So, you are confident that you are fully up to speed about Katharine Hepburn, that there’s little you don’t know about her?
Let’s see if that’s true, at least in terms of answering our 10 Monday Quiz questions correctly. As mentioned, we’ve taken a slightly different slant here.
Our conventional questions were supplemented by those inspired by author Karen Karbo’s How To Hepburn: Lessons on Living From Kate The Great, published (Bloomsbury) in 2007.
The idea of the book, roughly put, is to explore the possibility of living your life in somewhat the same fashion as did Hepburn. In short, the book encourages you to do what she did or would have done.
Well, let’s see how you did. (To review the questions, just scroll down to the blog below.)
1) Answer: d) Hepburn was nominated but did not win the best actress Oscar for her searing portrayal of Mary Tyrone in director Sidney Lumet’s 1962 interpretation of the Eugene O’Neill play, Long Day’s Journey Into Night. Kate was great, and she should have won the top prize.
2) Answer: b) False. For the most part, John Wayne and Kate got along just fine, two veteran professionals who respected each other. Kate asked the Duke if at their age (both were 68) if “everything didn’t hurt.” “Goddam right,” responded the Duke.
3) Answer: a) Sneak out at 4 a.m. Which is exactly what Kate did when she had her hip replaced in 1974. No hospital could contain a determined Hepburn.
4) Answer: b) False. True that Hepburn and director John Ford had a thing going there a while. But while Hepburn was known for occasionally applying greenbacks to the resolution of what she considered professional problems, Ford stayed married to his wife, Mary.
5) Answer: c) Hepburn was a pretty heavy smoker throughout her career. Incidentally, she lived to be 96.
6) Answer: We cop a plea here. We really don’t know. Some of the literature on Hepburn and Spencer Tracy has cited them as respectively gay, but the fact is they were devoted to each other for many years, and lovers for a time.
7) Answer: This is a trick question. Hepburn exhibited ALL these qualities, “androgynous” or not.
8) Answer: All except c). Hepburn was , shall we say, thrifty. She hated spending money eating out when home cooked meals, in her view, were just as good — and a lot cheaper.
9) Answer: b) False. Hepburn was not a feminist, writes author Karen Karbo. She believed in the cause of Katharine Hepburn, and in that this cause shared anything with the ideals of feminism, she was all for it.
10) Answer: b) False. Hepburn certainly enjoyed the romance of her affair with Howard Hughes, so entertainingly presented in director Martin Scorsese’s, 2004 Hughes biopic The Aviator. (Kate Blanchett is wonderful as Kate.) When it seemed as if there was nothing left for Hughes and Hepburn to do but marry, the relationship died, writes Karbo.