Audrey Heburn proved timeless to audiences through her style, talent, persona

January 24, 2023 8:32 am15 commentsViews: 149

The beauty of Audrey Hepburn has graced pop culture ever since films such as Roman Holiday and Breakfast at Tiffany’s put her on the style map. But it may be surprising to know her chic look and quiet disposition was far from that of her contemporaries such as Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe.

Audrey Heburn proved timeless to audiences through her style, talent, persona

Hepburn’s Classic Style

According to Warren G. Harris, author of Audrey Hepburn: A Biography, fans, especially in Europe and Japan, took notice of the sleek short bob and full-length skirts she sported in her first major film, Roman Holiday. A major style revolution had begun. Her fair skin, slender figure and pixie hair came to be known as “gamine”.

Much of Hepburn’s style credit was a result of a life-long professional and personal relationship with legendary designer Hubert de Givenchy. He designed the iconic “little black dress” she wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The dress became the epitome of chic and to this day, women all over the world covet its timeless form.

Hepburn’s style was far different from that of other Hollywood actresses of her time. At this time, the pin-up look was in, and full-figured women got all the attention. Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and their lookalikes often wore plunging necklines and tight clothes to flaunt their hourglass silhouette. But after Hepburn became known, women all over the world went on diets to mimic her model-thin body.

Hepburn’s Unique Talent

Audrey Hepburn proved she could be successful as an actress on both the stage and screen. One of her early roles was as the spunky French schoolgirl in the Broadway play Gigi, written by playwright Anita Loos. Loos, according to Harris, saw a difference in Hepburn and was genuinely intrigued by her.

Despite her lack of acting experience at that time, Hepburn won the 1953-54 Tony award for Best Dramatic Actress for her part in Gigi. That same year garnered her a Best Actress Oscar for Roman Holiday. Only one other person has won a Tony and Oscar in the same year, proving the talent it takes for the feat.

Her contemporaries, especially Monroe, were not as successful when acting with substance. Monroe was reportedly unprofessional and her movie roles typically comprised of the flaky ditz. In fact, 20th Century-Fox once cancelled her contract due to her less than satisfactory screen presence.

Hepburn’s Public Persona

Audrey Hepburn, quoted in Harris’ book, once referred to herself ad “the one movie star who, by all laws of logic should never have made it.”

Ironically, her view of herself was the polar opposite of what her audiences saw. Where she saw flaws, others saw beauty. Her sophisticated and unpretentious demeanor made her more likeable than the other movie vixens of her day.

Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor were once introduced to each other through their mutual agent, Kurt Frings. They did not hit it off. According to Harris, ” Audrey was refined and caring of others, Taylor [was] ribald and totally self-centered.”

Hepburn’s life ended at a relatively early age due to a battle with colon cancer. Nevertheless, her impact on the world has proved timeless.

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