Monday, August 1, 2011

Audrey, Part 2: The Queen of Paramount Pictures

Audrey Hepburn's acting career began in 1948 when she appeared as a stewardess for an educational film, Dutch in Seven Lessons. She then appeared in musical theatre productions in London, though her voice was not her strongest asset. She also appeared in bit parts for several movies (where, mostly, she was uncredited). She was discovered by a scout for Paramount pictures and filmed her first big role in Monte Carlo Baby, where she was also picked up by (author) Colette to play the title role in Gigi on Broadway from 1951-52. That year, she became engaged to (industrialist) James Hanson, whom she had met and fell in "love at first sight", but they never married due to their respective careers. Audrey finally reached big success with 1953's Roman Holiday, which showed off her elfin beauty and acting skills. She was of a different breed than blonde bombshells like Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield, and, as director Billy Wilder said: "This girl, single-handedly, may make bosoms a thing of the past." Next, Audrey appeared in Sabrina, where her partnership with Hubert de Givenchy began. Givenchy said of her: "She has the ideal face and figure, with her long, slim body and swanlike neck. It's a real pleasure to make clothes for her." Audrey, more comedically, said of him: "I depend on Givenchy in the same way that American women depend on their psychiatrists." He went on to make her clothing in seven films. Her style became renowned by women worldwide. After working with Mel Ferrer in Ondine on Broadway (which she won a Tony for), she married him in 1954. That same year, she won an Oscar and an Academy Award (one of only three people who's ever done so). She starred in many films throughout the rest of the decade; the drama War and Peace, the musical Funny Face, and the comedy Love in the Afternoon are a few. She showed her acting chops (and knack for making a Nun's habit look chic) in 1959's The Nun's Story, and starred alongside Anthony Perkins (and pet deer, Ip!) in Green Mansions. In 1959, she filmed her only western film, The Unforgiven, and after falling off a ladder on set, she miscarried for the second time since 1955. She took a break from her career to have a son, and then began on the film that highlighted her career.

(All photos: my scans from Audrey Hepburn.)


Joanne Ambía said...

She definetely was a very talented woman. I loved her portrayal of a beatnik chick in Funny Face. Thanks for sharing! Your posts are very informative and have great visuals as usual. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing all of this lovely pictures. It was a great chance for me to find them on internet while I am reading her biography! Excellent!