As we mentioned in a previous blog, it seems to us that if any Hollywood actresses have a claim on eternal public life, they would have to include (in no special order) Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn.
Hepburn’s image still has great currency, and currently adorns the May issue of Vanity Fair.
The Vanity Fair piece, adapted from the forthcoming coffee-table book, Audrey In Rome coauthored by her son Luca Dotti, is loaded with wonderful period shots taken during the actress’ 17-year residence in Rome dating from 1969, after the bulk of her movie career was over.
We were inspired by the article, and put together an Audrey Hepburn quiz to find out just how much you really know about this “iconic” personality. Ok, how much did you know? Check out these answers to find out.
1) Question. Although she’s thought of as the product of an aristocratic European family, Hepburn experienced poverty as a young girl. True or false?
Answer. True. Hepburn was born in 1929 to a British banker father and a Dutch baroness. Her parents split up, and for various logistical reasons a teenage Audrey found herself in Holland during the German occupation. Food was in short supply and she suffered from malnutrition, an experience she never forgot.
2) Question. Can you identify the profession of her Italian second husband, Dr. Andrea Dotti? He was a) an actor with a PHD; b) a podiatrist; c) a proctologist; or d) a psychiatrist?
Answer. d) a psychiatrist.
3) Question. Which of these movies starring Audrey was NOT filmed in Rome? a) 1956’s War and Peace; b) 1953’s Roman Holiday; c) 1954’s Sabrina; or d) 1959’s The Nun’s Story.
Answer. c) Sabrina, in which Audrey costarred with Humphrey Bogart and William Holden. This very entertaining romantic comedy was filmed at Paramount’s Hollywood studios and on New York’s Long Island.
4) Question. Which of these actor-costars was Hepburn’s first husband. a) Eddie Albert, b) Helmut Dantine; c) Mel Ferrer; or d) Jacques Marin?
Answer. c) Ferrer, to whom Hepburn was married from 1954 to 1968.
5) Question. Which of Hepburn’s movie roles was her favorite? a) As the princess on the loose in Roman Holiday; b) as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s; c) as the upper class daughter of a prominent surgeon who decides to enter a convent in The Nun’s Story; or d) as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady?
Answer. c) The Nun’s Story. Directed by Fred Zinneman and costarring Peter Finch, this was a prestige title that really resonated with Audrey and won her a New York Film Critics best-actress award. Her character was born in Belgium, was determined to lead her own life from and early age, and possessed spiritual depth — aspects all that applied to Hepburn herself. To top it all off, the movie was made in her favorite city, Rome.
6) Question. When she lived in Rome, Hepburn raged and fulminated at the pesky “paparazzi,” the Italian photographers who dogged her every public step. True or false?
Answer. False. Hepburn was her usual composed self in public despite the hubbub of surrounding photographers. In fact, she had her favorites among the “paparazzi” and blessed them with special photo-ops — that made her look especially good, of course.
7) Question. Not present during the Rome period was Hepburn’s final male companion, who despite not being married to her, lived with the actress until she died. Can you identify this man? a) Walter Matthau; b) Dino De Laurentiis; c) Robert Wolders; or d) Mickey Rooney?
Answer. c) Robert Wolders, a handsome former actor born in the Netherlands who was seven years younger than Audrey and who had once been married to Merle Oberon.
8) Question. Although she loved living in the Eternal city, Hepburn did not die in Rome. Where did she die and what killed her?
Answer. Hepburn died in Switzerland of cancer in 1993.
9) Question. What accounted for Hepburn’s ramrod posture and her physical composure in almost all settings? a) her early training in marital arts; b) a back deformity which was cured through long term exercise; c) ballet practice; or d) a stint in the military.
Answer. c) ballet practice. As an adolescent, Hepburn worked very hard to prepare for a career in ballet before modeling and then acting intervened.
10) Question. Although immaculately turned out all her life, Hepburn had her share of fashion quirks. Which of the following did she adopt? a) not wearing undergarments; b) carrying a small basket to be used as a purse; c) never wearing sunglasses; or d) wearing pearls with everything?
Answer. c) Audrey often carried in public a small picnic basket that doubled as her purse. With her, it was tres chic.