English actress Audrey Hepburn was born this week on May 4th, in 1929. She was born in Brussels, Belgium and was the only child of Joseph Rusten and her mother, Ella Van Heemstra. As a child she took ballet lessons at the Arnhem Conservatory and after World War II ended, Audrey and her mother moved to Amsterdam where she continued to study ballet under Sonia Gaskell. Eventually, she moved to London where she studied ballet under influential British dancer Marie Rambert, while occasionally working as a model to support herself.
She had her first role in the British movie One Wild Oat and then had minor roles in Young Wives’ Tale, Laughter in Paradise, The Lavender Hill Mob, and Secret People. While working on the English and French film Monte Carlo Baby, French writer known as Colette choose Audrey to play the title role in the Broadway adaptation of her novel Gigi. Hepburn won a Tony award for this performance. In 1953, she received her first starring role in the film Roman Holiday, for which she won an academy award for best actress. In 1954, she starred in the play Ondine with Mel Ferrer, whom she would marry later that year. They would have one child together. She went on to star in numerous films, including Sabrina, War and Peace, Funny Face, Paris When It Sizzles, Love in the Afternoon, Green Mansions, The Unforgiven, The Children’s Hour, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Charade, and My Fair Lady.
After her divorce from Ferrer, she married her second husband Andrea Dotti on January 18th, 1969. They would also have one child together. In 1988, Audrey Hepburn became UNICEF International Goodwill Ambassador – a role that had a great impact on the organization and on Hepburn herself. She passed away on January 20th, 1993.
-by Mike Endres