Audrey Hepburn, of blessed memory, was a celebrated actress, humanitarian, dancer, and model whose legendary career ensured her greatness during Hollywood’s Golden Age. She was not just a reputable actress, but also a fashion icon with a distinctive look that earned her an induction into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame at some point in her life. Her time in the limelight also saw her narrate children’s stories of the war on the radio in the 1950s before she went ahead to bag the appointment of a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1989.
Hepburn’s breakout year was in 1953 after she won three envious awards; a BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award, for a single performance in the film, Roman Holiday. She would rise to become one of the greatest female screen stars in the Golden Age of Hollywood as well as a legend whose legacy speaks for itself.
Audrey Hepburn was a native of Ixelles, Brussels, in Belgium. She was born Audrey Kathleen Ruston on the 4th of May 1929, to Joseph Victor Anthony Ruston and Baroness Ella van Heemstra.
Shortly after her parents’ marriage in September 1926 in Batavia, Dutch East Indies, her father, who was working for a trading company at the time, moved his family to Europe, first to London and later to Brussels, where the loan company he was working for assigned him to open a branch office. His family would spend the next three years moving between Brussels, The Hague, Arnhem, and London before deciding to settle in the suburban Brussels municipality of Linkebeek in 1932.
Although this constant movement impacted on Hepburn’s early childhood, it, however, afforded her the opportunity to learn up to five languages – Italian, Spanish, French, English, and Dutch. In 1937, a year before her parents officially divorced, she moved with her mother and grandmother to Kent, England, where she attended an Elham-based independent school.
The young girl, who went ahead to become an actress, remained estranged from her father until sometime in the 1960s when they reconnected in Dublin through the Red Cross. She remained of great of help to him finance-wise until his death in the year 1980.
During her days in the movie industry, she portrayed numerous characters in numerous high-grossing films that won multiple awards. In recognition of her work with UNICEF, she was also honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by U.S president George W. Bush, as well as the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, which she received posthumously from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for her roles to humanity.
Audrey Hepburn’s Husband, Children
In her lifetime, Audrey Hepburn was married twice, after which she embarked on a long-term relationship with her partner Robert Wolders, whom she spent the rest of her life with.
Her first husband was American actor Mel Ferrer, who she married on September 25, 1954, in Bürgenstock, Switzerland. The pair had a son called Sean Hepburn Ferrer (born July 17, 1960) before they divorced after fourteen years together. Her next marriage was to Italian psychiatrist, Andrea Dotti, on January 19, 1969. The couple welcomed their first child, a son named Luca Dotti, on 8th February 1970 before divorcing in 1982, after thirteen years together.
Hepburn’s relationship with Wolders, a Dutch actor and widower of actress Merle Oberon, began during the later years of her second marriage, precisely in 1980 and lasted till her death in 1993.
Sean and Luca are all doing great like their mother when she was alive. Sean is an author and film producer while Luca is a former graphic designer turned actor, who serves as the chairman of the Audrey Hepburn’s Children’s Fund (created in 1994).
Height and Weight
Audrey Hepburn’s height was recorded at 5 feet 7 inches and she reportedly weighed about 103 pounds. Her shoe size was further measured to be 10 (US) or 40 (EU).
Audrey Hepburn died in her sleep on January 20th, 1993, at her home in Tolochenaz, Vaud, Switzerland, after battling appendiceal cancer. Her funeral service was held on 24 January 1993 at the village church of Tolochenaz and was presided over by Maurice Eindiguer, the same pastor who baptized her son Sean in 1960 and officiated her marriage with Mel Ferrer.
The burial was attended by people from all walks of life, including her ex-husbands, partners, sons, UNICEF executives, and Hollywood co-stars. She was later interred on the same day at the Tolochenaz Cemetery. The iconic actress left two silver candlesticks to her partner in her will. She also named Hubert de Givenchy and her two Swiss attorneys as the executors of her estate and then appointed Sean and Luca as co-equal heirs to her estate.