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Hepburn, Audrey (Edda Van Heemstra Hepburn-Ruston)

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Born: 1929 AD
Died: 1993 AD, at 63 years of age.

Nationality: British
Categories: Actresses, Dancers, Entertainers

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1929 - Audrey Hepburn, Edda van Heemstra- Ruston, born on the 4th of May, was an Academy Award-winning Belgian-born British actress of film and theatre, Broadway stage performer, ballerina, fashion model, and humanitarian. Audrey Kathleen Ruston in Ixelles, a municipality in Brussels, Belgium, she was the only child of Joseph Victor Anthony Ruston, an Englishman and his second wife, the former Baroness Ella van Heemstra, a Dutch aristocrat who was a daughter of a former governor of Dutch Guiana. The future actress's father later appended the surname of his maternal grandmother Kathleen Hepburn to the family's, and her surname became Hepburn-Ruston.

 

1935 - 1938 - Hepburn attended a private academy for girls in Kent.

 

1939 - Her mother moved her and her two half-brothers to their grandfather's home in Arnhem, Netherlands.

 

1939 - 1945 - Attended the Arnhem Conservatory where she trained in ballet, along with the standard school curriculum.

 

1944 - Had become a proficient ballerina. She secretly danced for groups of people to collect money for the underground movement. She later said, "the best audience I ever had made not a single sound at the end of my performance."

 

1948 - Went to London and took dancing lessons with the renowned Marie Rambert, teacher of Vaslav Nijinsky, one of the greatest male dancers in history.

 

1951 - First gained notice for her starring role in the Broadway production of Gigi. Hepburn was chosen to play the lead character in the Broadway play Gigi that opened on 24th of November. The writer Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette upon first seeing Hepburn reportedly said, "Voilà! There's our Gigi!". She won a Theatre World Award for her debut performance, and it had a successful six-month run in New York City.

 

1952 - First significant film performance was in the film Secret People, in which she played a prodigy ballerina. Naturally, Hepburn did all of her own dancing scenes.

 

1954 - Married Mel Ferrer on the 25th of September.

 

1960 - Son with Mel, Sean H. Ferrer was born on the 17th of July. 1968 - Divorced Mel Ferrer on the 5th of December. 1969 - Married Italian psychiatrist Dr. Andrea Dotti.

 

1970 - Second son, Luca Dotti, was born on the 8th of February. Where she had a difficult pregnancy that required near-total bed rest.

 

1982 - Divorced Andrea Dotti.

 

1992 - President George Bush presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of her work with UNICEF, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded her The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for her contribution to humanity. This was awarded posthumously, with her son accepting on her behalf.

 

         - Returned to Switzerland from her visit to Somalia, she began to feel stomach pains. She went to specialists and received inconclusive results, so she decided to have it examined while on a trip to Los Angeles in October. On the 1st of November, doctors conducted a laparoscopy surgery and discovered abdominal cancer that had spread from her appendix. The cancer had grown slowly over the course of several years, and metastasized not as a tumor, but as a thin encasing over her small intestine.

        

         - On 1st of December, she had a second surgery. After one hour, the surgeon decided that the cancer had spread too far and could not be removed. Unable to tolerate a commercial flight, Givenchy arranged for socialite Bunny Mellon to send her jet to LA and take Hepburn to Switzerland. Mellon filled the cabin with flowers.

 

1993 - Died of colon cancer on the 20th of January, in Tolochenaz, Vaud, Switzerland, and was interred there. She was sixty-three.

 

1999 - Ranked as the third greatest female star of all time by the American Film Institute in their list AFI's 100 Years... 100 Stars.

 

2003 - The United States Postal Service issued a stamp illustrated by Michael J. Deas, honouring her as a Hollywood legend and humanitarian. It has a drawing of her which is based on a publicity photo from the movie Sabrina. Hepburn is one of the few non-Americans to be so honoured.

 

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Page last updated: 9:47pm, 28th Jan '11

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