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Enchantment: The Life of Audrey Hepburn | [Donald Spoto]

Enchantment: The Life of Audrey Hepburn

Her name is synonymous with elegance, style, and grace. Over the course of her extraordinary life and career, Audrey Hepburn captured hearts around the world and created a public image that stands as one of the most recognizable and beloved in recent memory. But despite her international fame and her tireless efforts on behalf of UNICEF, Audrey was also known for her intense privacy.
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Publisher's Summary

Her name is synonymous with elegance, style, and grace. Over the course of her extraordinary life and career, Audrey Hepburn captured hearts around the world and created a public image that stands as one of the most recognizable and beloved in recent memory. But despite her international fame and her tireless efforts on behalf of UNICEF, Audrey was also known for her intense privacy. With unprecedented access to studio archives, friends, and colleagues who knew and loved her, best-selling author Donald Spoto provides an intimate and moving account of this beautiful, elusive, and talented woman.

Tracing her astonishing rise to stardom, from her harrowing childhood in Nazi-controlled Holland during World War II to her years as a struggling ballet dancer in London and her Tony Award-winning Broadway debut in Gigi, Spoto illuminates the origins of Audrey's tenacious spirit and fiercely passionate nature.

She would go on to star in some of the most popular movies of the 20th century, including Roman Holiday, Sabrina, Funny Face, The Nun's Story, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and My Fair Lady. A friend and inspiration to renowned designer Hubert de Givenchy, Audrey emerged as a fashion icon as well as a film legend. Her influence on women's fashion is unparalleled to this day.

But behind the glamorous public persona, Audrey Hepburn was both a different and a deeper person, and a woman who craved love and affection. Donald Spoto offers remarkable insights into her professional and personal relationships with her two husbands and with such celebrities as Gregory Peck, William Holden, Fred Astaire, Gary Cooper, Robert Anderson, Cary Grant, Peter O'Toole, Albert Finney, and Ben Gazzara.

(P)2006 Books on Tape

What the Critics Say

"Spoto digs beneath the surface, giving readers strong images of both actress and woman, and he does so in way that is, like Audrey Hepburn, quite elegant." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (114 )
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4.2 (69 )
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4.1 (70 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Stefanie Gleisweiler Germany 06-14-09
    Stefanie Gleisweiler Germany 06-14-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "lovely ;-)"

    I just love her story and there is so much I didn't know! Balanced piece read by a nice voice.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Fremont, NE, United States 03-05-09
    Tim Fremont, NE, United States 03-05-09 Member Since 2004

    Computer Programmer and Worship Leader. Have enjoyed reading since my mom got me hooked on Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie prior to my teen years. My brother got me hooked on audio books after I started having a longer commute to work. Love a variety of genres.

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    "Wow - What a Story!!"

    This one was hard to put down! I was interested in Audrey because of her performance in My Fair Lady and Breakfast at Tiffany's. However, I was unprepared for how interesting the first 15 years of her life were. I felt like I got my money's worth before she even became a screen star.

    The stories behind many of the films are very interesting as well as her devotion to UNICEF in her later life. There are indeed some VERY moving moments in this book.

    I was amazed at how "normal" Audrey was in real life and her ability to walk away from her career to be a mother and homemaker. It also seems that the current crop of Hollywood stars could take a few cues from Audrey's apparent lack of arrogance on and off the set.

    The only criticisms (and not enough to warrent less than a 5 star rating) were that the author tended to place the blame on her 2 failed marriages on her husbands, while glossing over the fact that she also had numerous romances while married. The second is that I would have preferred a little bit more about her relationships with the other actors (especially Rex Harrison) in My Fair Lady. There was a good deal of information about Marni Nixon's overdubbing of the vocals for the musical (which was great), but more could have been said on this great film.

    However, these are small issues in the overall scheme of the book. I liked it so well, I bought the paperback and gave it as a gift to some friends (and that was before I even finished the book).

    Highly recommend this one!

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grandma Char Belfair, WA 03-21-13
    Grandma Char Belfair, WA 03-21-13 Member Since 2010

    Charlotte

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    "Amazing story of an amazing woman"

    I was always entranced by Audrey Hepburn as I was growing up in the 50's. She was the ultimate in style and grace. To find out now of her life's hardships and triumphs just puts her miles ahead of anyone else from the era that was in show business.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie Atlanta, GA, USA 03-07-09
    Leslie Atlanta, GA, USA 03-07-09
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    "One of my favorites"

    The life that Audrey led as a child is unbelievable.
    Her life during the WWII, taught me so much about what people endured with the German invasions. And then the rest of Audrey's story of overcoming her early years is incredible.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Canada 03-06-14
    William Canada 03-06-14 Member Since 2009

    Life long learner of all sorts of things.

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    "Audrey The Lady as ever."

    This is a great book if you are interested in the life of Audrey Hepburn.
    It is clear, concise and ordered. The book is a historical time line of things that happened in her life and her career.

    This is great book to get if you are interested in some of the back story of her life.
    (You learn things about this remarkable lady that are not common knowledge)

    The narrator is beyond good as she unfolds a compelling look at one of the truly great people of the last century. She doesn't drag the text nor is she too fast.
    I have been through this book a few times, and am satisfied with listening.

    Well worth the money if you are looking for a peek into Audrey" life.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    REBECCA SILVER LAKE, IN, United States 03-04-14
    REBECCA SILVER LAKE, IN, United States 03-04-14 Member Since 2013

    Loves baseball, art and Audible!!

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    "Enchanting but turbulent Life..."
    What made the experience of listening to Enchantment the most enjoyable?

    I have always adored Audrey Hepburn; her style, grace and movies. However, I did not really know who she was and all she had been through until this book. There were many enjoyable parts in the book, but there were also many sad, heart-wrenching parts as well.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Enchantment?

    There were so many; her Oscar win for Roman Holiday, her strained, cold relationship with her mother, her not-so-happy marriages, the struggles endured for the birth of her 2 children, and her life-long friendships.


    What about Kimberly Farr’s performance did you like?

    Kimberly's voice was very soothing and pleasant to listen to.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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