Audrey Hepburn: An Icon

Hi everyone, hope you are all okay. It has been a remarkably busy week for my family and I, as besides doing this post I have been packing my house up as we are moving within the next few weeks. But I have to say, it is one of the most stressful things you must go through in life. But the thing you must do is learn to take everything in one’s stride and try and have fun while doing it. Everybody as their own copying techniques, but seriously I cannot wait until all of this is over with. Any way on with this week’s blog, which is about Audrey Hepburn who died twenty-nine years ago today. This is a celebration of her extraordinary life that she once led.

Audrey Hepburn was an exceptional woman with such talent and energy. She was not only a famous actor, model, and humanitarian, but she was also charming, chic, super talented, and intelligent too and she was always poised to perfection, no matter the situation… The best way to describe her is that she always wore her heart on her sleeve, an icon who had a pure heart and led by example and for many to follow across the world, but no one knew behind that smile the trials and difficulties she had faced to become the iconic movie star of all time.

Early Years

Audrey Hepburn was born Audrey Kathleen Ruston, on 4 May 1929 in the small town called Ixelles, Brussels, Belgium to parents Joseph Victor Anthony Ruston an English banker, and a Dutch Baroness Ella Van Heemstra. Her father Joseph would later go on to add ‘Hepburn’ to his namesake, and his daughter then became Audrey Hepburn-Ruston. Despite her ancestral nobility, Audrey was faced with many obstacles and challenges that she had to face and endure during her childhood.

By the time Audrey reached the age of six, she started to suffer the effects of her parent’s divorce, which had hit her extremely hard. Her mother would uproot her, and they moved to the Netherlands. By the time she was of school age, she was living in Arnhem which was occupied by the Nazi’s. And when Germans invaded the country, she took on the pseudonym name “Edda Van Heemstra” so that her name could blend in, instead of her real name sounding to English, as it could bring a whole heap of trouble her way.

Times were very tough for her during the war, so much that she had to starve, and in time the stress manifested itself by affecting her health and had an everlasting effect on her metabolism, which she never recovered from, it was never the same again after that, as she suffered from anaemia respiratory disease and depression.

Audrey started taking dance lessons from the age of five and had always taken an interest in art and went on to complete her time at Arnhem Conservatory and then with her mother moved to Amsterdam where they both worked as nurses in a soldier’s home, before moving the family to London, England after the war when Audrey was fifteen, where she began to study dance on a ballet scholarship.  

In 1946 when she was sixteen, Audrey started taking ballet lessons that coincided with her job, but because the damage had been done during the war, she was faced with the consequences of being undernourished, and as a result, her health would not let her become a top ballet dancer. During that time, her mother had taken on any menial jobs to support her family, while Audrey went on to earn a living herself, and acting for her seemed to be the best choice.

Family Life

During working on Ondine. Audrey met her future husband, director, and actor Mel Ferrer. Despite Ferrer being married before, nothing could stop the two lovebirds from falling in with each other, even though this would be his third marriage, and he already had five children. In 1954 they got married and six years later, their first and only child together Sean Hepburn Ferrer was born. Mel and Audrey were together for fourteen years before they split up and divorced in 1968.

The breakdown of their marriage hit Audrey hard, so much so, she had to seek medical help. The famous Hollywood star sought treatment in the form of a psychiatrist Italian Andrea Dotti who she went on to marry in 1969 and gave birth to a son Luca. Eventually, their relationship started to fall apart as Dotti was cheating on his wife, she tried to ignore the many indiscretions he had, her patience lasted ten years but she could not take it anymore.

Audrey fell in love again with Dutch Robert Wolders for the final time at fifty, which would last the rest of her life. They never married but that did not stop them from enjoying spending time together and being happy.

Activist

By the time Audrey Hepburn’s acting career was over, she was then appointed as the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. She first became a part of UNICEF in 1954 and took part in broadcasts and radio. Hepburn was so appreciative and grateful for everything the foundation had done for her, as it had saved her life when she too was a youngster.

Audrey spent the rest of her years helping to improve children’s lives in poorer countries. Within the last five years, she had visited more than twenty countries and taken care of disadvantaged children and their families.

Her Death

The UNICEF took up so much of her energy, with going on many trips it had a vast impact on Audrey’s health. In 1992 was the last time she visited Somalia and Kenya. During the trip she had unbearable abdominal pain, African medics told her she needed to start easing up on her tour and phase it out, at once. She refused, but once she had got back home, she saw her doctors and it was there she was diagnosed with a colon tumour, within a fortnight she had surgery, which doctors were confident they had caught it in time. Three weeks later she was retaken to hospital with the pain resumed. The tumour had spread to other parts and there was nothing more they could do for her. The actress passed away January 20, 1993, aged 63 in Switzerland surrounded by her family.

Facts:

  • Hepburn had two older brothers Arnoud Robert Alexander Quarles van Ufford and Ian Edgar Bruce Quarles van Ufford
  • Her father deserted her family, only days before World War II broke out in 1939.
  • She is an introvert and likes nothing more to spend her days when not filming ‘alone.’
  • She began dancing from the age of five, and by 1944, she had become a proficient ballet dancer and secretly danced for groups of people to collect money for the Dutch resistance.
  • Alberto de Rossi was her favourite makeup artist; he was partially responsible for her signature look including her doe eyes.  She considers him like a family member, and was devastated when he died, that she considered never doing another movie again.
  • Her parents were Nazi sympathizers, while Hepburn boldly supported the resistance.
  • She suffered with two miscarriages, one early in the pregnancy, but it was her second that she would never get over, which was the loss of her baby girl that she lost when she was six months pregnant.
  • Her favourite color was cyan, she liked the blueish-green hue.
  • Audrey was a ballet dancer, and she found that ballet flats were what she felt most comfortable in. Also, being tall, high heels did not suit her as other people were always shorter than her.
  • Hepburn sang Happy Birthday to JFk in 1963, a year after Marilyn Monroe did. It was a private event..
  • Audrey aspired of becoming a prima ballerina, and began ballet training under Sonia Gaskell, a leading figure in Dutch ballet, and Russian teacher Olga Tarasova in Amsterdam, before training in London with Marie Rambert.
  • Hepburn would have her eyelashes painfully separated by using a pin, after applying three coats of mascara.
  • She’s a member of the EGOT club. She is only one of fourteen people in the world to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony award.
  • Audrey spoke five languages, English, Spanish, French, Dutch, and Italian.
  • Marilyn Monroe was originally intended to play the lead in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” instead of Audrey. Although it was one of Hepburn’s most popular films, the author, Truman Capote, was disappointed that they didn’t hire Marilyn.
  • She had a pet baby deer named Pippin (and nicknamed ‘Ip’), and 1959 film Green Mansions the animal trainer suggested Hepburn take the deer home with her, so that it would follow her on-screen. The fawn became her sidekick and even went with her to the supermarket, but Audrey fell in love with the deer so much that she decided to keep him.
  • Hepburn had a one-of-a-kind perfume created for her by Hubert de Givenchy in 1957 named L’Interdit which means “forbidden” in French. It was released to the public in the ’60s, and is now formulated with Bulgarian rose, jasmine, pink pepper, orris, and tonka bean.
  • A child of World War II, Hepburn suffered starvation and malnutrition while hiding from the Nazi’s, at one point surviving on just water and nettles.
  • Most of her leading men were twenty to thirty years older than her.
  • Audrey always wore a 10 ½ size shoe, and always bought half a size bigger, so that it gave her plenty of room to manoeuvre as she did not want them to look as if their squeezed in.
  • Hepburn was furious at first when she found out her vocals were not strong enough and that she would have to be dubbed by Marion Nixon in My Fair Lady.
  • Audrey dated John F Kennedy when he was a senator, and he once quoted his favorite film was Roman Holiday.  
  • The original character design of Disney’s princess Aurora was done by Tom Oreb, who modelled the princess after the elegant, slender features of Audrey.
  • Before Audrey became famous, she was once engaged to James Hanson, but she felt that their careers would keep them apart for too long and it would not work out.
Audrey Hepburn and Hubert de Givenchy
  • French designer Hubert de Givenchy was her personal stylist and lifetime friend, they were friends for forty years.
  • Whilst filming the movie “Two for the Road” with Albert Finney, she had to be thrown into the pool, but Audrey was so scared of drowning, that out of camera shot, there was some crew on standby to grab her and comfort her if something were to go wrong. The fear you see on camera is 100% genuine.
  • The Tiffany Yellow Diamond Necklace has only been worn by four famous women; Audrey Hepburn, American socialite Mrs. E. Sheldon Whitehouse, Lady Gaga, and Beyoncé Knowles.
  • There are three flowers named after Hepburn, a breed of Daylily, Rose and Tulip “as a tribute to the actresses for her long-time work on behalf of UNICEF.”
  • Audrey had her own insecurities and never saw herself as beautiful, she often wondered why people did, she never understood why people would see her as beautiful, her son Luca says, “she had thought her nose to be too big, she had not enough breasts, was too skinny and had big feet.”
  • Won an Academy Award on her first major movie “Roman Holiday.”
  • During World War II Audrey was a volunteer nurse in a Dutch hospital, during the battle of Arnhem. The hospital received wounded allied soldiers. One of the soldier’s she had nursed back to health was a young paratrooper. Little did she know, the young man would be a future director named Terence Young, and twenty years later he directed her in “Wait Until Dark”.
  • Audrey Hepburn’s weight was 110 lbs which she did not exceed over unless she was pregnant. Right after World War II, she weighed a measly 88 lbs at age 16. but suffered from malnutrition later in life, which she never recovered from the effect and damaged that it had on her.
  • Audrey fell madly in love with William Holden and the two embarked on an affair, during the casting of the movie Sabrina, even though he was married at the time. The one thing she desperately wanted was to have children with him, but Bill did not… Instead, he got a vasectomy unbeknownst to her, it absolutely broke her heart when she was told.
  • She broke her back by being thrown from a horse while filming the Unforgiven, when she was shooting a riding scene. She is terrified of horses and never rode another one again.
  • Audrey was training as a dental assistant right before she was found by a talent scout who wanted her for the Broadway play “Gigi” which was her big break.
  • She hated wearing watches, as she strongly disliked the cold of the metal when touching her skin and the heaviness of the watch.
  • Audrey was the first star to have a street named after her, and they put on an entire ceremony for her.
  • She loved to garden in her spare time, and she famously once quoted “To grow a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” She loved gardens so much that in her last years, she gladly agreed to host the PBS Television series Gardens of the World.
  • Audrey was amazingly generous, as she contributed to UNICEF by donating all her salary, which she earned from her final movies, and was appointed Goodwill Ambassador of UNICEF in 1988, which she had contributed to since 1954.
  • She went to Ethiopia, Turkey, Vietnam, South and Central America countries, and Bangladesh and helped organize humanitarian aid supply, vaccination programs, and drinking water provision.
  • Hepburn was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992, one month before she passed away from cancer at the age of 63.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, Enjoy the rest of your day and I will see you next week.

30 Best New Year Quotes

Hi everyone, this is my first day back since the Christmas holidays, I hope you all had a good and enjoyable holiday, however you spent it. Anyway, I have some great and exciting blog posts coming up this year, you will have to check in to see what they will be…

Every year offers you, a fresh start with new beginnings, exciting opportunities, and many possibilities. A way of looking forward to the future and not looking back, but always keeping the memories alive.

From starting a new diet to the birth of a child, a new job, a move to a new home or destination. Your future is not set, you are the driver of your own destination, whatever you do make every moment count, and live it the way you want it to be. Make memories that will stay with you forever. Anyway, on with this weeks blog post!

Quotes for the New Year

“Celebrate endings—for they precede new beginnings.” Jonathan Lockwood Huie

“If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” Dale Carnegie

“I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” Thomas Jefferson

“Life is about change, sometimes it’s painful, sometimes it’s beautiful, but most of the time it’s both.” Kristin Kreuk

“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written.” Melody Beattie

“Don’t let today’s disappointments cast a shadow on tomorrow’s dreams.” Unknown

“Change can be scary, but you know what’s scarier? Allowing fear to stop you from growing, evolving, and progressing.” Mandy Hale

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.” Benjamin Franklin

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Eleanor Roosevelt

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” Edith Lovejoy Pierce

“So no matter what comes your way today, tomorrow, next week, or next year for that matter understand that you have in you what it takes to overcome it.” Josh Hinds

“The attraction of New Year is this: The year changes, and in that change, we believe that we can change with it. It is far more difficult, however, to change yourself than turn the calendar to a new page.” R. Joseph Hoffmann

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
George Bernard Shaw

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go. They merely determine where you start.” Nido Qubein

“The chief beauty about time is that you cannot waste it in advance. The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ready for you, as perfect, as unspoiled, as if you had never wasted or misapplied a single moment in all your life.” Arnold Bennett

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Enjoy the rest of your week and I will see you next week!

Christmas Star

Hi everyone, hope you are all doing okay, and you have about finished getting your Christmas shopping gifts. Hopefully, everyone has a nice Christmas, despite what is looming over our heads, and please stay safe,

Something terrible happened yesterday, a dog mauled my husband whilst he was out delivering his parcel’s so that everyone gets them in time for Christmas. He went to this house to drop off a parcel when a teenager answered the door, she only opened the door slightly as she had the dog beside her, but the parcel was too big to go through the tiny gap, but instead, of putting her dog into another room before opening the door fully. Which is what normal people would have done. Nope, she opened it up as wide as possible to get the parcel, and then the dog pounded out of the house and attacked my husband, he was backed into a corner as the dog was biting and ripping away at his trousers and sinking his teeth into his flesh. and piercing his skin.

While this was going on the teenager was just standing in the doorway shouting at the dog, she never moved an inch, she did not even think to leave the house and drag the dog off him, the only way my husband got away was by kicking it away so he could make his escape. It was bad enough that he got mauled, but what if that had been a child, that youngster would not have been able to of fought it off. If people have animals, they need to learn how to manage them properly, especially in those kinds of situations, because that should never have happened if he was managed properly in the first place,

Anyway, on with my post, I have done a poem this week for you. Hope you like it.

Christmas Star,
Christmas Star,
That sits so high,
And so far, away,
Twinkling there,
In the midnight sky.
Make all our dreams,
Come true tonight.

Wish you may,
Wish you might.
You are only here,
For just one night.
Twinkles twinkle
With all your might
I have you…
In my sight tonight.

By Aria

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, and I will see you soon.

This is my last post for this year as I am taking two weeks break to enjoy the holiday festivities with my family and get to spend some good quality time together. There is nothing quite like spending time with loved ones if these past couple of years have shown us, and that is to appreciate what we have, do not take anyone or thing for granted and it’s the insignificant things we do that make more of an impact. Be Kind and loving to each other I will see you all back here in the New Year. Merry Christmas to you all and a Happy New year Have a great Christmas holiday

20 Christmas Quotes

Here are twenty Christmas quotes to take you into the festive season. Have a very merry Christmas and hopefully a better New Year.

“Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most.” Ruth Carter Stapleton

“A silent night, a star above, a blessed gift of hope and love. A blessed Christmas to you!” Unknown

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year. There’ll be much mistletoeing and hearts will be glowing when loved ones are near. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” Eddie Pola and George Wyle

“There seems a magic in the very name of Christmas.” Charles Dickens

“What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal and that every path may lead to peace.” Agnes M. Pharo

“In the eyes of children, we find the joy of Christmas. In their hearts, we find its meaning.” Leland Thomas

“The month of December isn’t magical because it sparkles. It’s magical because it changes people’s hearts … at least momentarily.” Toni Sorenson

“From home to home, and heart to heart, from one place to another. The warmth and joy of Christmas bring us closer to each other.” Emily Matthews

“At its best, Christmas is a mirror in which we see reflected the very best life can be. Where we see ourselves moved by generosity, inspired by hope and uplifted by love, not only for ourselves but for the whole evolving universe.” Bruce Sanguin

“This holiday season, I wish you all the best gifts of life. The gift of friendship, the gift of hope, the gift of love. Have a merry Christmas!” Unknown

Thank you for taking the time to read this week’s blog. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight.

Writer, Poet, Traveller & Dreamer

Patrick Leclerc

Author/ Poet / Blogger

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