10 things you didn't know about Audrey Hepburn

Did you know that  Audrey Hepburn wasn’t Capote’s first choice to play Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s? Hope you like these unusual facts about Hepburn. They are 10 things I didn’t know about Audrey Hepburn anyway!  If you’re the world’s biggest Audrey Hepburn superfan you may already know some of these – let me know!

  1. Audrey Hepburn’s real name was Audrey Kathleen Ruston.
  2. She was born in Belgium in 1929 and lived in German-occupied Arnhem during the Second World War.
  3. Her stage name ‘Hepburn’ was taken from her father’s name. He was born Ruston, but later double-barrelled the surname to the more “aristocratic” Hepburn-Ruston, mistakenly believing himself descended from James Hepburn, third husband of Mary, Queen of Scots.
  4. Audrey Hepburn spoke fluent English, Dutch, French, Spanish and Italian.
  5. She was trained as a ballerina, and during the war she secretly danced for groups of people to collect money for the Dutch resistance.
  6. Before she was signed up by a film studio Hepburn worked as a London chorus girl in the late 1940s because it paid more than ballet dancing and she needed the money.
  7. She turned down the role of playing Anne Frank in both the Broadway and film adaptations of Frank’s life. She turned down the role saying she was “emotionally incapable” of the task.
  8. Truman Capote, the writer of the original novel of Breakfast at Tiffany’s claimed that Hepburn was “grossly miscast” as Holly Golightly, and he had envisioned Marilyn Monroe in the role.
  9. Audrey Hepburn originally turned down the role of Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, and said they should give the role to Julie Andrews who had originally played the role in the West End.
  10. Most of Hepburn’s singing was dubbed in the final movie of My Fair Lady.
    The only songs which have Hepburn’s original voice are one line in “I Could Have Danced All Night”, in the first verse of “Just You Wait”, and in the entirety of its reprise in addition to sing-talking in parts of “The Rain in Spain” in the finished film.

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Above: Original studio publicity photo of Anthony Perkins and Audrey Hepburn for film Green Mansions. Image source and copyright:This work is in the public domain because it was published in the United States between 1923 and 1963 and although there may or may not have been a copyright notice, the copyright was not renewed.