Audrey Hepburn, the actress perhaps best remembered for her role in the 1960s film Breakfast at Tiffanys, is celebrated in a Google Doodle today on the anniversary of her birth.
Despite a hugely successful film career, winning Academy, Emmy, Grammy and Tony awards, and her extensive humanitarian work later in life, Hepburn is often principally remembered as a style icon – most notably in designs by Hubert de Givenchy.
Born on May 4 1929 to a British father and Austrian mother, Hepburn was raised in Belgium until the outbreak of the Second World War, when she was sent to neutral Holland.
Raised bilingual, by the end of her life Hepburn spoke fluent English, Dutch, French, Spanish and Italian.
In 1948 Hepburn moved to London to continue to work and dance, eventually landing first a featured role in a Broadway play Sauce Piquante. This led to her first films and a breakthrough role in an adaption of Gigi, which took her to New York in 1951.
Audrey Hepburn: A life in pictures
Audrey Hepburn: A life in pictures
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On location in the Congo for 'The Nun's Story'
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SF book AH: AES - photo dated circa 1949
Photograph by Antony Beauchamp
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Life Magazine cover July 18, 1955, shot in La Vigna, Italy - signed 'Halsman N.Y.'
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1953 Sept. 22 Sabrina wardrobe test shots
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Portrait of Hepburn taken in the early 1950s
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Hepburn exercising her dog in Richmond Park in May 1950
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Hepburn and Gregory Peck in ‘Roman Holiday’ (1953)
The Kobal Collection
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Clutching her Oscar for 'Roman Holiday' Hepburn wore a bespoke Hubert de Givenchy dress made from white organdy (1953)
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Hepburn and Mel Ferrer married in Burgenstock, Switzerland, (1954). The couple had a son, Sean, and divorced, at Hepburn's instigation, in December 1968.
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Ferrer with his coat buttoned up around his wife, on a country road outside Paris (1956)
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Hepburn wears Givenchy in ‘Funny Face’ (1957)
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Audrey Hepburn's little black dress - Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
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George Peppard and Hepburn have one of the most iconic kisses in the rain (Breakfast At Tiffany's) (1961)
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Hepburn starred as Eliza Doolittle with Rex Harrison as Professor Henry Higgins in 'My Fair Lady' (1964) the musical adaptation of 'Pygmalion'
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Peter O'Toole and Audrey Hepburn in a publicity still for 'How to Steal a Million' (1965)
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With her second husband, Italian psychiatrist Andrea Dotti, after their wedding in Switzerland in 1969.
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Audrey Hepburn poses with a dove on her shoulder during filming of the motion picture "Two for the Road" in 1976, in St. Tropez, France
© Terry O'Neill
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Hepburn, in her role as an ambassador of Unicef, gives a press conference after her return from Somalia, on September 29, 1992
Hepburn’s first Hollywood role as Princess Ann in Roman Holiday won her an Oscar – and established her permanently into the public eye. Her friend and co-star Gregory Peck also introduced her to her first husband, actor Mel Ferrer.
Following on the success of Roman Holiday, Hepburn starred in a string of critically and commercially popular movies; Sabrina (1954), War and Peace (1956), the musical Funny Face (1957), The Nun’s Story (1959) and Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961).
Meanwhile, Hepburn and Ferrer were married in 1954 and had one son, Sean, in 1960. The marriage was a tumultuous one and Hepburn ended the relationship in 1968. In January 1969 she married the Italian psychiatrist Andrea Dotti, giving birth to her second son, Luca Dotti, in February 1970.
In 1988 she travelled to Ethiopia for UNICEF – the first of her many trips around the world to raise awareness. Visiting Turkey, Central America, Sudan, Bangladesh, Vietnam and finally Somalia in 1992, she was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador and presented by then-president George H. W. Bush with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of her work.
Hepburn died in 1993 of appendiceal cancer. Posthumously she received, among other awards, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for her work with UNICEF.
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