Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Audrey Hepburn Week: Movies - Continued Stardom

Three months after the birth of her son, Sean, in 1960, Hepburn began work on Blake Edwards' Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), a film very loosely based on the Truman Capote novella. This became Audrey's defining role. Her portrayal was nominated for the 1961 Academy Award for Best Actress and became an iconic character in American cinema.

Playing opposite Shirley MacLaine and James Garner, her next role in William Wyler's lesbian-themed drama The Children's Hour (1961) saw Hepburn and MacLaine play teachers whose lives become troubled after a student accuses them of being lesbians. The film was one of Hollywood's earliest treatments of the subject of lesbianism.
Her only film with Cary Grant came in the comic thriller Charade (1963). Hepburn, who plays Regina Lampert, finds herself pursued by several men who chase the fortune her murdered husband had stolen. The role earned her third and final competitive BAFTA Award and accrued another Golden Globe nomination

Paris When It Sizzles (1964) reteamed Hepburn with William Holden nearly ten years after Sabrina. The Parisian-set screwball comedy, called "marshmallow-weight hokum" was panned but critics were kind to Hepburn's creation of Gabrielle Simpson, the young assistant of a Hollywood screenwriter (Holden) who aids his writer's block by acting out his fantasies of possible plots.

Hepburn next landed the role of cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. This caused controversy   because Julie Andrews, who had originated the role in the stage show, had not been offered the part because producer Jack Warner thought Hepburn or Elizabeth Taylor more "bankable" propositions. Initially refusing, Audrey asked Warner to give it to Andrews but, eventually, Hepburn was cast. Further friction was created when, although non-singer Hepburn had sung with "throaty charm" in Funny Face and had lengthy vocal preparation for the role in My Fair Lady,her vocals were dubbed by Marni Nixon.

Hepburn's next film was the heist comedy How to Steal a Million (1966) where she played Nicole, the daughter of a famous art collector whose collection consists entirely of forgeries.

In 1967, she starred in two films; the first being Two for the Road, a non-linear and innovative British dramedy that traces the course of a couple's troubled marriage.

The second, Wait Until Dark, is a suspense thriller in which Hepburn demonstrated her acting range by playing the part of a terrorised blind woman.

After this time and 15 years in film Audrey decided to take a break from acting to be a mother and spend time with her family.

The final post will cover Audrey's comeback and her final roles

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