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A biography of the screen legend, based on interviews with family and friends, discusses her early years, her personal life, her work opposite Hollywood's greatest leading men, and her tireless work for UNICEF
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Adoring life of Hepburn (``the prettiest, sweetest angel in heaven''), written with help from the actress (1929-93) herself during her final year. Support from Hepburn clearly helped Maychick (Meryl Streep, 1984) straighten out the actress's background: noble Dutch lineage; early years in the Netherlands under the Nazis; Resistance activities; dysfunctional family; first inroads of her eating disorder; misfire as a dancer; first films in Britain, and so on. But Maychick got less help on the real dirt, such as Hepburn's affair with married William Holden (``the love of her life''), whom she dumped when he said he'd had an irreversible vasectomy and couldn't have children. A chubby child with an addiction to chocolate, Hepburn turned off all interest in food during the war years, especially when driven by the Nazis into hiding alone for a month in a cellar, where she created a purposeful distaste for what she couldn't have. She hit it big simultaneously on Broadway-- having been discovered by Colette herself to play Gigi--and in Hollywood, winning on the same night an Oscar and a British Film Institute citation as best actress (both for Roman Holiday). A Tony (for Giradoux's Ondine) and a cover story in Time soon followed-- but few fans knew that Hepburn had little background in Hollywood films, or that her gamin innocence was the real thing. (Asked how he liked ``working with that dream girl'' in Sabrina, Bogart replied, ``She's okay, if you like to do 36 takes.'') Hepburn's marriage to lesser star Mel Ferrer drained her, as did some miscarriages, though a son finally came. She died of colon cancer right after visiting Somalia for UNICEF. Hepburn lends a gripping spine to Maychick's styleless but serviceable effort. (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs) (First serial to Cosmopolitan) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Booklist:
It would be nice to think that anyone as lovely as Audrey Hepburn would have lived a happy, lovely life as well, but this engaging biography, written with the late Hepburn's assistance, paints a different picture. Born of an English-Irish father, who became a Nazi sympathizer during World War II, and a Dutch noblewoman, who was a leader in the Dutch Resistance, the young Audrey spent the war years spying and starving, reduced at one point to eating tulip bulbs. This early deprivation contributed to her lifelong problem with food; Hepburn, who often refused to eat in times of stress, would be considered an anorexic by today's standards. Her love life was not much happier, with two failed marriages, the first to actor Mel Ferrer. But she had her children and her career--and, eventually, a companion, Robert Wolders. She also had her work with UNICEF, which became a highlight of her life. Maychick pads her narrative a bit by giving the plots of Hepburn's movies more than their share of attention, but, along with learning about the actress' real-life tragedies, Audrey's legion of fans won't mind being reminded of her magical moments on the screen. Ilene Cooper
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Book Description Thorndike Pr, 1994. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0786201037