Chic waif who was always a class act
Thursday 21 January 1993
At a time when fluffy, voluptuous blondes (Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, Diana Dors, Brigitte Bardot) were the order of the day, Hepburn was a petite cropped brunette: 'gamine' was always the favoured description. In retrospect she seems more like a creature of the Sixties, presaging the pert, waif-like look of Jean Seberg and Anna Karina.
She was always a class act. She won an Oscar for her first major film, Roman Holiday (1953), in which she was a lonely princess with whom Gregory Peck fell in love. On her next film, Sabrina (1954), the writer Ernest Lehman recalls locking horns with the director Billy Wilder over whether Hepburn, a chauffeur's daughter courted by two rich ne'er-do- wells, should go to bed with one of them (Humphrey Bogart). Lehman won and she did not.
But most people must remember her from Funny Face (1957). Hepburn played a slip of a girl whisked by Fred Astaire from a Greenwich Village bookstore to the world of Paris haute couture. Fashion then was still dominated by Christian Dior's 1947 New Look, which dictated an hour- glass figure. In elegant basic black, Hepburn was a template of sleek, down-stated chic - and clever with it (her character frequented existentialist cafes).
Hepburn's quality factor was to work against her. Many critics found her too fey as the winsome call-girl in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), which Truman Capote, author of the original novel, dismissed as a 'mawkish valentine to Audrey Hepburn' (he had wanted Monroe). And in My Fair Lady (1964), chosen over Julie Andrews, she was great as the lady, less convincing as the thick- tongued Cockney flower girl.
She made two last films, Two for the Road (1966) and Wait Until Dark (1967), before going into semi-retirement.
New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site on Friday
New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain
- 1 'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
- 2 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 3 Woman blinded as a child can see again after hitting her head on a coffee table
- 4 Paul Hollywood: Police asked if I wanted them to arrest Mary Berry for vandalism after she 'defaced' my car
- 5 If you think Russell Brand’s new book is confused, you should read what his critics have to say about it
'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
Tower of London poppies: Tens of thousands of people flock to see installation in its final days
Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
Woman blinded as a child can see again after hitting her head on a coffee table
Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
£40000 - £65000 per annum + bonus + benefits + OT: Ampersand Consulting LLP: M...
£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: The JobAt ...
£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Calling al...
£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: EYFS Teachers - East Essex...