Katharine Hepburn

Katharine Hepburn

Katharine Houghton Hepburn (May 12, 1907 – June 29, 2003) was an American actress of film, stage, and television. Known for her headstrong independence and spirited personality, Hepburn's career as a Hollywood leading lady spanned more than 60 years. Her work came in a range of genres, from screwball comedy to literary drama, and she received four Academy Awards for Best Actress—a record for any performer. Hepburn's characters were often strong, sophisticated women with a hidden vulnerability.

Raised in Connecticut by wealthy, progressive parents, Hepburn began to act while studying at Bryn Mawr College. After four years in the theatre, favorable reviews of her work on Broadway brought her to the attention of Hollywood. Her early years in the film industry were marked with success, including an Academy Award for her third picture, Morning Glory (1933), but this was followed by a series of commercial failures. In 1938 she was labeled "box office poison". Hepburn masterminded her own comeback, buying out her contract with RKO Radio Pictures and acquiring the film rights to The Philadelphia Story, which she sold on the condition that she be the star. In the 1940s she was contracted to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, where her career focused on an alliance with Spencer Tracy. The screen-partnership spanned 25 years, and produced nine movies.

Hepburn challenged herself in the latter half of her life, as she regularly appeared in Shakespeare stage productions and tackled a range of literary roles. She found a niche playing middle-aged spinsters, such as in The African Queen (1951), a persona the public embraced. Three more Oscars came for her work in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968), and On Golden Pond (1981). In the 1970s she began appearing in television movies, which became the focus of her career in later life. She remained active into old age, making her final screen appearance in 1994 at the age of 87. After a period of inactivity and ill-health, Hepburn died in 2003 at the age of 96.

Hepburn famously shunned the Hollywood publicity machine, and refused to conform to societal expectations of women. She was outspoken, assertive, athletic, and wore trousers before it was fashionable for women to do so. She married once, as a young woman, but thereafter lived independently. A 26-year affair with her co-star Spencer Tracy was hidden from the public. With her unconventional lifestyle and the independent characters she brought to the screen, Hepburn came to epitomize the "modern woman" in 20th-century America and helped change perceptions of women. In 1999, she was named by the American Film Institute as the top female Hollywood legend.

Read more about Katharine HepburnEarly Life, Performances: Technique and Analysis, Legacy, Awards and Nominations, Filmography and Theatre Credits

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Katharine Hepburn - Filmography and Theatre Credits
... During her 66-year career, Hepburn appeared in 44 feature films, 8 television movies, and 33 plays ...
BAFTA Award For Best Actress In A Leading Role - Winners and Nominees - 1950s
... Simone Signoret – Golden Helmet Edwige Feuillère – Olivia Katharine Hepburn – Pat and Mike Judy Holliday – The Marrying Kind Nicole Stephane – Les Enfants terribles 1953 Best ... Garland – A Star Is Born Julie Harris – I Am a Camera Katharine Hepburn – Summertime Grace Kelly – The Country Girl Giulietta Masina – The Road Marilyn Monroe – The Seven Year Itch 1956 Best ...
Mother Goose Goes Hollywood - Plot
... Little Bo Peep (Katharine Hepburn) claims she "really lost her sheep, really I have" ... Then Katharine Hepburn passes by on an outboard motor still looking for her sheep ... The tub overturns when the trio tries to hitch a ride with Hepburn ...
List Of Academy Award Records - Acting Records
... Most wins for leading actress Katharine Hepburn with 4 awards (1934, 1968, 1969, 1982) Most wins for leading actor Daniel Day-Lewis with 3 awards (1989, 2007, 2012 ... Longest time span between first and last nomination Katharine Hepburn (48 years from 1932/33 to 1981) Most posthumous nominations James Dean with 2 (1956 for East of Eden and 1957 for Giant) ... Most wins for a white actress Katharine Hepburn with 4 awards (1934, 1968, 1969, 1982) Most awards for one acting performance Harold Russell played Homer Parish in The Best Years of Our Lives in ...
Comedy Of Remarriage - Notable Comedies of Remarriage
... Up Baby (1938), directed by Howard Hawks, starring Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn The Philadelphia Story (1940), directed by George Cukor, starring ...

Famous quotes containing the words katharine hepburn and/or hepburn:

    To keep your character intact you cannot stoop to filthy acts. It makes it easier to stoop the next time.
    Katharine Hepburn (b. 1909)

    We need to see men and women as equal partners, but it’s hard to think of movies that do that. When I talk to people, they think of movies of forty-five years ago! Hepburn and Tracy!
    Betty Friedan (b. 1921)