I know what you’re thinking: What praises about Audrey Hepburn can possibly be sung that haven’t been sung in the past? And honestly, you’d probably be right. She is an icon for so many wonderful reasons – reasons whose beauty and validity hold up seemingly more and more as the years pass.
Hepburn is a legend due to her beauty, grace, kindness, talent, style, and elegance, for certain. But as the new year approaches, it makes sense to revisit this amazing woman because of the true impact she left on the world, as evidenced by the sheer number of people who worship her and as seen through the work her children continue to put in to this day to honor her memory and the kind of person she was: someone many of us (including me!) would be lucky to be more like as 2016 approaches rapidly.
So in honor of #WCW, here are a few of the perhaps lesser-known reasons why Audrey Hepburn was such a stunning person inside and out, and consequently why she’s our inspiration for 2016 and beyond!
She had THE best quotes about love, life, feminism, happiness, and more
We’ve all seen many a Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram post toting an Audrey Hepburn quote with a caption about how much it influences the poster. Aside from those posting these quotes doing so just because they want to be associated with Hepburn in some way (your truly = guilty), so many of her most famous quotes are actually super profound. Some of my favorites are as follows:
“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”
“If I get married, I want to be very married.”
“I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and I believe in miracles.”
“There is more to sex appeal than just measurements. I don’t need a bedroom to prove my womanliness. I can convey just as much sex appeal picking apples off a tree or standing in the rain.”
“Living is like tearing through a museum. Not until later do you really start absorbing what you saw, thinking about it, looking it up in a book, and remembering – because you can’t take it in all at once.”
Be right back while I learn how to cross-stitch just so I can cross-stich all of these into a pillow.
She was dedicated to raising her children in a normal environment
According to an interview Hepburn’s youngest son Luca Dotti (whom she had with her second husband, Italian psychiatrist Andrea Dotti) granted to People earlier this year, Hepburn was very humble and not “the least bit exciting.” In fact, Dotti didn’t realize his mother was a big-deal movie star until 1976, when he was six years old and Hepburn was more than established as a huge name in Hollywood.
In fact, Dotti – who currently serves as Chairman of the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund (a position his older brother Sean held for 20 years) – was so inspired by his mother’s method of upbringing that he wrote Audrey at Home, published this past June. It details some of the lesser-known details about Hepburn, such as some of her favorite recipes, photos, and stories from Dotti about how his mother enjoyed the simple things in life like vanilla ice cream and walking her dog over riding around in a limo.
She went against her parents’ beliefs during World War II for all the right reasons
According to Biography.com, Hepburn’s parents were Nazi sympathizers but she, herself, was a staunch supporter of the Resistance – something that could not have been close to easy as an adolescent who was being raised in Europe during World War II. Her parents were allegedly members of the British Union of Fascists, while a brave, malnourished teenage Hepburn opposed her parents’ views, reportedly donating money she earned from performing in dance recitals to the Resistance. Wow, indeed.
She was an EGOT
There’s no denying Hepburn had talent for the screen. But did you know she was one of the few people (only 12 total, currently) to be labeled an EGOT? That’s someone who has won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony award. She won first of the awards, an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role, for her famous role as Princess Ann in in 1953’s Roman Holiday. Just one year later, in 1954, she nabbed a Tony for Best Actress in a Drama for her work in the play Ondine. Her Emmy and Grammy awards came exactly 40 years later, in 1993 and 1994 respectively – the latter of which was awarded posthumously.
She was a huge humanitarian
Perhaps in response to her own harsh early years (but probably mostly because she was just a great person in general), Hepburn dedicated much of her life to humanitarian causes. In 1989, she was named Goodwill Ambassador of UNICEF. From 1988 until four months before her death in 1993, Hepburn made multiple trips to countries like Ethiopia, Turkey, and Vietnam to visit impoverished children and lobby for clean-water programs, food availability, and more. Hepburn’s humility and dedication to helping those less fortunate was a testament to how whole of a person she was outside of Hollywood, and almost makes her noteworthy on-screen achievements seem pale in comparison.
Thank you for giving us all something to strive for, Ms. Hepburn. The world will always be a little more dull without you, but your memory and light will live on through all the people in whose lives you’ve made a difference, whether you knew it or not.
(Image via Paramount Pictures)