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Audrey Hepburn

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Audrey Hepburn
Born Audrey Kathleen Ruston
4 May 1929
Brussels, Belgium
Died January 20, 1993(1993-01-20) (aged 63)
Tolochenaz, Switzerland
Other names Edda van Heemstra
Years active 1948–1989
Height 5' 7" (1.71 m)
Spouse Mel Ferrer
(m. 1954–1968, divorced)
Andrea Dotti
(m. 1969–1982, divorced)

Audrey Hepburn (4 May 1929 – 20 January 1993) was a Belgian-born British actress admired for her charm and elegance.

Life and career

Born in Brussels, Belgium, to an English father and a Dutch mother who were divorced in 1935. She grew up in Arnhem in the Netherlands during the war, with her mother and two maternal half-brothers. When World War II ended, she and her mother moved to England. There, she studied ballet, and began working as a model and appearing in bit parts in the theatre and in movies.

She got her first major break in 1951, when she was chosen by French writer Colette to play the lead role in the English version of her play Gigi on Broadway.

This led to her being cast in the lead female part in the movie Roman Holiday (1953), opposite Gregory Peck. The movie made her an instant international star. Her performance won her the Academy Award, the Golden Globe Award and the BAFTA for best actress. She then appeared in a string of successful romantic comedies, such as Sabrina (1954), Love in the Afternoon (1957), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), Charade (1963), How to Steal a Million (1967), etc. She also appeared in two musicals; Funny Face (1957) and My Fair Lady (1964) and tackled more dramatic roles in movies such as War and Peace (1956), The Nun's Story (1959), The Children's Hour (1961), Two for the Road (1967) and the thriller Wait Until Dark (1967).

After an eight years absence from the screen to take care of her family, she returned with Robin and Marian (1976), opposite Sean Connery. She also appeared in Bloodline (1979) and They All Laughed (1981) but retired for good shortly after.

In later life, she worked as a Goodwill Ambassasor for UNICEF and hosted a television serie The Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn.

She was married twice; first to actor/director Mel Ferrer in 1954, with whom she had a son Sean (b. 1960), and second to Italian psychiatrist Doctor Andrea Dotti in 1969, with whom she had a second son Luca (b. 1970). Both marriages ended in divorce.

Audrey Hepburn died of appendix cancer at her home in Switzerland in 1993, at the age of 63. Her elder son, Sean Ferrer, later wrote a book about his mother, called Audrey Hepburn: an elegant spirit.

The asteroid 4238 Audrey is named after her.

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