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Audrey Hepburn on Broadway: How Her Star Power Went Beyond the Big Stage

By    |   Friday, 08 May 2015 02:43 PM

Audrey Hepburn first captured hearts as an actress on Broadway and later the movie screen. Famous for both her fashion sense and acting skills, Hepburn created an enduring legacy that has extended into charitable work.

Although the actress achieved fame for glamorous roles in movies like "Breakfast at Tiffany's," Hepburn's life wasn't always so luxurious. Born in Belgium in 1929, Hepburn was just a child as World War II raged through Europe.

After the war, she received food and medical assistance from UNICEF. Hepburn never forgot this and spent her later years making sure other children received the help they needed, according to UNICEF.

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Hepburn may have appeared waif-like, with her skinny figure and big eyes, but the innocent look belied her life's daring adventures. Once during the war, she pretended to pick flowers in the woods, but was really helping the Resistance by delivering a message to a British parachutist, reports The Telegraph.

Hepburn first entered theatre as a ballerina, studying dance in Amsterdam and London before appearing as an actress in small roles throughout Britain, according to Biography.

In the early 1950s, Hepburn made her film debut in an uncredited role and appeared in her first Broadway show – "Gigi," a coming-of-age story by Colette, a French writer. The play sparked Hollywood's interest, Biography reports, and Hepburn began appearing in films.

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Two years later, she won Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in "Roman Holiday." Other roles would land her similarly prestigious recognitions, including Grammy, Tony, and Emmy awards, securing Hepburn's spot among an elite group of actresses to have won the group of awards.

In the late 1980s, as Hepburn wound down her acting career, she focused on charitable endeavors with UNICEF. She traveled through Africa, South America, and Asia, later speaking with as many as 15 media outlets each day to raise awareness about childhood hunger and ongoing relief efforts, according to UNICEF.

Hepburn harnessed her star power, testifying before Congress on behalf of charitable efforts, and participating in benefits and fundraising efforts.

In 1993, Hepburn received another Academy Award, this time for her charity work, but died of colon cancer before receiving it. She passed away while living in Switzerland. Her legacy of helping children continues with the help of her two sons, who manage the Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund.

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Audrey Hepburn first captured hearts as an actress on Broadway and later the movie screen. Famous for both her fashion sense and acting skills, Hepburn created an enduring legacy that has extended into charitable work.
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Friday, 08 May 2015 02:43 PM
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