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Creator / Audrey Hepburn

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"I never think of myself as an icon. What is in other people's minds is not in my mind. I just do my thing."

Audrey Hepburn (born Audrey Kathleen Ruston; 4 May 1929 – 20 January 1993) was one of the most beautiful, elegant, and – yes – iconic actors in cinema history. She never seemed to try to be iconic; it just came naturally. Whether dressed in scarves, nun's habits, or the Little Black Dress, hers was an unforgettable image. Look up the word "classy" in the dictionary, and a picture of her will be staring back at you.

A British citizen, she was born in Brussels, Belgium to a Dutch Baroness and an Anglo-Irish ne'er-do-well. Her father walked out on the family when she was young, and her subsequent adolescence in German-occupied Netherlands was quite traumatising (she helped the local resistance, witnessed deportations of Jews and almost died of malnutrition during the "Hunger Winter" caused by a German blockade). She then studied and practiced ballet in Amsterdam.


She went from one small role after another in Dutch and British film and stage productions, until she ended up in the main role in the Broadway play Gigi in 1951, which earned her much acclaim. Prominent Hollywoodian director William Wyler decided to cast her for Roman Holiday as neither his first choices, Elizabeth Taylor and Jean Simmons, were available. The rest, as they say, is history.

She was married to American actor Mel Ferrer from ​1954 to 1968 and to Italian psychiatrist Andrea Dotti from 1969 to 1982. Even in her later years, she was still a looker, appearing in Blackglama's "What Becomes A Legend Most?" ad campaign, although she spent most of her later years doing philanthropic work with UNICEF. She passed away from appendiceal cancer (which was diagnosed too late) in Switzerland at the age of 63 on January 20, 1993.


She is not related to Katharine Hepburn, who was American. However, they were close friends; Katharine nicknamed Audrey "my little daughter".

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    Films on TV Tropes: 

    Tropes in her works: 
  • Cool Pet: While filming Green Mansions, since her character Rima was written as having a deer companion that followed her everywhere, in order to create a realistic bond she adopted a fawn named Pippin, who lived with her family and even slept in her room.
  • '50s Hair: She wore a ponytail at the start of her career, then cropped it into a pixie cut, then grew it again into a Beehive Hairdo in The '60s.
  • Hollywood Thin: Along with the Little Black Dress example below, Hepburn's physique has long been considered an ideal standard of beauty and grace. She was 5'7" and 110-115 lbs, giving her a BMI of 17-18, which is considered underweight. She suffered from long periods of starvation during the Nazis' occupation of the Netherlands, and this damaged her metabolism, causing life-long health problems and contributing to her relatively early death, at age 63.
  • Little Black Dress: She didn't invent it, but let's face it: her face is the one that immediately comes to mind whenever one hears the phrase. She's not the page image for nothing, after all.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Played two of the early role models for this archetype, Princess Ann and Holly Golightly.

    Portrayals in fiction: 

    Homages & references to her: 
  • In the Gundam metaseries, both Relena Peacecraft/Darlian and her Expy, Lacus Clyne, were modeled after Hepburn. And now Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn has Audrey Burne. Gundam really loves her.
  • Both Wing and Unicorn made homages to Roman Holiday: in Wing, one of Relena's dresses was designed after Princess Ann's dress, and in Unicorn, the "Runaway Princess" movie poster is a copy of the movie poster for "Roman Holiday".
  • In the manga and anime series, Rec, Aka Onda, the lead female character, idolizes Hepburn, and would quote Hepburn's lines from the movies she appeared in. In the opening, Aka is wearing some of Hepburn's famous clothing.
  • Episode 146 of Sailor Moon is a homage to Roman Holiday, with one-shot character Princess Rubina as a stand-in for Princess Ann.
  • Lina's character design in Slayers is supposedly based on Hepburn.
  • In Disney's Sleeping Beauty, Aurora's design is partially based on Hepburn.
    • More specifically Hepburn's willowy ballerina body. Originally Aurora/Briar Rose's face was also based on Hepburn's but redesigned later on.
  • In Anastasia, the title character's design is based on both Meg Ryan and Hepburn.
  • Jenna from Balto was based on Hepburn.
  • You, Me and Dupree. Audrey is Dupree's ideal woman, much to Molly's surprise.
  • Audrey is one of the actors on whom S1m0ne is based.
  • Adam Hughes' Catwoman cover work.
  • From Clamp School Detectives, kindergartner Utako Okawa dons an outfit identical to the Royal Ascot dress worn by Hepburn in My Fair Lady.
  • Azalyn in Irresponsible Captain Tylor talks about being a fan of Roman Holiday
  • In Gossip Girl, Blair Waldorf is a huge Audrey fan and would like her life to be like in Breakfast at Tiffany's.
  • According to the DVD commentary of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (specifically "Suited For Success"), Rarity's voice is at least partially inspired by Audrey's.
  • Diantha from Pokémon X and Y greatly resembles her, down to the hair, eyebrows and being an actor.
  • In The Legend of Korra, Asami Sato's overall appearance and role as a smart innovator with incredible beauty brings Audrey Hepburn and other Hollywood Golden Age stars to mind.
  • In World of Warcraft, there is a female pet trainer named Audrey Burnhep in Stormwind City. It has been speculated that the reason why Blizzard Entertainment chose this method to honour Hepburn was her being well-known for keeping a pet fawn (which is also an in-game pet).
  • Italian detective/thriller comic Julia, published by Bonelli, has its eponymous character clearly modeled after Hepburn.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: JoJolion, Hepburn is seen alongside a collage of other women to show how Rock Human women are indistinguishable from human women, with the implication that she was one of them.