Audrey Hepburn was born May 4, 1929 in Ixelles

Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn was an Anglo-Dutch actress, born Edda (or Audrey) Kathleen Ruston May 4, 1929 in Ixelles (Belgium), died January 20, 1993 in Tolochenaz (Switzerland).

It originally was destined to dance before reaching the scene in the late 1940s. The success of the play Gigi (1951) on Broadway opens the doors of the cinema in 1953, Roman Holiday earned him the Oscar for best actress. Hollywood star in the 1950 and 1960, she was nominated four other times for Academy Awards, in particular for the interpretation of Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961). His other hits include Sabrina, My Fair Lady and a cult film War and Peace from the saga of Leo Tolstoy. In 1967, at age 38, she ended his acting career.

She entered film history as one of his greatest actresses. In 1999, the American Film Institute and has distinguished itself as the third greatest actress of all time in the rankings AFI's 100 Years ... 100 Stars.

She made a major commitment to humanitarian causes. It was a UNICEF goodwill ambassador between 1988 and 1992 and its action is now being pursued by the Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund, a charity founded in 1994, a year after his death from cancer of the appendix of fulminating evolution.

It also marked his time by the incarnation of a "chic" inspired by fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy she was a friend and muse.

Birth and childhood
Audrey Hepburn was born May 4, 1929 in Ixelles, common bilingual region of Brussels-Capital Belgium.

His mother, Baroness Ella van Heemstra, daughter Aarnoud van Heemstra, aristocratic Netherlands, first married at age nineteen, Knight Hendric Gustaaf Adolf Quarles van Ufford, which she divorced in 1925. Two children, Alexander and Ian Quarles van Ufford were born of this union.

His father, Joseph Victor Anthony Ruston, is an Anglo-Irish, born in Bohemia of a British father with Irish roots, then, but also Austrian, Scottish and French. He thought his grandmother was a descendant of James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, third husband of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland.

Joseph Ruston Ella Van Heemstra met while working as director of the Brussels branch of the Bank of England. In 1926, they married in Batavia (now Jakarta in Indonesia) and to move in Ixelles, known as the Brussels commune of students, artists and intellectuals. Three years later, Audrey was born there and kind of fragile, barely survives from pertussis, and lived two years in Ixelles and the family moved to Linkebeek in the Brussels periphery.

Audrey is a playful and imaginative child, his father's nickname is "Monkey Puzzle". At age 5, she discovered a passion for classical dance. Then she saw between London, the Netherlands and Belgium according to the needs of the trade from his father.

The frequent quarrels between his parents in 1935 lead to the separation: his father, a Nazi sympathizer and whose relations with the Baroness van Heemstra are increasingly strained left home without leaving a word. The girl is then sent to a boarding school in England where she received a strict Victorian education. She stayed there until 1939, when Britain declared war on Germany. Fearing an air raid, Ella van Heemstra brought back his daughter in the Netherlands where they settled in Arnhem in the castle of Zijpendaal then in an apartment.

With origins English, Irish, Dutch and Belgian, she shows real talent for languages and speaks fluent English, Dutch, French, Spanish and Italian. Audrey reads everything and everything Edgar Wallace E. Phillips Oppenheim. His favorite books are Heidi and The Secret Garden. At 13, she already has an astonishing literary culture.

Adolescence and World War II
In 1939, war broke out and German troops invaded the Netherlands. To prevent its English sounding name attracts the attention of the occupants, his mother passed the name Edda van Heemstra, modifying up his papers. Indeed, during the war, be British in the Netherlands occupied by German forces can lead to imprisonment or deportation.

During this time of war, Audrey knows his early years spent at the show. If, after eleven years, he had been responsible for carrying messages for the resistance, she also took classes in classical ballet. During these difficult years, which is ravaged Arnhem during Operation Market Garden, the restrictions and the famine of the winter of 1944 affect his health, causing depression and malnutrition. However, it takes part in the resistance against the Nazi occupiers by raising funds through performances or with messages. During the conflict, his uncle and cousin were shot as "enemies of the Reich."

From 1939 to 1945, she took lessons at the Conservatory of Arnhem but it suffers from malnutrition has adverse effects. Maychick Diana, in her biography of Audrey Hepburn, writes:

"She was skeletal. His diet consisted of lettuce, if possible, a potato, and bread made a horrible pea deteriorated progressively as supplies became more problematic. If necessary, Audrey fell back on the water and tulip bulbs. Already tall, she weighed less than 40 pounds, continued to lose weight and she was exhausted. [...] In fact, malnutrition Audrey forced to stop dancing lessons for a while. "

- Maychick Diana, Audrey Hepburn, Issue 1, Paris, 1993

She keeps a very elongated shape, which leads to several questions about a possible anorexic actress.

Work for UNICEF and death
In its action side of Unicef from 1988 as a special ambassador for Africa and Latin America, it makes a fifty study trips to Sudan, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, until 1992.

In the same desire to defend the child, she participated in a television series entitled Gardens of the World With Audrey Hepburn that aired on PBS the day of his death. She also recorded a CD of children's stories she reads, enchanted tales of Audrey Hepburn. For this album she won a Grammy Award posthumously, the best album of talking to children.

At the end of 1992, Audrey began to have stomach pain. She thinks at first that it is a virus contracted in Africa, but was diagnosed with colon cancer. It remained in his villa in Switzerland, "The Quiet", surrounded by her family. She died January 20, 1993 in Tolochenaz, in the canton of Vaud, where she was buried. His tomb, located in the village cemetery, is of great modesty in the image of the actress.

UNICEF inaugurated May 7, 2002 a statue to his memory, called The Spirit of Audrey and located at the headquarters of the international organization. "We are gathered to celebrate the life of our friend Audrey Hepburn and her second career, more brilliant, UNICEF Ambassador," said Roger Moore, so. According to the confessions she made to him, his service to UNICEF was partly motivated by his past:

"I was a child undernourished during years of post-war period. I benefited from the services of UNICEF, I have known all my life Unicef "

- Audrey Hepburn

After the war, she adopted the name of Hepburn, the name of a family distantly descended the family of his father. She chose the stage name but does not change its name registrar.

She still takes dance classes in the Netherlands, with Sonia Gaskell in Amsterdam, but eventually Audrey and her mother moved to London, where the young woman studied and worked as a model, while continuing his training to become a ballerina. In 1948, she took classes with Marie Rambert, Nijinsky, who as a student. However it must be resolved to abandon his vocation, his body has suffered the privations of war. Moreover, it is considered too large to hope to become prima ballerina.

Her film debut in 1948 with a small role as a stewardess in Dutch in Seven Lessons. In 1951, the minor roles are multiplying, as in Laughter in Paradise (where she played just a ballerina) and a wild oats. She also appears in several commercials, like for Lacto-Calamine.

Noticed by the French writer Colette about the filming of us go to Monte Carlo, she is chosen to play the lead role on Broadway part of it, Gigi. The play is a success, it opens the doors of Hollywood.

In 1953, director William Wyler gave him his first major film role in the romantic comedy Roman Holiday, opposite Gregory Peck, while the producers initially wanted Elizabeth Taylor. After casting, Wyler said:

"It had everything I was looking for: charm, innocence and talent. She was also very funny and absolutely delicious. We said: "It is that we need! ""

The film is a success and she won the Oscar for Best Actress, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. His career is launched.

His emotional life is more unstable then, however: she becomes engaged to the first beginnings of the 1950s with the industrialist James Hanson. Having set the date of the ceremony and have bought her wedding dress, she cancels the wedding in order to devote himself to his career, saying: "When I decide to get married, it will be to be truly married.

From 1954 to 1966, she toured with the biggest players in Hollywood under the guidance of famous directors. If it turns relatively few films, she remains faithful to a few directors like Stanley Donen, Billy Wilder and William Wyler. In 1954 she won Humphrey Bogart in Sabrina. There she met the couturier Hubert de Givenchy, who designed his outfits for the film to remain his friend for life.

In July 1953, she met the actor-director Mel Ferrer at a party hosted by Gregory Peck. Aged twelve years her senior, he had then been married three times, including two with the same woman, and father of four children. When he was asked to play in the play by Jean Giraudoux Ondine, Audrey Hepburn agrees on the condition to play with him. They then play from February to June 1954. Audrey received for the interpretation of the role a Tony Award. The relationship with Mel Ferrer left the professional register and they began a romantic relationship. Finally, September 25, 1954, they married. They have one son, Sean Hepburn Ferrer, born July 17, 1960 in Lucerne. His godfather was the Scottish author, A. J. Cronin. The pair played together on several occasions, as in War and Peace in the film, film in which they embody Natasha Rostov and Prince Andrew. Their career is now more mixed.

She plays with Fred Astaire in the musical Funny Face in 1957. Directed by Stanley Donen, the film takes place largely in Paris, the city where she turned to many times. Like Sabrina, Edith Head designed the costumes for the film except for Audrey Hepburn, always made by Hubert de Givenchy. Then came the confrontation in love with Gary Cooper, playboy much older, in Ariadne in 1957, under the gaze of the anxious father, Maurice Chevalier. Then in Mayerling, she plays with her husband for a television program on NBC.

With Anthony Perkins in Green Mansions she played in 1959 under the leadership of her husband. The same year, she played a missionary nun in Africa at risk of losing Fred Zinnemann. She was again nominated for an Oscar for best actress, finally obtained by Simone Signoret.

Absent from the screen in 1960, she returned in 1961 with the role of Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's, adapting the novel by Truman Capote. She played with George Peppard. This role makes him a legend film despite disappointing revenues. It was also one of the most difficult roles for her, she said: "I'm introverted. Playing an extroverted woman was what I had the hardest to do."

In the 1960s, his popularity was at its height. For the (final) anniversary of U.S. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy May 29, 1963, Audrey Hepburn sang "Happy Birthday, dear Jack, taking the result of Marilyn Monroe and her" Happy Birthday, Mister President.

She continues to play with giants of cinema as Cary Grant in Charade in 1963. The latter had refused to play with it in Roman Holiday and Sabrina, who are too old to play with an actress much younger than him. Audrey Hepburn was especially, as partners, except that older actors Anthony Perkins and George Peppard. He appreciated, however, the actress and said this: "Everything that I want for Christmas is another movie with Audrey."

In 1964, she starred in a film that is now most often associated with his name, My Fair Lady. After an initial denial, she accepted the role that was originally planned for Julie Andrews. The movie is eagerly awaited by the public as much as could be Gone with the wind by some journalists. Audrey Hepburn began recording the sung passages, but they were eventually dubbed by Marni Nixon, singer. His performance is finally welcomed Gene Ringgold and then tell:

"Audrey Hepburn is magnificent. It will remain the eternal Eliza."

The same year she turned down the role of Cleopatra with Richard Burton. She finds William Holden Sizzles in 1964 and then Peter O'Toole as an accomplice to burglary in the light comedy How to steal a million dollars in 1966. With Albert Finney, she starred in Two for the Road, 1967. This film about the issue of divorce coincided with his marital difficulties. It accepts one last role with the thriller Alone in the night, playing a young blind woman, she faces three drug traffickers. Mel Ferrer produced the film, so that their marriage is experiencing increasing difficulties, the couple is weakening. In 1968, after fourteen years together, they decide to divorce, partly because of differences on the career of Audrey and extramarital affairs. The divorce was officially November 20, 1968. She announced the same year she concludes her career.

From 1968 to 1988
She remains unmarried and very briefly, from January 18, 1969, married an Italian psychologist, Dr. Andrea Dotti, met during a private cruise in June 1968. They settled in Rome and Audrey Hepburn devoted himself to his family. In 1970 she gave birth to a second son, Luca Dotti. The marriage did not last more than a decade and in 1982, they divorced because of their extra-marital respective links, particularly with model Andrea Daniela. Audrey Hepburn then settled with Dutch actor Robert Wolders Tolochenaz in his villa, the quiet. They both lived there together until the death of Audrey, unmarried.

In accordance with its announced withdrawal from the film, she refused most of the roles that are still available, such as Out of Africa. However, she appeared in few films like The Rose and the Arrow with Sean Connery as a partner in 1976.

She made one last appearance in film, playing the role of an angel in the movie Always by Steven Spielberg in 1989. Success is not at the rendezvous.

See also Adolf Hitler

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