Monday, June 2, 2008

Audrey's Biography

Actress, philanthropist.
Born on May 4, 1929, in Brussels, Belgium.

A talented performer, Audrey Hepburn was known for her beauty, elegance, and grace. Often imitated, she remains one of Hollywood’s greatest style icons. A native of Brussels, Hepburn spent part of her youth in England at a boarding school there. During much of World War II, she studied at the Arnhem Conservatory in The Netherlands. After the Nazis invaded the country, Hepburn and her mother struggled to survive. She reportedly helped the resistance movement by delivering messages, according to an article in The New York Times.
After the war, Hepburn continued to pursue an interest in dance. She studied ballet in Amsterdam and later in London. In 1948, Hepburn made her stage debut as a chorus girl in the musical High Button Shoes in London. More small parts on the British stage followed. She was a chorus girl in Sauce Tartare (1949), but was moved to a featured player in Sauce Piquante (1950).
That same year, Hepburn made her feature film debut in 1951’s One Wild Oat in an uncredited role. She went on to parts in such films as Young Wives’ Tales (1951) and The Lavender Hill Mob (1951) starring Alec Guiness. Her next project on the New York stage introduced her to American audiences.
At the age of 22, Audrey Hepburn went to New York to star in the Broadway production of Gigi, based on the book by the French writer Colette. Set in Paris around 1900, the comedy focuses on the title character, a young teenage girl on the brink of adulthood. Her relatives try to teach her ways of being a courtesan, to enjoy the benefits of being with a wealthy man without having to marry. They try to get a friend of the family, Gaston, to become her patron, but the young couple has other ideas.
Only a few weeks after the play premiered, news reports indicated that Hepburn was being wooed by Hollywood. Only two years later, she took the world by storm in the film Roman Holiday (1953) with Gregory Peck. Audiences and critics alike were wowed by her portrayal of Princess Ann, the royal who escapes the constrictions of her title for a short time. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for this performance.

For the rest of the 1960s, Hepburn took on a variety of roles. She starred with Cary Grant in the romantic thriller Charade (1963). Playing the lead in the film version of the popular musical My Fair Lady (1964), she went through one of the most famous metamorphoses of all time. As Eliza Doolittle, she played an English flower girl who becomes a high society lady. Taking on more dramatic fare, she starred a blind woman in the suspenseful tale Wait Until Dark (1967) opposite Alan Arkin. Her character used her wits to overcome the criminals that were harassing her. This film brought her a fifth Academy Award nomination. That same year, Hepburn and her husband separated and later divorced. She married Italian psychiatrist Andrea Dotti in 1969, and the couple had a son, Luca, in 1970.

In her later years, acting took a back seat to her work on behalf of children. She became a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF in the late 1980s. Traveling the world, Hepburn tried to raise awareness about children in need. She understood too well what it was like to go hungry from her days in The Netherlands during the German Occupation. Making more than 50 trips, Hepburn visited UNICEF projects in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America. She won a special Academy Award for her humanitarian work in 1993, but she did not live long enough to receive it. Hepburn died on January 20, 1993, at her home in Tolochenaz, Switzerland after a battle with colon cancer.
Her work to help children around the world continues. Her sons, Sean Ferrer and Luca Dotti, along with her companion Robert Wolders, established the Audrey Hepburn Memorial Fund to continue Hepburn’s humanitarian work in 1994. It is now known as the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Audrey Hepburn's delectable, Oscar-winning American debut. She plays a teenage princess on holiday in Rome who ditches her royal chaperones to gallivant around town on the arm of Gregory Peck. Unbeknownst to her, he's a reporter angling for a big scoop. What might have been a run-of-the-mill romantic comedy turned out to be one of the most charming films of the '50s under the sure hand of director William Wyler.

Click the link below to watch the tralier for Roman Holiday
B/W 118m directed by William Wyler
Starring: Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Eddie Albert, Hartley Power, Laura Solari, Harcourt Williams, Margaret Rawlings, Tullio Carminati, Paolo Carlini, Claudio Ermelli

In the Spotlight: Audrey Hepburn

One of a kind to say the very least, Audrey Hepburn came to Hollywood, skinny, with bushy eyebrows and rat-gnawed bangs-- yet she changed the definition of class and glamour for a generation and the effects can still be seen today. But Audrey was not a fashion model. Besides a pretty face, she was a fine actress and scored hits in several romantic comedies as well as a few dramas-- overall earning five Best Actress Nominations.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Laurence Olivier Tribute

Fast Fact & Quote

Fast Fact: Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh were married for 20 years...

"We were young. We were beautiful. We lived for each other."--Vivien Leigh on her marriage to Laurence Olivier after their divorce. "

Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

In the Spotlight: Laurence Olivier

He is an actor who many consider to be the greatest in the English-speaking world during the twentieth century. Though Sir Laurence Olivier was based mostly in England, he made a significant number of Hollywood films. He was nominated for Academy Awards as either an actor, producer or director twelve times, winning twice, while also being honored with two special Oscars. In his long and versatile career, Olivier appeared in more than 120 stage roles, nearly 60 films and more than 15 television productions.
As a sought after actor, Olivier heeded the call to Hollywood again and was considerably more successful. He starred as Heathclifff in the scintillating romance, Wuthering Heights (1939), and became an international matinee idol. He followed that hit with several others, including Rebecca and That Hamilton Woman. Olivier's most productive period came from directing and producing. He did this, while also starring in Henry V (1944) and Hamlet (1948). He won Best Film and Best Actor awards for Hamlet from the Academy. No matter what country has produced his films, Olivier remains an international star whose talent belongs to all nations.
Burdened by ill health for more than a decade, Olivier fought cancer and other ailments while working at a furious pace. He was knighted in 1947, and in 1970 he was made "Baron Olivier of Brighton," for services to the theater, which allowed him to sit in the House of the Lords. If that wasn't enough, in 1981 he was given the Order of Merit. In America, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences bestowed its version of knighthood on "Lord Larry," awarding him a special Oscar "for the full body of his work, the unique achievement of his entire career and his lifetime of contribution to the art of film.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Fast Fact:

Did you know that Laurence Olivier was originally going to play Don Vito Corleone in "The Godfather" (1972) because he had a perfect italian accent which was needed for the part, but at the last moment he fell ill and he was replaced by Marlon Brando.

~Contribution by Cecilia