★ British actress, model and dancer Audrey Hepburn, was born on this day in 1929. She’s pictured here in a beautiful publicity portrait for one of her earliest film roles, as ballet dancer Nora Brentano in Secret People (1952).
Born in Brussels to a British father and Austrian mother, Hepburn spent her childhood between Belgium, England and the Netherlands, where she survived the Nazi occupation during World War II. Moving to London in 1948, she began working as a chorus girl in various West End theatre productions, before taking minor roles in several films. Still a relative newcomer, she shot to stardom thanks to her utterly charming performance in Roman Holiday (1953), for which she became the first actress to win an Academy Award, a BAFTA, and a Golden Globe for the same role. Further hits followed, including Sabrina (1954), Funny Face (1957), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), and My Fair Lady (1964), during which time she became a noted fashion icon. Choosing to spend more time with her family, she made fewer films as the years went on, and made her final appearance as an angel in Steven Spielberg’s romantic drama Always in 1989. Having been highly active in charity work throughout her later life, she was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador that same year, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in December 1992. She died of appendiceal cancer just one month later, at her home in Switzerland on 20th January 1993, aged just 63.
Possessed of both beauty and talent, Audrey Hepburn became one of the most famous actresses of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Now, nearly 25 years after her death, she remains one of its most beloved stars, thanks to her unfailing grace, generosity of spirit, and immense personal charm both on and off the screen.