Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Love Affair with Audrey Hepburn

It was 82 years ago that Audrey Hepburn was born. This brings me to a confession that has been one of the central truths of my existence for years. Ever since I was a lad I have been in love with Audrey Hepburn. Time has neither faded nor tarnished the ardour I feel for Miss Hepburn And short of Grace Kelly and one other, no other actress has ever had such a hold on my heart. Quite simply, I believe Audrey Hepburn was one of the most beautiful, most graceful, and classiest ladies in the history of mankind.

If anyone is to blame for my unrequited love for Audrey Hepburn, it is perhaps my father. I was only around 8 years old when My Fair Lady came on the television. Being a typical boy, I wanted to change the channel. After all, this was a musical and every boy knows musicals are for sissies. Little did I know that, outside of Westerns, musicals were his favourite genre of motion picture. He persuaded me to watch the movie, telling me that I should give it a chance, that I might like it. Little did he know what he had done. At eight years old I was still at that age where I thought girls were "yucky," but once I laid eyes on Audrey Hepburn, especially after Professor Higgins had cleaned Eliza Doolittle up, I was hopelessly, irrevocably in love. On that night my father not only changed my mind about musicals, he also created another Audrey Hepburn fan.

It would  be some time before I would see Breakfast at Tiffany's, but when I did I once more found myself drawn to Audrey. And the process would be repeated with each Audrey Hepburn movie I saw: Sabrina, Roman Holiday, Funny Face, it was always the same. I fell even deeper in love with Miss Hepburn. I was at university before I saw Charade and How to Steal a Million, but the result was the same. Even as an adult I found my heart belonged to Audrey Hepburn.

I know my story is not unique, as I know many men who fell in love with Audrey Hepburn as boys and love her to this day. And looking at Audrey Hepburn it is easy to see why a young boy would fall in love with her. With dark hair, big eyes, and full lips, Audrey Hepburn was incredibly beautiful. Indeed, in the Fifties and Sixties there were those who would say the recently deceased Elizabeth Taylor was the most beautiful woman in the world. I have to disagree. Even if it was not for Grace Kelly (the only actress who stole my heart as a child), Miss Taylor would have no claim to the title. It belonged to Audrey Hepburn . As a evidence I offer the fact that I have never seen another male watching an Audrey Hepburn who was not transfixed by her every moment she appeared on the screen.

Of course, this brings me to another point I would like to make about Audrey Hepburn. While Miss Hepburn almost never appears on the lists of sex symbols of the 20th Century, she was almost certainly one. As I pointed out in the previous paragraph, men find her incredibly attractive. And there is little reason they should not. True, Audrey did not possess the traditional hourglass figure of such sex symbols as Marilyn Monroe and Ava Gardner, but her beauty did not stop at her face. Audrey Hepburn had trained as a ballerina and possessed the figure of such.  When at her proper weight Audrey Hepburn's figure was every bit as attractive as that of the top sex symbols. Here I must point out that sex appeal goes beyond a woman's figure, however, as it is often in how a woman moves as well. And Audrey, trained as a ballerina, was perhaps the most graceful actress to ever appear on the big screen.

Beyond Audrey's beauty and her obvious sex appeal, however, I must point out that much of her attractiveness emerged simply because of who she was. Audrey Hepburn was not the typical movie star. She always conducted herself as a lady, never behaving in such a way that was unbecoming. If ever the word "lady" was true of a woman, it was true of Audrey Hepburn. Indeed, she was a woman who had endured much in her life, including the Dutch Famine of World War II. Perhaps because of this, Audrey Hepburn emerged as a woman who cared deeply about her fellow man. Audrey had worked for UNICEF as far back as the Fifties, and became a Goodwill Ambassador for the organisation in 1989. Even four months before her untimely death, Audrey Hepburn visited Somalia on behalf of UNICEF. Needless to say, Miss Hepburn's work for charity would endear her even more to me.

So it is that on this, Audrey Hepburn's 82nd birthday, I find myself still hopelessly in love with the woman. To me she was one of the classiest, most graceful, most beautiful women to have ever live. The fact is I have been in love with Audrey as long as some adults have been alive. I have to say that it is perhaps because of Audrey that I have a preference for brunettes, not to mention it is perhaps because of Audrey that I have certain  expectations of how a lady should behave. Except for Grace Kelly, no other actress has had such an impact on my life. And it is all because my father insisted I watch a musical....

1 comment:

QUB English Society said...


I want to thank your father for keeping the channel on that day. Otherwise I wouldn't have had this to read to brighten my mood after PE.