Audrey Hepburn: biography of the famous actress, star of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”

Hollywood cinema milestone of stardom. An emblematic representation of a certain type of character who has risen to the role of actor, but also an irresistible and fascinating personality by definition. A description that definitely fits perfectly to Audrey Hepburn, one of the most impressive and legendary divas who passed under the aegis of Hollywood.

Audrey is that woman and actress of the past, in black and white, who was able to win the sympathy and admiration of the men of the past, but not only.


  • The beginnings of Audrey Hepburn
  • Audrey Hepburn’s career since the Second World War
  • Audrey Hepburn’s career since the 1960s
  • The Descending Parable of Audrey Hepburn
  • Filmografia Audrey Hepburn

The beginnings of Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn’s charm is absolutely priceless and universally recognized by critics. A magnetic gaze on the set that helped to cheer many American and international citizens.

Audrey Hepburn was born in Ixelles on May 4, 1929. She grew up between Belgium and the United Kingdom in an aristocratic context, but marked by the ongoing Second World War. In particular, she goes through the entire Nazi regime and, during that time, she changes her name to Edda Van Heemstra . All this to avoid retaliation by the regime because of her English origins. Because, you know, in those times she just needed to be born and raised in the ‘wrong’ nation to be severely punished.  

Historical events, however, do not prevent her from undertaking and continuing her studies, particularly in dance. In the 1940s she established herself as a leading dancer , inevitably conditioned by the world conflict. Nazism will change her life a lot, so much so that she faces health problems related to malnutrition that undermine her psychological as well as physical condition. But her star was soon to shine, in better times.

Once the Second World War was declared over with the liberation of the Netherlands, the country to which she had moved, she changed the destination again. This time Audrey Hepburn takes root in London starting in 1948 .

Audrey Hepburn’s career since the Second World War

Li becomes definitively aware of the fact that the career of a dancer would not have gone on that much. This will be the decisive push of her that will lead her to devote herself mainly to the role of actress.

Initially the area of ​​reference is the theater , so much so that the first work ever turns out to be an educational documentary. He takes part in a series of musicals before finally taking off in the world of cinema.

First film shot: One Wild Oat . The 1951 comedy Vacanze a Montecarlo sees her as the absolute protagonist for the first time. The first prize that she receives in this sense takes the form of the Theater World Award.

She plays the role of a dancer in the film The Secret People , dated 1952. Thanks to the experience accumulated in the past it was not difficult for her to get into the part immediately. She forms a very strong friendship on the set and beyond with a well-known Italian actress of yesteryear, Valentina Cortese.

Director William Wyler is writing for his film, Roman Holiday , in which he plays the part of Princess Anne alongside another film guru like Gregory Peck.

Thanks to this performance she earns the Oscar for best leading actress and, in addition, 1 BAFTA for best actress. We begin, therefore, to perceive the real value of this fantastic actress. 

An interpretation appreciated to the point of making her stand out on the cover of Time magazine through the illustration of her face in the foreground. After her Gregory Peck, it is up to Humphrey Bogart to join her in the film Sabrina , another forge of Oscar, this time for her best costumes.

From that moment on Audrey Hepburn became a style and fashion icon in all respects. She married in 1954 with the actor and director Mel Ferrer with whom she also has a professional relationship. Thanks to her play Ondine she gets the Golden Globe as Best Actress for a Drama.

Judged par excellence the best actress on the international film scene by the entire critics in the 1950s. With Cinderella in Paris she lends her ballet skills alongside an industry icon like Fred Astaire.

The story of a nun from 1959 allows her to grab the David Di Donatello as best foreign actress. 

Audrey Hepburn’s career since the 1960s

But it is with Blake Edwards’ Breakfast at Tiffany ‘s in 1961 that Audrey Hepburn is celebrated as a woman of high class and depth fully represented in the film. The film in question earned her another David Di Donatello and an Academy Award for Best Foreign Actress. Even today it is considered as an example of high virtue and well-acted elegance, especially by the female audience, but not only.

Gets a collaboration on the set with Cary Grent in Charade of 1963. The following year there is an unpleasant diatribe between the actress and the director of the musical once she discovers that some of its parts had been dubbed within the same. An affront that does not lead to any second thoughts, so much so that she continues to recite quietly and to carry on the representation.

He works again with director William Wyler on the film How to Steal a Million Dollars and Live Happy . One of her last public outings, in fact, before her divorce from her husband Mel Ferrer and her cinematic regression.

The Descending Parable of Audrey Hepburn

From 1970 onwards , in fact, Audrey Hepburn embarked on a downward trend that led her to prefer minor, marginal roles. A choice also determined by the marital and family changes underway through which a professional detachment and a rapprochement on the level of private life is accomplished.

Towards the end of the 70s his good name returns to the crest of the wave alongside Sean Connery , but it’s just a flash in the pan. His last appearance dates back to Steven Spielberg’s work Always – Forever. From then on there are no more traces.

In the 1980s, this legendary figure of international cinema gradually retired to devote himself more to his family and to charitable activities, Unicef ​​above all, carried out with his partners.

He died in Tolochenaz on January 20, 1993, due to cancer. A woman committed on many fronts, whose social commitments have united many people and in particular a certain mass culture.

Filmografia Audrey Hepburn

Here is the filmography of Audrey Hepburn, placed in alphabetical order:

  1. Dutch in seven lessons – documentario (1948)
  2. One Wild Oat, regia di Charles Saunders (1951)
  3. Young Wives’ Tale, by Henry Cass (1951)
  4. Laughter in Paradise, directed by Mario Zampi (1951)
  5. The Incredible Adventure of Mr. Holland (The Lavender Hill Mob), by Charles Crichton (1951)
  6. Holidays in Monte Carlo (Monte Carlo Baby), directed by Jean Boyer and Lester Fuller (1951)
  7. We will go to Monte Carlo, regia of Jean Boyer (1952)
  8. The Secret People, regia di Thorold Dickinson (1952)
  9. Roman Holiday, by William Wyler (1953)
  10. Sabrina, by Billy Wilder (1954)
  11. War and Peace, by King Vidor (1956)
  12. Funny Face, by Stanley Donen (1957)
  13. Arianna (Love in the Afternoon), regia di Billy Wilder (1957)
  14. Verdi abodes (Green Mansions), directed by Mel Ferrer (1959)
  15. The Nun’s Story, by Fred Zinnemann (1959)
  16. The Unforgiven, by John Huston (1960)
  17. Breakfast at Tiffany’s, by Blake Edwards (1961)
  18. Quelle due (The Children’s Hour), regia di William Wyler (1961)
  19. Charade (Charade), by Stanley Donen (1963)
  20. Together in Paris (Paris – When It Sizzles), directed by Richard Quine (1964)
  21. My Fair Lady, regia di George Cukor (1964)
  22. How To Steal a Million, directed by William Wyler (1966)
  23. Two for the Road, directed by Stanley Donen (1967)
  24. Wait Until Dark, directed by Terence Young (1967)
  25. Robin and Marian, by Richard Lester (1976)
  26. Bloodline, directed by Terence Young (1979)
  27. … E tutti risero (They All Laughed), directed by Peter Bogdanovich (1981)
  28. Always – Per sempre (Always), regia di Steven Spielberg (1989)