and a waif-like figure that inspired designs by Hubert de Givenchy, she was inducted in the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame and placed, by the American Film Institute, among the five greatest female stars in the history of American cinema.
Born in Ixelles, Belgium, Hepburn spent her childhood chiefly in the Netherlands, including German-occupied Arnhem during the Second World War. In Arnhem, she studied ballet before moving to London in 1948 where she continued to train in ballet while working as a photographer's model. Upon deciding to pursue a career in acting, she performed as a chorus girl in various West End musical theatre productions. After appearing in several British films and starring in the 1951 Broadway play Gigi, Hepburn gained instant Hollywood stardom for playing the Academy Award-winning lead female role in Roman Holiday (1953). Later performing in Sabrina (1954), The Nun's Story (1959), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), Charade (1963), My Fair Lady (1964) and Wait Until Dark (1967), Hepburn became one of the great screen actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age who received nominations for Academy Awards, Golden Globes and BAFTAs as well as winning a Tony Award for her theatrical performance in the 1954 Broadway play Ondine. Hepburn remains one of few entertainers who have won Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Awards.
Devoting much of her later life to UNICEF, Hepburn's war-time struggles inspired her passion for humanitarian work and, although Hepburn had contributed to the organisation since the 1950s, she worked in some of the most profoundly disadvantaged communities of Africa, South America and Asia in the late eighties and early nineties. In 1992, Hepburn was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of her work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
At the age of 63, Hepburn died of appendiceal cancer at her home in Switzerland.
Life and careeralthough later double-barelled by her father to the surname Hepburn-Ruston,was born on Rue Keyenveld (or Keienveldstraat in Dutch) in Ixelles (or Elsene in Dutch), a municipality in Brussels, Belgium. Hepburn, the only child of Joseph Victor Anthony Ruston (1889–1980), an English banker of Irish descent, and his second wife Ella, baroness van Heemstra (1900–1984), a Dutch aristocrat, had two half-brothers: Jonkheer Arnoud Robert Alexander "Alex" Quarles van Ufford (1920–1979) and Jonkheer Ian Edgar Bruce Quarles van Ufford (born 1924), by her mother's first marriage.Although born in Belgium, Hepburn had British citizenship and attended school in England as a child. Hepburn's father's job with a British insurance company meant that the family often travelled between Belgium, England, and the Netherlands. From 1935 to 1938, Hepburn was educated at Miss Rigden's School, an independent girls' school in the village of Elham, Kent, in the southeast of England.
Childhood and adolescence in World War IIHepburn's parents, members of the British Union of Fascists in the mid-1930s (according to Unity Mitford, a friend of Ella van Heemstra and a follower of Adolf Hitler), divorced in 1935 when her father, a Nazi sympathiser, left the family. Her father's abandonment left her in a traumatic state. Years later, she located him in Dublin, Ireland through the Red Cross. Although he remained emotionally detached, Hepburn remained in contact and supported him financially until his death.
Moving to their grandfather's home in Arnhem, Netherlands in 1939, her mother relocated her and her two half-brothers in the belief that Netherlands would protect them from German attack. While in Arnhem, Hepburn attended the Arnhem Conservatory from 1939 to 1945 where she trained in ballet alongside the standard school curriculum. After the Germans invaded the Netherlands in 1940, Hepburn adopted the pseudonym Edda van Heemstra, a derivative of her mother's name "Ella," modifying her mother's documents because an "English sounding" name was considered dangerous during the German occupation. Her mother also felt that the name Audrey may have indicated her British roots too strongly – an unwanted asset particularly as it could have attracted the attention of occupying German forces and resulted in confinement or deportation.
By 1944, Hepburn had become a proficient ballerina. She had secretly danced for groups of people to collect money for the Dutch resistance. She later said, "The best audience I ever had made not a single sound at the end of my performances." After the Allied landing on D-Day, living conditions grew worse and Arnhem was subsequently devastated by Allied artillery fire under Operation Market Garden. During the Dutch famine that followed in the winter of 1944, the Germans blocked the resupply routes of the Dutch's already-limited food and fuel supplies as retaliation in railway strikes hindered German occupation. People starved and froze to death in the streets; Hepburn and many others resorted to making flour out of tulip bulbs to bake cakes and biscuits. One way that Hepburn passed the time was by drawing; some of her childhood artwork can be seen today.
Hepburn's half-brother Ian van Ufford, spent time in a German labour camp. Suffering from malnutrition, Hepburn developed acute anaemia, respiratory problems, and oedema. Hepburn, in 1991, commented, "I have memories. More than once I was at the station seeing trainloads of Jews being transported, seeing all these faces over the top of the wagon. I remember, very sharply, one little boy standing with his parents on the platform, very pale, very blond, wearing a coat that was much too big for him, and he stepped on to the train. I was a child observing a child."
When the country was liberated, United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration trucks followed.Hepburn said in an interview that she fell ill from putting too much sugar in her oatmeal and eating an entire can of condensed milk. Hepburn's war-time experiences sparked her devotion to UNICEF, an international humanitarian organisation, in her later career.
Career beginnings and early rolesAmsterdam, where she took ballet lessons with Sonia Gaskell. Hepburn appeared as a stewardess in a short tourism film for KLM, before travelling with her mother to London. Gaskell provided an introduction to Marie Rambert, and Hepburn studied ballet at the Ballet Rambert, supporting herself with part-time work as a model. Hepburn eventually asked Rambert about her future; Rambert assured her that she could continue to work there and have a great career, but the fact that she was relatively tall (1.7m / 5 ft 7) coupled with her poor nutrition during the war would keep her from becoming a prima ballerina. Hepburn trusted Rambert's assessment and decided to pursue acting, a career in which she, at least, had chance to excel. After Hepburn became a star, Rambert said in an interview, "She was a wonderful learner. If she had wanted to persevere, she might have become an outstanding ballerina."
Hepburn's mother worked menial jobs in order to support them and Hepburn needed to find employment. Since she had trained to become a performer all her life, acting seemed a sensible career. She said, "I needed the money; it paid ₤3 more than ballet jobs." Her acting career began with the educational film Dutch in Seven Lessons (1948). As a London chorus girl, she played in the musical theatre productions High Button Shoes (1948) at the London Hippodrome and Cecil Landeau's musical revues Sauce Tartare (1949) and Sauce Piquante (1950) at the Cambridge Theatre in the West End. Her theatre work, however, revealed that her voice was not strong and needed to be developed. Hepburn, therefore, took elocution lessons with the actor Felix Aylmer. Hepburn was spotted by a scout for Paramount Pictures during her work in the West End. She registered with the casting officers of British film studios while working in the West End to appear in small minor roles in the 1951 films One Wild Oat, Laughter in Paradise, Young Wives' Tale and The Lavender Hill Mob.
During the filming of Monte Carlo Baby (1951), French novelist Colette appeared on set, choosing Hepburn to play the title character in the Broadway play Gigi. Upon first sight of Hepburn, Colette whispered, "Voilà," indicating Hepburn, "there's your Gigi." Opening on 24 November 1951 at the Fulton Theatre, the play ran for 219 performances finishing on 31 May 1952. Hepburn's performance earned her a Theatre World Award. Hepburn's subsequent first significant film performance was in Thorold Dickinson's The Secret People (1952), in which, Hepburn played a prodigious ballerina; Hepburn performed all of her own dancing sequences.
Roman Holiday and increased popularityRoman Holiday (1953) as Princess Ann, a "bored and sheltered" European princess who, after escaping her guardians, falls in love with American newsman Gregory Peck. Producers initially wanted Elizabeth Taylor for the role but after Hepburn's screen test, director William Wyler was so impressed that he cast her in the lead. Following the screen test, the camera kept rolling while Hepburn, displaying her ability, candidly answered questions, relaxed and unaware that she was still being filmed. Wyler later commented, "She had everything I was looking for: charm, innocence and talent. She also was very funny. She was absolutely enchanting and we said, 'That's the girl!'"[ Originally, the film was to only have had Peck's name above its title in large font while she would receive "Introducing Audrey Hepburn" beneath. After filming had been completed and Hepburn had won the 1954 Academy Award for Best Actress for the role, Peck suggested to Wyler that he elevate her to equal billing so her name appeared before the title and in type as large as his. Due to the instant celebrity that came with Roman Holiday, Hepburn spawned what became known as the Audrey Hepburn "look" while her illustration was placed on the September 1953 cover of TIME magazine. Hepburn garnered critical and commercial acclaim for her portrayal of the incognito princess and supplemented her Academy Award win with her first BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama. A. H. Weiler noted in The New York Times that although "she is not precisely a newcomer to films, [Hepburn,] who is being starred for the first time as Princess Ann, is a slender, elfin and wistful beauty, alternately regal and childlike in her profound appreciation of newly found, simple pleasures and love. Although she bravely smiles her acknowledgement of the end of that affair, she remains a pitifully lonely figure facing a stuffy future."In allowing her to become a star, Hepburn later called Roman Holiday her dearest movie. Returning to the New York stage after filming Roman Holiday for four months, Hepburn performed in Gigi for eight months. The play was performed in Los Angeles and San Francisco in its last month. She was signed to a seven-picture contract with Paramount with twelve months in between films to allow her time for stage work.
Billy Wilder's romantic Cinderella-story comedy Sabrina (1954) where wealthy brothers (Humphrey Bogart and William Holden) compete for the affections of their chauffeur's innocent daughter (Hepburn). For her performance, she was nominated for the 1955 Academy Award for Best Actress while winning the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role the same year. The uncredited Hubert de Givenchy was responsible for many of Hepburn's outfits in the film. Initially disappointed, Givenchy noted that he had expected Katharine Hepburn upon being told that "Miss Hepburn." When faced with this actress, he told Hepburn he had little time to spare. Nevertheless, she knew exactly how she wanted to look and asked to view his latest collection. Their collaboration in Sabrina developed into a life-long lasting friendship and partnership; she was often a muse for many of his designs and her style became renowned internationally.
Hepburn also began another collaboration that year, this time with actor/writer/producer Mel Ferrer. After starring with him as the water spirit in Ondine on Broadway, Hepburn married Ferrer, and their sometimes tumultuous partnership would last for the better part of the next fifteen years. Her performance won her the 1954 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play, the same year she won the Academy Award for Roman Holiday. Hepburn, therefore, stands as one of three actresses to receive the Academy and Tony Awards for Best Actress in the same year (the others being Shirley Booth and Ellen Burstyn). By the mid-1950s, Hepburn was not only one of the biggest motion picture stars in Hollywood, but also a major fashion influence. Her gamine and elfin appearance and widely recognised sense of chic were both admired and imitated. In 1955, she was awarded the Golden Globe for World Film Favorite – Female. Hepburn was asked to play Anne Frank's counterpart in both the Broadway and film adaptations of Frank's life. Hepburn, however, who was born the same year as Frank, found herself "emotionally incapable" of the task, and at almost thirty years old, too old. The role was eventually given to Susan Strasberg and Millie Perkins in the play and film respectively.
Natasha Rostova in War and Peace (1956), an adaptation of the Tolstoy novel set during the Napoleonic wars with Mel Ferrer and Henry Fonda. The year 1957 saw her debut in musical film titled Funny Face which saw her perform alongside Fred Astaire; she also starred alongside Gary Cooper and Maurice Chevalier in the romantic comedy Love in the Afternoon. The Nun's Story (1959), in which she starred alongside Peter Finch, accrued her third Academy Award nomination and earned her another BAFTA Award. Films in Review stated that her performance "will forever silence those who have thought her less an actress than a symbol of the sophisticated child/woman. Her portrayal of Sister Luke is one of the great performances of the screen." Reportedly, she spent hours in convents and with members of the Church to bring truth to her portrayal: "I gave more time, energy and thought to this than to any of my previous screen performances." Subsequently, she starred with Anthony Perkins in the romantic adventure Green Mansions (1959) where Perkins, a young man, meets "a girl of the forest" (Hepburn) and falls in love with her. In 1960, she appeared alongside Burt Lancaster and Lillian Gish in her only western film The Unforgiven for which she received lukewarm reception.
Breakfast at Tiffany's and continued stardomBlake Edwards' Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), a film very loosely based on the Truman Capote novella. The film was drastically changed from the original version. Capote disapproved of many changes and proclaimed that Hepburn was "grossly miscast" as Holly Golightly, a quirky New York call girl;a role he had envisioned for Marilyn Monroe. Hepburn's portrayal of Golightly was adapted from the original: "I can't play a hooker," she admitted to Marty Jurow, co-producer of the film. Despite softened and sexual innuendo-less in character, her portrayal was nominated for the 1962 Academy Award for Best Actress and became an iconic character in American cinema. Often considered her defining role, Holly Golightly, Hepburn's high fashion style and sophistication within the film became synonymous with her. She named the role "the jazziest of my career" yet admitted that, "I'm an introvert. Playing the extroverted girl was the hardest thing I ever did."
Shirley MacLaine and James Garner, her next role was in William Wyler's lesbian-themed drama The Children's Hour (1961) which saw Hepburn and MacLaine play teachers whose lives become troubled after a student accuses them of being lesbians. The film was one of Hollywood's earliest treatments on the subject of lesbianism and perhaps due to this reason and the illiberal state of society, the film and Hepburn's performance went seemingly unnoticed both critically and commercially. Bosley Crowther of The New York Times, however, noted that "it is not too well acted" with the exception of Hepburn who "gives the impression of being sensitive and pure" of its "muted theme"[while Variety magazine also complemented Hepburn's "soft sensitivity, marvellous projection and emotional understatement" adding that Hepburn and MacLaine "beautifully complement each other."
Her only film with Cary Grant came in the comic thriller Charade (1963). Hepburn, who plays Regina Lampert, finds herself pursued by several men (including Grant) who chase the fortune her murdered husband had stolen. The role earned her third and final competitive BAFTA Award and accrued another Golden Globe nomination. Grant (59 years old at the time), who had previously withdrawn from the starring male lead roles in Roman Holiday and Sabrina, was sensitive about the age difference between Hepburn (at age 34) and him, making him uncomfortable about the romantic interplay. To satisfy his concerns, the filmmakers agreed to change the screenplay so that Hepburn's character would be the one to romantically pursue his. Grant, however, loved to humour Hepburn and once said, "All I want for Christmas is another picture with Audrey Hepburn."
Paris When It Sizzles (1964) reteamed Hepburn with William Holden nearly ten years after Sabrina. The screwball comedy set in Paris saw Hepburn as Gabrielle Simpson, the young assistant of a Hollywood screenwriter (Holden) who aids his writer's block by acting out his fantasies of possible plots. The film, called "marshmallow-weight hokum", was "uniformly panned"; Behind the scenes, the set was plagued with problems: Holden tried, without success, to rekindle a romance with the now-married actress; that, combined with his alcoholism made the situation a challenge. Hepburn did not help matters: after principal photography began, she demanded the dismissal of cinematographer Claude Renoir after seeing what she felt were unflattering dailies. Superstitious, she insisted on dressing room 55 because that was her lucky number (she had dressing room 55 for Roman Holiday and Breakfast at Tiffany’s). She insisted that Givenchy, her long-time designer, be given a credit in the film for her perfume.
My Fair LadyGone with the Wind has a motion picture created such universal excitement as My Fair Lady", wrote Soundstage magazine in 1964, yet Hepburn's landing the role of Eliza Doolittle in the 1964 George Cukor film adaptation of the stage musical sparked controversy. Firstly, by producer Jack Warner, the decision had been made to cast someone other than Julie Andrews, who had originated the role on Broadway, in fear that Andrews' then-limited film experience would prevent the film's success. Initially refusing, Hepburn asked Warner to give it to Andrews, but when informed that it was either she or Elizabeth Taylor who would receive the part, she accepted the role Secondly, the casting Hepburn, a non-singer, in a major musical created further friction. Deemed below par, Hepburn's originally recorded vocals were replaced with those of Marni Nixon. Upset, she reportedly stormed off the set yet returned early the next day to apologise for her "wicked" behaviour. In the finished film, Hepburn's only singing vocals remain in one line in the song "I Could Have Danced All Night", on a section of the song "Just You Wait" and the entirety of its reprise. Footage of several songs with Hepburn's original vocals still exist and have been included in documentaries and the recent releases of the film, yet only Nixon's renditions have been released on LP and CD. When asked about the dubbing of an actress with such distinctive vocal tones, Hepburn frowned and said, "You could tell, couldn't you? And there was Rex, recording all his songs as he acted ... next time —" She bit her lip to prevent her saying more.The controversy reached its height during the 1964–65 Academy Awards season, when despite the film's accumulation of eight out of a possible twelve awards, Hepburn was left nomination-less in the Best Actress category while Andrews was, for Mary Poppins (1964), and won it. The media tried to play up a rivalry between the two actresses, even though both women denied any such bad feelings existed and got along well. Despite such strife, many critics greatly applauded Hepburn's performance. "The happiest thing about [My Fair Lady]," wrote Bosley Crowther in The New York Times, "is that Audrey Hepburn superbly justifies the decision of Jack Warner to get her to play the title role." Gene Ringgold of Soundstage also commented that, "Audrey Hepburn is magnificent. She is Eliza for the ages" while adding, "Everyone agreed that if Julie Andrews was not to be in the film, Audrey Hepburn was the perfect choice." Although initially feeling that she was badly miscast as Doolitte, Rex Harrison, her co-star, also called Hepburn his favourite leading lady.
In the heist comedy How to Steal a Million (1966), she played Nicole, the daughter of a famous art collector whose collection consisted entirely of forgeries. Fearing of her father's exposition, Hepburn sets out to steal one of her father's priceless statues with the help of Simon Dermott (Peter O'Toole). In 1967, she starred in two films: Two for the Road and Wait Until Dark. The former, a non-linear and innovative British comedy drama, tracing the course of a troubled marriage. Director Stanley Donen said that Hepburn was more free and happy than he had ever seen her, and he credited that to Albert Finney. The latter, an edgy thriller in which Hepburn demonstrated her acting range by playing the part of a terrorised blind woman. It was a difficult film and despite being produced by Mel Ferrer, filmed on the brink of their divorce while she lost fifteen pounds under the stress, Hepburn earned a fifth Academy Award nomination. Additionally on the bright side, she found co-star Richard Crenna to be very funny, and she had a lot to laugh about with director Terence Young. They both joked that he had shelled his favourite star twenty-three years before; he had been a British Army tank commander during the Battle of Arnhem.
Deathabdominal pains. She went to specialists and received inconclusive results, so decided to have herself examined while on a trip to Los Angeles, California in October. On 1 November, Hepburn checked in at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center with her family. Doctors performed a laparoscopy and discovered abdominal cancer that had spread from her appendix, a very rare form of cancer belonging to a group of cancers known as pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP). Having grown slowly over several years, the cancer had metastasised, not as a tumour, but as a thin coating over her small intestine. After performing surgery, the doctors put Hepburn through 5-fluorouracil Leucovorin chemotherapy. A few days later, she had an obstruction and medication was not enough to dull the pain. She underwent further surgery on 1 December. After one hour, the surgeon decided that the cancer had spread too far to be removed fully. Because Hepburn was unable to fly on commercial aircraft, Hubert de Givenchy arranged for Rachel Lambert "Bunny" Mellon to send her private Gulfstream jet, filled with flowers, to take Hepburn from California to Switzerland.
Hepburn died in her sleep of appendiceal cancer, on the evening of 20 January 1993, at her home in Tolochenaz, Vaud, Switzerland. After her death, Gregory Peck went on camera and tearfully recited her favourite poem, "Unending Love" by Rabindranath Tagore.
Funeral services were held at the Village Church of Tolochenaz, Switzerland on 24 January 1993. Maurice Eindiguer, the same pastor who wed Hepburn and Mel Ferrer and baptised her son Sean in 1960, presided over her funeral while Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, of UNICEF, delivered an eulogy. Many family members and friends attended the funeral, including her sons, partner Robert Wolders, brother Ian Quarles von Ufford, ex-husbands Andrea Dotti and Mel Ferrer, Hubert de Givenchy, executives of UNICEF, and fellow actors Alain Delon and Roger Moore. The same day as her funeral, Hepburn was interred at the Tolochenaz Cemetery, a small cemetery that sits atop a hill overlooking the village.
Romances, marriages, children and miscarriagesIn 1952, Hepburn was engaged to the young James Hanson, whom she had known since her London dancing days. She called it "love at first sight"; however, after having her wedding dress fitted and the date set, she decided the marriage would not work because the demands of their careers would keep them apart most of the time. Rather ambiguously, she issued a statement about her change of heart, "When I get married, I want to be really married." In the early 1950s, she also dated future Hair producer Michael Butler.Hepburn and Gregory Peck bonded during the filming of Roman Holiday (1953) and there were rumours that they were romantically involved; both denied it. Hepburn, however, added, "Actually, you have to be a little bit in love with your leading man and vice versa. If you're going to portray love, you have to feel it. You can't do it any other way. But you don't carry it beyond the set." They did however become lifelong friends. During the filming of Sabrina (1954), Hepburn and the already-married Holden became romantically involved. She hoped to marry him and have children however she broke off the relationship when Holden revealed that he had undergone a vasectomy. Although a common perception that Bogart and Hepburn (both starred in Sabrina together) did not get along, Hepburn commented that, "Sometimes it's the so-called 'tough guys' that are the most tender hearted, as Bogey was with me."
Ferrer recalled that, "We began talking about theatre; she knew all about the La Jolla Playhouse Summer Theatre, where Greg Peck and I had been co-producing plays. She also said she'd seen me three times in the movie Lili. Finally, she said she'd like to do a play with me, and she asked me to send her a likely play if a found one." Ferrer, vying for Hepburn to take the title role, sent her the script for the play Ondine. She agreed and rehearsals started in January 1954. Eight months later, on 24 September 1954, after meeting, working together and falling in love, the pair were married while preparing to star together in the film War and Peace (1955). Before having their only son, Hepburn had two miscarriages in March 1955 and in 1959. The latter occurred when filming The Unforgiven (1960) where breaking her back after falling off a horse and onto a rock resulted in hospital stay and miscarriage induced by physical and mental stress. Hepburn, therefore, took a year off work in order to successfully have a child. Sean Hepburn Ferrer, their son, whose godfather was the novelist A. J. Cronin who resided near Hepburn in Lucerne, was born on 17 July 1960. Despite the insistence from gossip columns that the marriage would not last, Hepburn claimed that she and her husband were inseparable and very happy together yet admitting that he had a bad temper. Ferrer was rumoured to be too controlling of Hepburn and had been referred to by others as being her Svengali – an accusation that Hepburn laughed off. William Holden was quoted as saying, "I think Audrey allows Mel to think he influences her". Despite their marriage of 14 years, the pair lasted until 5 December 1968, separated and divorced. Their son believed that Hepburn had stayed in the marriage too long. In June 2008, Mel Ferrer died of heart failure at the age of ninety.
Andrea Dotti on a cruise and fell in love with him on a trip to Greek ruins. She believed she would have more children, and possibly stop working. She married him on 18 January 1969 and aged 40, she gave birth to their son Luca Dotti on 8 February 1970. When pregnant with Luca in 1969, Hepburn was more careful, resting for months and passing the time by painting before delivering him by caesarean section. Hepburn had her final miscarriage in 1974.although Dotti loved Hepburn and was well-liked by Sean, who called him "fun", he began having affairs with younger women. The marriage lasted thirteen years and ended in 1982 when Hepburn felt Luca and Sean were old enough to handle life with a single mother. Although Hepburn broke off all contact with Ferrer (she only spoke to him twice more in the remainder of her life), she remained in touch with Dotti for the benefit of Luca. In October 2007, Andrea Dotti died from complications of a colonoscopy.
From 1980 until her death, Hepburn lived and was romantically involved with Dutch actor Robert Wolderswho was the widower of actress Merle Oberon. She had met Wolders through a friend, in the later stage of her marriage to Dotti. After Hepburn's divorce from Dotti was final, Wolders and she started their lives together, although they never married. In 1989, she called the nine years she had spent him the happiest years of her life. "Took me long enough," she said in an interview with American journalist Barbara Walters. Walters then asked why they never married; Hepburn replied that they were married, just not formally.
StyleVogue and Harper's Bazaar. Her style was partially the result of the meeting with the couturier Hubert de Givenchy during the filming of Sabrina in 1954 who designed her dresses for the film. Givenchy remained Hepburn's friend, his muse and ambassador throughout her life who always amazed, even after many years of collaboration: "Her measurements have not changed an inch in thirty-five years." To which Audrey replied, "I have many things in common with Hubert. We like the same things." She agreed to model again, on occasions, to present the creations of her friend. In 1988, when he present his summer collection in Paris, she said, "Wherever I am in the world, he is still there. For a bouquet, a telegram [...] he is a man who does not disperse into worldliness. He has time for those he loves." The designer drew her outfits for many films and subsequently created a perfume for her titled L'Interdit (French for "The Forbidden"). The films in which he dressed Hepburn include Funny Face, Love in the Afternoon, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Paris When It Sizzles, Charade and How to Steal a Million. Hepburn later revealed that, "He gave me a look, a kind, a silhouette." She furthered, "He has always been the best and he stayed the best. Because he kept the spare style that I love. What is more beautiful than a simple sheath made an extraordinary way in a special fabric, and just two earrings?"
Voted the "most beautiful woman of all time" in a poll of beauty experts by Evian, Hepburn's fashion styles continue to be popular among women today. Contrary to her image, although Hepburn did enjoy fashion, she did not place much importance on it; she preferred casual and comfortable clothes. In addition, she never considered herself to be attractive. She stated in a 1959 interview, "you can even say that I hated myself at certain periods. I was too fat, or maybe too tall, or maybe just plain too ugly... you can say my definiteness stems from underlying feelings of insecurity and inferiority. I couldn't conquer these feelings by acting indecisive. I found the only way to get the better of them was by adopting a forceful, concentrated drive."
The "little black dress" from Breakfast at Tiffany's, designed by Givenchy, was sold at a Christie's auction on 5 December 2006 for £467,200 (approximately $920,000), almost seven times its £70,000 pre-sale estimate. This is the highest price paid for a dress from a film. The proceeds went to the City of Joy Aid charity to aid underprivileged children in India. The head of the charity said, "there are tears in my eyes. I am absolutely dumbfounded to believe that a piece of cloth which belonged to such a magical actress will now enable me to buy bricks and cement to put the most destitute children in the world into schools". However, the dress auctioned by Christie's was not the one that Hepburn wore in the film. Of the two dresses that Hepburn did wear, one is held in the Givenchy archives while the other is displayed in the Museum of Costume in Madrid. A subsequent London auction of Hepburn's film wardrobe in December 2009 raised £270,200 ($437,000), including £60,000 for the black Chantilly lace cocktail gown from How to Steal a Million. Half the proceeds were donated to All Children in School, a joint venture of The Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund and UNICEF.