Posts Tagged Hollywood Icons

Episode 121: Audrey Hepburn Part Two

Posted 11 March 2019 by
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Right before Audrey set a new high for superstar status in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

When we left Audrey in Part One she had finished her first Hollywood starring role in Roman Holiday, filmed her second in Sabrina, done a Broadway play, Ondine, with beau hunky Mel Ferrer, and had just won an Academy Award for Roman Holiday AND a Tony Award for Ondine!

Audrey with her Oscar for Roman Holiday in 1954 (either before or after she left it in the bathroom, we’re not sure. )


Hang on Audrey, life is about to get quite busy!

Between the major awards and the opening of Sabrina, Audrey and Mel married in a private ceremony in Switzerland. When the couple visited Amsterdam for a public appearance to help raise money for war victims, Audrey had to face that her level of celebrity may, indeed, be used for good-but the crowds that it brings can be terrifying.

It was a controlled crowd, but that wasn’t always the case. In Amsterdam, circa 1955

Audrey did one film right after another, War and Peace, Funny Face, Love in the Afternoon, Green Mansions, A Nun’s Story...there was barely enough time for her to recharge before she had to move on to the next project. A few times Audrey managed to squirrel herself away and stop working for just a little while…but never for long enough. Mel wasn’t much of a help since he kept shoving script after script in front of her, but Audrey didn’t want another script, the thing that Audrey wanted most was to have children.

Miscarriages and a stillborn child were crushing her, emotionally, for years until Audrey was 31 and gave birth to her first son, Sean Ferrer in 1960. Movie star, mom, wife…it was a lot and add to that: within a year of Sean’s birth, Audrey was working on (arguably) the most iconic of all her films: Breakfast at Tiffany’s

We go into a bit more detail about some of her most famous movies, relationships, life hurdles and accomplishments in the podcast, but for the early years of Sean’s life Audrey kept up her rapid-fire movie making pace with Sean and a nanny tagging along. Movies, longing to be with her son, more movies, demands on her time and increasing tension between her and Mel came to head when the couple called it quits after 14 years of marriage in 1968.

About a year later, she called it quits on something else: her movie career. Maybe “quits” is a bit hyperbolic, but a long pause. She married Italian psychiatrist Andrea Dotti, became pregnant and lived the life of a stay-at-home, pasta cooking, gardening mom in Italy and Switzerland. Her second son, Luca Dotti was born in 1970.

With Andrea Dotti, photo by Erling Mandelmann.

Audrey spent as little time on movie, TV or commercial sets as she could get away with; her husband spent as much time Tom Catting around as he could get away with but the marriage held on for almost as many years as her first marriage had before they divorced.

Audrey had been a model, actress, mom and done them all spectacularly–but she had one more title added to her resume: UNICEF Ambassador. Audrey realized that she could use her fame to bring awareness to the plight of children in desperate need all around the world with the same organization that had come to her aid after WWII.

Audrey as a UNICEF Ambassador, courtesy Anna via Flickr

Towards the end of her life she hosted a PBS series called Audrey Hepburn’s Gardens of the World and she recorded a spoken album of fairy tales. The former earned her an Emmy award, the latter a Grammy and Audrey entered the elite club of EGOTs (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.) Unfortunately, she didn’t live long enough to appreciate the achievement, Audrey Hepburn died of cancer at the age of 63 on January 20th, 1993, surrounded by the people she loved the most in this world.

Audrey is buried in a very simple grave in a town in Switzerland that she called “home.”

Audrey’s grave in Tolochenaz, Switzerland



By her son, Luca Dotti (with recipes!)


By her son, Sean Ferrer


Barry Paris


Warren G. Harris


Donald Spoto


by Yann Brice Dherbier (Coffee Table Book)

For kids:

Philip Hopman (Story with Givenchy)


By Margaret Cardillo, Illustrations by Julia Denos


If you see these Little People Big Dreams books, grab one, they’re charming!


If you have a library card, you can stream classic cinema (and documentaries) for free on Kanopy! Here’s a link, sign up and maybe find some Audrey! KANOPY

Tour Elham! (It really is a great time to be alive.)

The Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund website has information about causes near and dear to Audrey, and UNICEF is still helping children around the world, here is more information on this longtime organization that believes “every child deserves to grow up in a safe and inclusive environment. 

Before they held boxes of chocolate chip cookies and Tide and sent to college students, CARE packages helped keep people alive and give them hope during times of political unrest. Read more about them in this NPR article.


Audrey made so many films, some are on streaming services, some you have to pony up a few bucks to buy, but if it’s been a long time since you’ve seen any of them–maybe you should clear your schedule for a couple of hours.

PODCASTS: Not films, but entertainmeducation (we shouldn’t use that word again, huh?) Mo Rocca has the most beautiful love letter episode to Audrey on Mobutuaries! 

And because we both love it but don’t get a lot of opportunities to bring it up on the podcast, The Allusionist podcast is a brilliant study of language by Helen Zaltzman.

Technically not a podcast, but Audrey’s album of Fairy Tales is still available! 

This episode was brought to you by Flamingo, Shave Set (razor, extra blade, lotion, and shower holder) a $22 value for $16 with free shipping! Visit

And by Care/Of vitamins, take the quiz and then get 50% off your first month of personalized Care/of vitamins with code CHICKS50 at

Come see us live, May 31-June 2 at PodX in Nashville! We’ll be doing a live show as well as (we have no idea yet, but there is merriment ahead, we’re sure.) Once we have the exact date of our live event, we’ll let you know. Check out  PODX for tickets and more information and use promo code CHICKS for 10% off your ticket!

Episode 82: Lucille Ball, Part One

Posted 31 December 2016 by
Tagged As: , , , , | Categories: Episode, Podcasts, Shownotes | Comments Off on Episode 82: Lucille Ball, Part One

She was named Lucille Désirée Ball at birth, used the stage name Diane Belmont, married an Arnaz and a Morton but the only name we really need? Lucy. To talk about her life from its roots in upstate New York to her legacy as an American icon–we’re going to need a couple episodes.

1945 glamour and darker hair! Yankee Army Weekly

1945 glamour and darker hair! Yankee Army Weekly

Lucille was born on August 6, 1911 in Jamestown, NY to Henry and Désirée Ball who quickly moved her to Montana and then Michigan where Henry found work. But by age five her father had died and her mother took her back to Jamestown right before her little brother, Fred was born. She had a bit of a bounce-around childhood: some of the time she lived with her maternal grandparents, some with her step-grandparents and some of it in a big multi-generational house with her mom, step-dad, brother, aunt, cousin and grandfather.

House in Celoron, NY. courtesy

Grandpa Hunt’s big house in Celoron, NY.  Courtesy

Lucille started her long climb to stardom with teenage years as a bobbed-wild girl, a quick, failed trip to a New York City drama school and attempts at live theater and chorus lines. She finally found her people (and steady work) as a dress model for Hattie Carnegie in New York City.

It's always " Bette, Bette, Bette..."

It’s always ” Bette, Bette, Bette…”

A high profile job as a cigarette ad model led to her first step on the ladder of success in Hollywood! Her six- week contract as a showgirl morphed to six months then a year. While she always considered the Jamestown area ” home” she was able to move her family to the sunshine of California.


“The Goldwyn Girls” That’s her! First of many uncredited or bit parts for Lucille

Of course we go into a lot more detail in the show- her Adventures in Hair Color, her successful steps forward and her crushing steps backward, her family dynamics, people who gave her a boost up the ladder, and little bits of trivia along the way. Lucille’s was no overnight stardom story–she worked HARD and SMART for years and took as many jobs as she could, learning and honing her comedic and acting skills along the way.

Don't smoke, Kids.

Don’t smoke, Kids.  Flickr

Speaking of not paying one’s dues…although Lucille had dated (for networking or fun…who are we to judge? But we do talk about it) nothing prepared her for the whirlwind and electric romance with a young, new-to-show-business Cuban musician with a flashy smile and big personality named Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III–“Desi” for short. “Lucy” was his nickname for Lucille and passion, in all it’s incarnations, ruled their relationship. In no time they had eloped and settled into married life.

And separated life.

And almost divorced life.

And, many times, reconciliation life.

Lucille’s career went up, then down…until a stint on a very popular radio show led to a chance at a CBS TV show for her. But she wanted to work with Desi (heck, she wanted to know where Desi was all the time.) CBS said America wouldn’t believe an interracial couple were really married (uh, duh? They had been married for almost 10 years. America can’t be that dumb.) (Don’t answer that.)

Lucille and Richard Denning in My Favorite Husband

Lucille and Richard Denning in My Favorite Husband

The two came up with a strategy to prove that America would not only believe they were a couple (the easy part) but they would adore and be highly entertained by them (the trickier part.) While they were creating that environment across the country in live shows, they were also trying to create a family. And, because this is how life works out, Lucille gave birth shortly after they filmed the pilot for I Love Lucy, to their first child, Lucie Désirée Arnaz (creative with the names, right?)

Movie career- check!

Marriage and family-check!

Launch herself into history? Come back for Part Two and we’ll talk about all that.



Most of the media recommendations will be on the shownotes for Part Two, but we thought you might enjoy these that are relevant to Part One:

The ranch house with the coveted orange and avocado trees is no more…but this post on the San Fernando Valley blog has a very thorough search for it and a TON of pictures that you’re going to want to see.

And here is the original pilot, it didn’t air but sold the show to Phillip Morris and proved that–oh. shock.– they are believable as a married couple and funny as all heck.

And Lucille singing and dancing just after she met Desi, in Dance, Girl,Dance

And the fight scene we talked about! See you again in Part, Two!