When did Audrey Hepburn die?

Audrey Hepburn: biography

Audrey Hepburn is the style icon of the fifties and sixties. But even as a great benefactress, she is still unforgotten today

Audrey Hepburn

  • Bourgeois name: Audrey Kathleen Hepburn-Ruston
  • Life data: May 4, 1929 to January 20, 1993
  • Nationality: British
  • Quote: "I love people who make me laugh. I really believe that laughter is my favorite thing to do. It cures a lot of diseases. Maybe it's the most important thing about people."

Audrey Hepburn made a name for herself as an actress in the 1950s and 1960s. She was also recognized for her benefits as a special ambassador for the Unicef ​​organization.

How Audrey Hepburn lived

Audrey Hepburn was born on May 4, 1929, the daughter of the wealthy banker Joseph Victor Anthony Ruston and his wife Ella Baroness van Heemstra. Although she had a Dutch mother and was born in Belgium, she was British.

When Audrey was six years old, the father left the family. The single mother Ella and Audrey's two half-brothers moved shortly afterwards to Audrey's grandfather in the Netherlands due to the beginning of the Second World War. The British nationality had to hide from Audrey. That's why she called herself Edda van Heemstra.

Edda, or Audrey, began taking ballet lessons during this time. When the war led to a great famine in the winter of 1944/45, Audrey's family was also in danger. Since malnutrition affects muscle growth in children, Audrey could no longer pursue her dream of dancing. She began to get excited about films.

After the war ended in 1945, she and the whole family moved to what is now the capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam. Once there, she got her first small role in a commercial. Back in England, the young and beautiful Audrey discovered modeling for herself.

By chance she met the writer Colette a little later, who was looking for a leading actress for her play "Gigi". From then on, Audrey played successfully on Broadway, New York's theater district. From 1953 she became a Hollywood star. People especially loved her for her big doe eyes and unusual fashion style.

Her typical appearance, characterized by a little black dress, red lipstick, oversized sunglasses, a neckerchief around her neck and flat ballerina shoes, influenced many women at the time. And privately things also went up: after she had lost three children while pregnant, she gave birth to her son Sean in 1960. However, her marriage to her fellow actor Mel Ferrer fell apart just a few years later.

How Audrey Hepburn changed the world

After other successful films such as "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "My Fair Lady" - still true film classics today - she retired from the stage. Audrey, now in her forties, devoted herself to more charitable activities.

For example, she traveled around the world with her new partner Robert Wolders to stand up for projects run by the Unicef ​​children's aid organization. She visited disaster and famine areas and did a lot of public relations work for people in need. In 1988 she was therefore appointed special ambassador for the Children's Fund.

In 1992 she developed severe colon cancer and had to stop her charity. In one of her last appearances, she said: "Remember whenever you need a helping hand: it's on the end of your arm. And as you get older, remember that you also have a second hand: one to help you, the other to help others to help."

Audrey Hepburn died on January 20, 1993 of complications from her illness. The film legend and style icon was nominated five times for an Oscar during her lifetime and also won two of them: one in 1953 for her film role in "A Heart and a Crown" and an honorary Oscar for her special services for children and poor people, which her posthumously, after her death, 1993.