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.
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"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)
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.
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!
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.
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.
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