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!
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.
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.
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.
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.”
TIME TRAVEL WITH THE HISTORY CHICKS
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 shopflamingo.com/chicks
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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!