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.
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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