Today In History: Audrey Hepburn Born
Audrey Hepburn was born today. Hepburn is one of the most iconic actresses in cinema history, most famous for her role in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. She was originally born Audrey Kathleen Ruston in Ixelles, Brussels.
Ruston grew up in Belgium, England and the Netherlands. She became a ballet student in Amsterdam, studying under Sonia Gaskell before she relocated to London in 1948. There, she trained under Marie Rambert. She also worked as a chorus girl in stage theater productions.
Audrey landed various small film roles before a starring role in a stage version of Gigi caught the eye of Colette, the French novelist whose book was the source material for the play. The role earned her the lead in the 1953 movie Roman Holiday, which catapulted her to fame when she got an Academy Award for her performance. She was the first actress to ever win an Oscar, a BAFTA and a Golden Globe for the same role. That year also saw her win a Tony for Best Lead Actress in a Play, for Ondine.
Hepburn was an instant film star. She went on to be the lead in Sabrina, The Nun’s Story, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Charade, My Fair Lady and Wait Until Dark. Wait Until Dark earned her nominations for an Academy Award, a BAFTA and a Golden Globe.
Hepburn is remembered as much more than a pretty face – she’s considered one of the most gifted actresses from the Golden Age of cinema. There are only twelve individuals who have ever won an Academy Award, an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony, and she’s one of them. She also won a BAFTA Lifetime Achievement Award, the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award, the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award and the Special Tony Award.
As she got older, Hepburn focused more on her advocacy work for UNICEF. In 1992, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contributions as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. The following month, she died of cancer in her Switzerland home. She was 63.