailer

In Audrey Hepburn by Barry Paris, Paris narrates how Audrey Hepburn's childhood impacted her life. As a child, Audrey Hepburn was exposed to trauma which encouraged her to help other kids who are in poverty and starving. This book was very interesting because it showcased Audrey Hepburn's many talents and passions. It described Audrey Hepburn in a way know one knew before. Audrey Hepburn was a genuine woman who made the best out of her situation and bettered the lives of everyone.
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Political Cartoon

The political cartoon is titled "How Charitable is Charity?" because it is comparing Audrey Hepburn's contribution to charity and other celebrities contribution to charity. Audrey Hepburn, unlike other celebrities, donated all of her time and money to give back to the less fortunate. As a child in Holland, Hepburn went a long period of time with no food and was finally saved by the United Nations near the end of war when she received food from them. She was very thankful to have received food and she felt as if it was her duty to help children who were in the similar position as she was. Even though other celebrities do contribute a lot to charity, Audrey Hepburn had a sincere concern for the children and did everything in her ability to help them out. Some celebrities contribute to charity just for the tax benefits or to help their image, but Audrey Hepburn showed a true concern and wanted to better the world.

American Experience

Audrey Hepburn's American Experience was her lasting impact she had on everyone. Audrey Hepburn came to America and created a legacy in Hollywood that is still impactful today. She created a new image that would set the precedent for other young women to follow. She embraced her differences and did not conform to the previous standards for women. Audrey Hepburn took her postion and status to give back to others who were less fortunate. Her contribution to UNICEF saved many lives and still impacts children today. Her elegance and grace is admired by many. Her kindness continues touch people and her foundation has changed the lives if many.