Could there possibly be any woman alive who hasn’t seen Breakfast at Tiffanys? The film delivers what is often considered Audrey Hepburn’s most identifiable and memorable role. Interestingly, she regarded screenwriter Truman Capote’s imagined character as being one of her most challenging roles because Holly Golightly was so very the opposite of herself.
Situated firmly in its high place in American cinema, Breakfast at Tiffanys is required viewing for the cultured film buff. Holly Golightly, along with her neighbor Paul (played by George Peppard), are two of the more unusual yet lovable characters to grace the screen. Who can forget the opening scene with Audrey at Tiffanys? Or when she was searching for “cat” in the rain? For me, the work was a superb introduction to the breadth and uniqueness of Audrey Hepburn, and I think that you will agree.
Not to live for the day, that would be materialistic- but to treasure the day. I realize that most of us live on the skin- on the surface- without appreciating just how wonderful it is simply to be alive. ~ Audrey Hepburn
There is an irrestible charm and elegance to Audrey Hepburn. She is one of those unique talents that transcends time, timeless in her films, her personal achievements, her style, and everything she represents. As you learn more about her, it is affirmed that the beautiful spirit that radiates from the screen was as lovely, or perhaps even more lovely, than you see on celluloid.
Born in 1929, Audrey was a teenager when the Nazis invaded the Netherlands and occupied her town. It affected her in profound and lasting ways (how could it not?) and the memory propelled her passion for UNICEF, which to many of us she remains synonymous with even to this day. As a young person, she studied ballet, drama, and later modeling before making her way to the stage and ultimately the silver screen. As we learn more about her, Audrey is one of those “stars” that encourages us to live with passion, embrace compassion for others and especially children, create our own personal style, and to live each day as if it were a treasure. Such collective qualities may seem elusive in the hectic nature of our lives, but the words and inspiration of Audry Hepburn revealed in books and film can help us decouple from the routine and see what’s really important in life. And more.
Learn more about Audrey with these delightful books:
Audrey Style by Pamela Keogh. Drawing on original interviews with family and friends, Keogh offers an excellent glimpse into Audrey’s life from fashion to how she lived.
Audrey Hepburn, Elegant Spirit: A Son Remembers by Sean Hepburn Ferrer. This poignant, heartfelt book is a loving tribute by her son Sean. An excellent choice for any Hepburn fan.
How to be Lovely: the Audrey Hepburn Way of Life by Melissa Hellstern. This is primarily a book of quotations by and about Audrey Hepburn. It is arranged by subject including happiness, health, family, friendship, and more. For fans who want an insightful quote to start or end their day, slip this one into your library bag.
What Would Audrey Do? by Pamela Keogh. With exhaustive research, Keogh returns to Audrey Hepburn with a fun, insightful book. If you are interested in exploring the wisdom of Audrey, then this is the book for you. It is a witty combination of biography and commentary, and absolutely delightful to read.
Best of all, take these films home to enjoy Audrey’s creative genius and absorbing screen presence:
Roman Holiday (1953): This is the film that brought Audrey into the limelight. In this sweet romance penned by Dalton Trumbo (author of The Sandpiper and Spartacus), Audrey plays a young princess who wants to connect with the real world, so she hides in a car to get away from her protective handlers. Enter Gregory Peck, who plays a newspaper reporter and someone who helps her without knowing that she is a princess. When the story of the missing princess becomes the biggest newspaper headline of the time…. well, that’s all I’m going to tell you except to note that the film won three Oscars.
Sabrina (1954): This Billy Wilder film stars Audrey, playing opposite Humphrey Bogart and William Holden, as the daughter of the chauffeur of a wealthy family. Since childhood, she has had a crush on the youngest son but he never notices her … that is, until she returns from her education in Paris. When the younger son begins to court her in her refined persona, we see that he isn’t the best choice.
Charade (1963): This is my personal Audrey favorite. Co-starring Cary Grant, it is screwball comedy at its best with whimsy and fun and unpredictable twists. After her husband is murdered, Audrey returns home from a healing journey to find her home completely empty. Henceforth she learns that her late husband had a number of false identities, and then discovers she is being followed and threatened by four men who want the money her late husband apparently stole from them. The film was an Oscar winner and both Grant and Hepburn received Golden Globes.
My Fair Lady (1964): If you enjoy musicals, then this is for you. With gorgeous costumes, classic songs, and superb casting, the film depicts Audrey as a poor, unrefined street urchin who is transformed into a proper lady blossoming with elegance and style. Winner of eight Oscars.
Two for the Road (1967): In this edgy romantic comedy with serious undertones, a wife (Audrey) and her husband (Albert Finney) remember the ups and downs of their 12-year marriage while driving from London to the Riviera. With a series of flashbacks, the film explores their early marriage and then later problems and their decision to commit infidelities.
Wait Until Dark (1967): This is an intense suspense story! Audrey plays a blind woman and wife of a photographer who finds herself trapped in her NYC apartment with a trio of evil men willing to murder to retrieve the heroin-filled doll hidden in her home without her knowledge. Unforgettable! Riveting!
The best thing to hold onto in life is each other. ~ Audrey Hepburn
Ann Marie is the Library Director at the Oliver Wolcott Library and someone who thinks that having breakfast with Audrey (or Audra) at Tiffanys would be a lot of fun, especially if someone lent her their credit card.