Happy birthday to one of the classiest ladies of old Hollywood, the loverly Audrey Hepburn. Today, she’d be 85 years old. I admit, there are still two very important Hepburn movies I need to see to complete her fierce filmography, but that’s not what we’re celebrating today. Today, we are celebrating a day a legend was born. An icon, a humanitarian, a powerful woman who graced the silver screen in the hay day of Hollywood but still remains to be one of the most influential performers and people today. Here’s a small tribute from me to the truly classic class-act Audrey Hepburn with My 5 Favourite Audrey’s.
5. ROMAN HOLIDAY (1953)
The role that guaranteed Hepburn a spot as a Hollywood heavyweight and her only Academy Award win for Best Actress is “Roman Holiday”. Under the direction of the splendid William Wyler, Audrey Hepburn gives possibly my favourite female performance of 1953, and my fifth favourite performance from her collection of unforgettable classics. Playing a princess playing hookie, Hepburn was teamed up with Gregory Peck and created screen magic – a magic that solidified herself as a Hollywood leading lady.
4. CHARADE (1963)
10 years after her breakout performance in “Roman Holiday”, Hepburn was still grazing the silver screen in Stanley Donan’s “Charade”, starring alongside Cary Grant. Though the film isn’t the most popular Hepburn flick, I still feel like this is her most underrated work. The film would not have worked with her frantic and naive performance as Regina Lampart, a woman that goons want in order to take back the fortune her murdered husband as stolen.
3. SABRINA (1954)
Surrounded by a cast of men playing powerful business types (who have baity roles for them to shine in), Hepburn follows up Roman Holiday by playing the standout title role Sabrina, the chauffeur’s daughter who holds the hearts of Humphrey Bogart and William Holden in the tip of her smooth palms. Hepburn illuminates the screen and let’s the world knows not only can she keep up with some of the greatest actors of the generation, but she is a muse of the fashion world as well. Sabrina goes beyond gorgeous flocks and romance though, Hepburn creates a truly deep and varied character that longs for a little happiness in life.
2. MY FAIR LADY (1964)
Audrey Hepburn didn’t only loose the Academy Award for Best Actress (against Julie Andrews for Mary Poppins, she also originated the role of Eliza Doolittle on Broadway) for My Fair Lady, but she wasn’t even nominated. What was the Academy thinking? I have no idea, but Hepburn acts rings around her co-stars (most of them were nominated) and creates an iconic character with flawless moments, that are mixed with both drama and comedy, showing Hepburn’s true versatility. Her snub for My Fair Lady can go down as one of the greatest snubs for an competitive acting Oscar…at least in my books. The charm and charisma Hepburn shows in the role of trashy flower girl turned poignant duchess Eliza Doolittle is nothing short of…loverly.
1. BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S (1961)
Holly Gollightly. Holly Gollightly. Holly Gollightly. That name, that character, that icon – has become Audrey Hepburn’s signature role, and I have no complaints there. This Audrey Hepburn-Truman Capote creation of a woman has transended through the course of time. Men and women who watch movies know her. Damn, even men and women who don’t watch movies pretend to know her. The role goes beyond its iconic status though. The performance is heartbreaking, rich, desperate, exciting, happy, angry, sad – all at once. Hepburn contradicts herself throughout the whole film and it works so well. Blake Edward’s classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s has it’s rightful place in film history, thanks to Audrey Hepburn who carries the entire film on her shoulders. Who knew romantic comedies could get this good? It’s my favourite performance of hers and my favourite film of 1961 as well!