Filled Under: Audrey Hepburn
Behind the scenes of “My Fair Lady” (1964), directed by George Cukor and starring Audrey Hepburn as the flower girl Eliza Doolittle and Rex Harrison as the arrogant phonetics professor Henry Higgins who wagers that he can take Eliza and turn her Cockney accent into a proper English one, thereby making her presentable in high society. The film won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Director.
“Sabrina” is a 1954 comedy-romance film directed by Billy Wilder, adapted for the screen by Wilder, Samuel A. Taylor, and Ernest Lehman from Taylor’s play Sabrina Fair. The movie stars Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, and William Holden. “Sabrina” was Wilder’s last film released by Paramount Pictures, ending a 12-year relation between Wilder and Paramount.
“Sabrina” won an Academy Award for Best Costume Design (Edith Head) and was nominated for five more Academy Awards; Best Director (Billy Wilder), Best Actress (Audrey Hepburn), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White (Hal Pereira, Walter H. Tyler, Sam Comer, Ray Moyer), Best Cinematography, Black-and-White (Charles Lang), and Best Writing, Screenplay (Billy Wilder, Samuel A. Taylor, Ernest Lehman).
Audrey Hepburn, born Audrey Kathleen RustonMay 4, 1929 in Ixelles, Belgium, was a British actress, fashion icon, and humanitarian. She remains one of the world’s most famous actresses of all time, remembered as a film and fashion icon of the twentieth century. Redefining glamour with “elfin” features and a waif-like figure that inspired designs by Hubert de Givenchy, she was inducted in the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame. Hepburn is ranked as the third greatest female screen legend in the history of American cinema by the American Film Institute.
Audrey Hepburn spent her childhood chiefly in the Netherlands, including German-occupied Arnhem during the Second World War. After the war ended, she studied ballet in Arnhem before moving to London in 1948 where she continued to train in ballet while working as a photographer’s model. Upon deciding to pursue a career in acting, she performed as a chorus girl in various West End musical theatre productions. She appeared in several British films and starred in the 1951 Broadway play Gigi. Hepburn gained instant Hollywood stardom for her role in “Roman Holiday” (1953), for which she recieved an Academy Award for Best Actress. After performing in “Sabrina” (1954), “The Nun’s Story” (1959), “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961), “Charade” (1963), “My Fair Lady” (1964) and “Wait Until Dark” (1967), Audrey Hepburn became one of the great screen actresses of Hollywood’s Golden Age. She received nominations for Academy Awards, Golden Globes and BAFTAs as well as winning a Tony Award for her theatrical performance in the 1954 Broadway play “Ondine”. Hepburn remains one of few entertainers who have won Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Awards.
As she grew older Hepburn appeared in fewer movies but devoted much of her later life to UNICEF. Her war-time struggles inspired her passion for humanitarian work and, although Hepburn had contributed to the organization since the 1950s, she worked in some of the most profoundly disadvantaged communities of Africa, South America and Asia in the late eighties and early nineties. In 1992, Hepburn was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of her work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
Hepburn was married twice, once to Mel Ferrer (1954 – 1968) with whom she had a son, Sean Hepburn Ferrer. Her second marriage was to Andrea Dotti (1969 – 1982) with whom she had another son, Luca Dotti.
After her divorce from Dotti was final, Hepburn lived with and was romantically involved with Dutch actor Robert Wolders from 1980 until her death.
Audrey Hepburn died in her sleep of appendiceal cancer, on the evening of January 20, 1993, at her home in Tolochenaz, Vaud, Switzerland. After her death, Gregory Peck went on camera and tearfully recited her favourite poem, “Unending Love” by Rabindranath Tagore. Funeral services were held at the village church of Tolochenaz, Switzerland, on January 24, 1993. Maurice Eindiguer, the same pastor who wed Hepburn and Mel Ferrer and baptized her son Sean in 1960, presided over her funeral while Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, of UNICEF, delivered an eulogy. Many family members and friends attended the funeral, including her sons, partner Robert Wolders, brother Ian Quarles von Ufford, ex-husbands Andrea Dotti and Mel Ferrer, Hubert de Givenchy, executives of UNICEF, and fellow actors Alain Delon and Roger Moore. Hepburn was interred at the Tolochenaz Cemetery, a small cemetery that sits atop a hill overlooking the village.
In 1958, Audrey Hepburn was filming the movie “Green Mansions,” directed by then-husband Mel Ferrer, and she had a co-star of a small fawn named Pippin who was supposed to be a friend of her’s in the movie. The animal trainer on the set suggested that she take her on-screen sidekick home with her so that they would bond and the fawn would learn to follow her around. She took the fawn home and Pippin soon became part of the family. Audrey and Ferrer made a bed for Pipin out of an old bathtub. She called it “Ip” and he went everywhere with her. It shopped with her, took naps beside her, and followed her around all day. Audrey also had a small dog, a yorkshire terrier called Mr Famous and he and Pippin would play together. Audrey adopted the fawn and kept it for several months. (Whatever happened to “Ip” after that I have no idea. I cannot find any mention of it after 1959. If anyone knows what became of the little fawn please leave a comment so everyone will know.)
Bob Willoughby, a photographer who took many pictures of Audrey on sets of her movies and had become her friend, took many of the pictures of her and “Ip”. Remembers Willoughby: “When I visited Audrey, she had already had the deer for several weeks, and it had become part of the family…. Audrey took IP shopping in Beverly Hills, and what a sensation she created,” says Willoughby. “Beverly Hills habitues are fairly blase about what they see, but Audrey being followed around town by this lovely creature stopped everyone in their tracks…. It was truly amazing to see Audrey with that fawn.”
“While Audrey’s maid had been told about the little deer, she could not believe her eyes seeing Ip sleeping with Audrey so calmly,” recalled Willoughby. “She was shaking her head and just kept smiling.”