Happy Birthday Audrey!

On this day, 4th May 1929, Audrey Kathleen Ruston blessed us with her presence on Earth.

As a lot of you Old Hollywood lovers will know, not only is the day May the 4th (be with you), but it is also Audrey Hepburn’s 86th birthday! Sadly, Audrey left us in January 1993 at just 63 but she is ever present in the 21st Century as she was in the 20th! When the average person thinks of Hollywood, two people usually pop into their minds; Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. Sometimes Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly will be included, but it’s usually these two faces that are the most recognized.

When I started learning about Marilyn, I naturally was intrigued into finding out about Old Hollywood and all the other stars and of course, I came to Audrey pretty quickly. It’s an obvious cliche, but I obviously related Audrey with Breakfast At Tiffanys – I hadn’t seen the film at this point, but it’s such an iconic image that I was aware of her stature and Holly Golightly singing Moon River out of her little window.

Ironically, author Truman Capote desperately wanted Marilyn for the starring role, but she declined as her coach Paula Strasberg didn’t want her name being associated with the role of a call girl. Therefore, it’s interesting to think of how many people would know Audrey if she hadn’t taken on her iconic role, I for one, think she would be just as loved and appreciated today. After all, Audrey Hepburn is so much more than a little black dress and a jewelry store! I love the film by the way, I’m just saying that people who only equate Audrey with this are missing out on such an incredible person.

Audrey Hepburn in The Nun's Story (1959)
Audrey Hepburn in The Nun’s Story (1959)

Four years on, I’ve got quite a few books on this lady and I’ve seen the majority of her films numerous times. I learnt what an incredible person Audrey was, how much she gave to others who needed support and care. She was so humble and never saw herself the way we all saw her, which in a way makes me love her more.

“I never thought I’d land in pictures with a face like mine.”

“I’ll never have an answer to what make mes special. I remember many years ago, my mother said to me, “considering that you have no talent, it’s really extraordinary where you’ve got.” And that’s what I really believe to this day. I’ve always been self-conscious about my interviews, about my thinness, my tallness, my unattractiveness. My success – it still bewilders me. I never in my wildest dreams ever thought that maybe I’d be a great star.” 

For someone who suffered so much in life, she had numerous miscarriages, her father abandoned her family and she lived in Holland during World War Two and practically starved for years, as well as witnessing very traumatic experiences, she had so much love and hope in her heart and I think that’s incredibly inspiring.

Here’s my three favourite books that I  would recommend on learning about lovely Audrey;

Audrey Hepburn with her Best Actress Oscar for Roman Holiday on 25th March 1954.
Audrey Hepburn with her Best Actress Oscar for Roman Holiday on 25th March 1954.

Although Audrey’s career spanned five decades, she only made twenty seven films. When she had her two children she wanted to devote as much time to being a mother as she could, which is understandable. During her last years she gave much of her time to Humanitarian Efforts in UNICEF helping thousands of children, even when she was battling the disease that would ultimately take her from us. She always put others before herself and had so much love to give to those who needed it most.

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”

Audrey Hepburn in Japan in 1983.
Audrey Hepburn in Japan in 1983.

The best blog on Audrey in my opinion has to be the wonderful, hepburny and I suggest you go over there right after reading this post, her edits are simply incredible! As for films, out of all the movies I have seen of Audrey’s these would be my favourites;

I hope wherever you are Audrey, you know how much people adore you and appreciate the love and joy you spread during your 63 years. You never fail to bring tears to my eyes when I think of how much you went through, yet this never deterred your strength and passion to succeed in life and give to so many.

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