Meet Audrey Hepburn: Actress, model, dancer, humanitarian, philanthropist. With her expressive eyes, gorgeous smile, and princess-like aura, it’s no wonder she charmed millions of people around the world. Beneath all of that, she was also a genuinely kind and wonderful person. She showed everybody that you can be anything, and you can achieve your dreams. Audrey Hepburn has become such an inspiration to many people in her childhood, adult life, and through her accomplishments. From the moment she was born, her parents knew that Audrey would grow up to be someone special. She was born May 4, 1929, in Belgium.
Originally, her name was Andrey Ruston, but later changed it to Audrey Hepburn for a professional name. Even as a child, she went through many struggles. At 3 weeks old, her heart stopped beating, and she almost died. Luckily, she was okay and survived. As Audrey grew older, she developed an interest for dancing, particularly ballet. At age 4, she loved to draw, and drew many pictures of ballerinas. Soon she started ballet classes, and continued for many years. She had a very deep passion for ballet. She was an amazing dancer, with her gracefulness and beautiful posture.
She worked hard at it, and loved dancing. But on September 3, 1939, World War II had officially begun. Audrey and her family had to leave their home, and move to Holland. Her family had all of their money, jewelry, and property taken away. They were forced to live in a small apartment. They barely had money for food. But every day after school, she would still go to her new dance studio and study 2-3 hours at a time with her teacher. During the war, she was so malnourished that sometimes, she would not even have enough strength to stand, let alone dance.
She still continued to dance as often as she could, and never gave up. Her only tragedy was that she was too tall. Her dance teacher tried to do anything she could for her, but at 5’7″, it was almost always impossible to find a partner at her height. But even with this in the way, Audrey continued dancing. She might not ever be a dancer on stage, but she would have settled to be a teacher or choreographer. As she grew older, she took on small gigs and modeling jobs to support her family. But even through all the hard times, she continued to dance.
Audrey never gave up on her dreams, and even though she didn’t know it at the time, she would grow to inspire many. Audrey’s career flourished during her adult life. After the war had ended, she got a few jobs as a background dancer in some movies. She was finally making money as a dancer, and couldn’t be happier. Her family still struggled with money at the time, and she barely had any money to pay for her dance education. While she was performing in a film, famous writer Colette saw Audrey, and thought she would be perfect for the leading role based on her novel Gigi.
Gigi was hiring actors at the moment, and was struggling to find someone to play the leading role of a sixteen year old girl. The moment Audrey walked in to audition, they knew she was the one. After Gigi, Audrey began to get noticed by other studios. She was ecstatic, even if she wasn’t becoming a dancer. Soon after, she landed the leading role in Roman Holiday. Her mother disapproved of Audrey’s acting career. Audrey kept acting anyways, because it made her happy. She won an award for best actress in Roman Holiday. Soon she became a huge star. She was known by everybody in Hollywood, and was in many more movies.
One of Audrey’s most iconic roles is as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. She was nominated for best actress for it. Audrey got a lot of criticism about her acting, but she was never discouraged. As she once said, “The most important thing is to enjoy your life; to be happy. It’s all that matters. ” She continued with her dream. As she got older, she stopped acting to take time for her family. Her last film was Always, in 1989. She spent the last years of her life partnering with UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund), an organization that helps children in need.
UNICEF is a humanitarian agency that provides children with shelter, food, protection from disaster, health care and education. As a child, during World War II, UNICEF sent care packages to her town, and she might not have survived if they had not helped. She traveled around the world to many countries, such as Thailand, Guatemala, Turkey, France, and more. Audrey said that she felt the need to help starving and struggling children, because as a child, she was in the same position. She understood how it felt, having gone through it herself.
Eventually, this would be the role she would be most remembered for. Audrey was not only amazingly talented, but she was also kind and generous, and inspirational. Throughout her life, Audrey accomplished more than she could ever imagined. As a child, she never would have guessed that she would be able to do so much. In her acting career, she was nominated for 26 awards, and won 35 awards. These included Academy, Grammy, Tony, Emmy, Golden Globe, and many more awards. She is one of the few actresses to receive all of these awards.
In her lifetime, she has been in 33 movies, and starred in almost every single one. Her hard work earned her many rewards. In the late 1980s, she became a special ambassador of UNICEF, for all the work she had done. But, in November 1992, she was diagnosed with cancer. She was dumbfounded, and couldn’t believe that she was sick. Even when she was hit with this news, she continued her work at UNICEF to help children. In December 1992, she was awarded the highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
While she was ill, she continued her work, because it made her happy. She inspired people around the world with her light hearted spirit, and helped millions of children around the world. Audrey Hepburn achieved more in 5 years than the average person would in their entire lifetime. She showed us that even through all the hardship, you can still make your dreams come true. She was an inspiration to all of us, and will always be remembered as a fashion, film, and charitable icon. “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says, ‘I’m possible! “” -Audrey Hepburn.