Audrey Hepburn is hard not to love. A legendary icon of style, grace and beauty, she radiated an effortless elegance and class no matter what she took on, whether that was eating breakfast at Tiffany’s, inspiring Hubert Givenchy, or being a tireless ambassador for UNICEF for over 40 years.
Audrey Hepburn or her real name; Audrey Kathleen Ruston—yea, she didn’t start calling herself Audrey Hepburn until around 1948 (bet you didn’t know about that). But there are still a lot of things we don’t know about her. Here are 5 things you can cross off that list now.
After having spent almost 40 years working for the foundation, Audrey became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1989, and later went on to receive a Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work in 1992
1. Her First Acting Role
Audrey was discovered at such a young age of 22 on the French Riviera by Colette, the renowned author who penned the 1944 novella Gigi. At the time, Hepburn had a small part in the film, Nous irons à Monte-Carlo. During production, she was spotted across a hotel lobby and was immediately pegged for the lead in the upcoming Broadway musical adaption. “I’d only said a few lines in my whole acting career,” Hepburn later recalled. Upon first sight, Colette reportedly whispered, “Voilà, c’est Gigi.”
2. She Wasn’t The First Choice To Play Holly Golightly
In fact, the author had his heart set on Marilyn Monroe for the part. “She was Truman Capote’s first choice,” Sam Wasson, author of Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, told ABCNews.com. What’s more is that Marilyn didn’t take the part because Paula Strasberg, her advisor and acting coach, said she shouldn’t be playing a “lady of the evening.”
3. She’s An Introvert
She said so herself in a 1953 interview with LIFE Magazine, explaining: “I have to be alone very often. I’d be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That’s how I refuel.”
View this post on Instagram
"I was in Holland during the war, during the German occupation, and food dwindled. The last winter was the worst of all. By then, food was scarce, and whatever there was went to the troops. There's a big difference between dying of starvation and malnutrition, of course, but I was very, very under-nourished. Immediately after the war, an organization, which later became UNICEF, instantly came in with the Red Cross and brought relief for the people in the form of food, medication and clothes. All the local schools were turned into relief centres. I was one of the beneficiaries with the other children. I've known about UNICEF all my life." – Audrey Hepburn (March 1988) Audrey Hepburn officially lauches the 15th Anniversary UNICEF greeting card campaign in Madrid Spain, August 15, 1964. #audreyhepburn #actor #actress #romanholiday #sabrina #breakfastattiffanys #movie #movies #oldhollywood #vintage #retro #style #fashion #history #makeup #hair #styleicon #vintagefashion #hollywood #beautiful #marilynmonroe #1960s #60s #60sfashion #cinderella #spain #unicef #angel #humanitarian #giving
4. She Was Givenchy Muse (For A Long Time)
Hubert Givenchy designed the wardrobes for many of her most famous movies, including Sabrina and Funny Face–not to mention the famous black dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Audrey remained a close friend and fan of the designer throughout her life. “Givenchy gave me a look, a kind, a silhouette,” she once said. “He kept the spare style that I love. What is more beautiful than a simple sheath made an extraordinary way in a special fabric and just two earrings?”
5. Her Father Was A Nazi Sympathizer
In 1935, when Audrey (who was born in Belgium to a British father and a Dutch mother) was six years old, her parents divorced after it became known that her father was a known Nazi sympathizer.