Audrey Hepburn stunned fans in 1967 when she walked away from Hollywood to become a full-time mother.
Although she was a Hollywood icon, the actress wanted her sons to have a normal upbringing so she gave up a life of glitz and glamour and set about raising Sean, born in 1960, and Luca Dotti, born in 1970, in a Swiss farmhouse. Now the brothers are revisiting those childhood memories in an interview with Closer Weekly.
"I think that’s the greatest gift she gave us, this normal upbringing without her fame hanging over our heads. It actually prepared us for the world," Sean told the outlet. He also recalled the moment Hepburn decided to give up her career.
"When I had to go to school and could no longer travel to be with her on the set, she gave up her career. She felt the most valuable thing was family," Sean said.
"My mother was very present — picking me up at school, worrying about education, things like that," Luca, whose father was Hepburn’s second husband Andrea Dotti, added.
Hepburn settled down into domestic life with ease. Sean explained that she was "very happy at home with her dogs and her cooking," adding that her secret to happiness was "simple and unpretentious."
"She had a beautiful house, would pick fruit and make jams, run the dogs in the fields, have a whiskey at 5 o’clock and cook a great plate of pasta. It wasn’t complicated," he explained.
Last year Sean spoke to Fox News about Hepburn, explaining that she remained humble, even at the height of her career.
"She was a normal person who lived a simple life," he recounted. "She watched her spending like anyone else. We had a good education, but we didn’t walk away feeling better than anybody else. That was always important to her."
Looking back on his childhood, Sean recounted how Hepburn would always make sure he was dressed, fed, and completing his homework. She also held on to the joy of having her own family, even through the pain of miscarriage.
"She lost a couple of pregnancies before me. It was sort of this great healing for her to finally have a child," he said. "She lost my little sister before me, almost six months into the pregnancy. It was very, very hard for her. She said it was one of the hardest things she ever had to go through. Being a mother brought her great joy in life. Whenever you see a photograph of her with her children — or any child for that matter — you can immediately feel her joy, even today."
Hepburn passed away in 1993 at age 63 from cancer, following an illustrious career that cemented her name in film history. News of her death left the world in mourning. Sean recalled seeing over 25,000 people lining the streets of where they lived on the day of her funeral. His own grief came later.
"I remember [after she died] I opened up the old projector and hung a sheet in the attic and watched her films at night. That full realization came after she passed away," he said. "Not only did she represent inner and outer beauty and elegance, but all the work she did at the end of her life touched so many people. She created this extraordinary legacy."
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