born Audrey Kathleen Ruston; (May 4, 1929 – January 20, 1993) was a British actress and humanitarian. Although modest about her acting ability, Hepburn remains one of the world's most famous actresses of all time, remembered as a film and fashion icon of the twentieth century. Redefining glamour with "elfin" features and a gamine waif-like figure that inspired designs by Hubert de Givenchy, she was inducted in the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame, and ranked, by the American Film Institute, as the third greatest female screen legend in the history of American cinema.
Born in Ixelles, a district of Brussels, Hepburn spent her childhood between Belgium, England and the Netherlands, including German-occupied Arnhem during the Second World War. From 1939 on she studied ballet in Arnhem and after the war with Sonia Gaskell in Amsterdam. In 1948 she moved to London where she continued in ballet and performed as a chorus girl in various West End musical theatre productions. After appearing in several British films and starring in the 1951 Broadway play Gigi, Hepburn gained instant Hollywood stardom for playing the Academy Award-winning lead role in Roman Holiday (1953). Later performing in Sabrina (1954), The Nun's Story (1959), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), Charade (1963), My Fair Lady (1964) and Wait Until Dark (1967), Hepburn became one of the great screen actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age who received Academy Award, Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations and accrued a Tony Award for her theatrical performance in the 1954 Broadway play Ondine. Hepburn remains one of few entertainers who have won Academy, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Awards.
She appeared in fewer films as her life went on, and devoted much of her later life to UNICEF. Her war-time struggles inspired her passion for humanitarian work and, although Hepburn had contributed to the organisation since the 1950s, she worked in some of the most profoundly disadvantaged communities of Africa, South America and Asia in the late eighties and early nineties. In 1992, Hepburn was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of her work as aUNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. She died of appendiceal cancer at her home in Switzerland, aged 63, in 1993
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