Audrey Hepburn: More Than An Actress

by Amit Kumar on Feb 09, 2023

The beloved, gorgeous Audrey Hepburn starred in numerous films, including “Roman Holiday”, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, “Sabrina”, and “My Fair Lady”. Her successful career quickly brought her to the forefront, but something else within her won the hearts of the world. It was her compassion. From Broadway to Hollywood, this actress of grace and sophistication easily captivated the hearts millions of men and women around the world.   Audrey Hepburn wasn’t always the confident actress that most people thought. The audience never really saw the dark shadows behind this brilliant Hollywood phenomenon, who was always seemed to be given the role of lovely but rather comical young women. Audrey’s father abandoned her family when she was very young, which built insecurity for many years to come. During World War II, Audrey and her mother moved to London, where she studied ballet, worked as a model, and in 1951, began acting in films, mostly in minor or supporting roles. Her first major performance was in the 1951 film ‘The Secret People’, in which she played a ballet dancer. Audrey had trained in ballet since childhood and won critical acclaim for her talent, which was also showcased in the film.  

Audrey was then offered a starring role opposite Gregory Peck in the Hollywood motion picture, Roman Holiday. Peck saw her star quality and for her performance, she won the 1953 Academy Award for Best Actress. Years later, when asked by Barbara Walters what her favorite film was, Audrey answered without hesitation, Roman Holiday, because it was the one that made her a “star”.

  Audrey played one of her most demanding roles in ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ in 1961, the extrovert Holly Golightly. She said of her role that, contrary to her introverted nature, it was “one of the jazziest of my career” and therefore difficult to pull off. Her performance, however, was one of the most iconic roles of the 1960s and has maintained sustained popularity to this day.   Hepburn stopped working for a while after the spooky ‘Wait Until Dark’ in 1967, in which she plays a blind woman chased by a killer. Acting became secondary in her life when, during her 13-year marriage to Italian doctor Andrea Dotti, she bore a child at the age of forty. Hepburn chose to spend time with her two sons and work for UNICEF, the international relief organization for children.   Hepburn went on a mission to Ethiopia shortly after becoming a UNICEF ambassador, where years of drought and civil strife caused terrible famine. After visiting the emergency operations of UNICEF, she spoke for several weeks about media projects in the United States, Canada and Europe, giving up to 15 interviews a day.   Hepburn made a series of UNICEF field trips in the years that followed, visiting a project to vaccinate against polio in Turkey, training programs for women in Venezuela, projects for children living and working on the street in Ecuador, projects to provide drinking water in Guatemala and Honduras, and projects in El Salvador for radio literacy.  


Audrey Hepburn exceeds a Hollywood star’s stereotypical definition, impacting the modern world in numerous ways. She has undoubtedly inspired many people and continues to do so until today, having affected the fashion industry and by leading a philanthropy movement.