Audrey Hepburn is quite a famous name. She was a model, dancer, actress, and a humanitarian worker. She was in several famous movies, said some amazing things, and was a stunning woman. What is most overlooked about her is the hardship she endured and the humanitarian work she involved herself in. She was so much more than just a pretty face and talented actress.

World War 2

Hepburn's parents were British and Dutch and saw death, cold, and starvation too. When the war began, Hepburn's mother took her to the Netherlands. She hoped that the Netherlands would remain neutral as they had in the first World War.

When the Germans invaded, it was 1940. In 1942, they murdered her uncle in retaliation for acts performed by the Dutch Resistance - which he had no part in. The family was prominent in Dutch Society and were targets as a result.

When her uncle died, she and her family moved to live with her grandfather. There, with silent dance performances, Hepburn raised funds for the Dutch Resistance. They saw famine in the Winter of 1944, and the Germans cut off the food supply routes. The Hepburn family and others had to rely on tulip bulbs, grinding them into flour to make cake and biscuits. The poor nutrition lead to her developing edema, anemia, and respiratory issues. When the war ended, her malnourishment prevented her from becoming a prima ballerina.


After the world war, Audrey started to get into acting. It was a slow start with small roles here and there until she landed some of her bigger and more famous roles. "Roman Holiday" won her an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a BAFTA. She was the first woman to do this for a single performance.

"Breakfast at Tiffany's," features the classic scene in front of the jewelry store in New York.

The main character is wearing an elegant black dress, has a fancy up-do, and a gorgeous string of pearls.

In 1961, Hepburn starred opposite Shirley MacLaine in a film called "The Children's Hour." A film where a student accuses her teachers of having a lesbian relationship. This was set during the 30's but filmed in 1961. When looked at from any perspective, it was a controversial story for its time.

The accusations - whether true or not - ruined these women's lives. By the end, the relationship is still unknown. This movie is still overlooked because of what it implied at that time.


Hepburn had been making contributions to UNICEF since 1954. She received help as a young girl in the aftermath of the war and wanted to provide food and aid to other children in need. In 1989 she became the Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF. From 1988 to the year of her death in 1992, Audrey traveled to the poorest regions of Asia, Africa, and South America.

The first trip that Audrey took with UNICEF was to Ethiopia. They visited an orphanage of 500 starving children and had UNICEF send food to them. During the same year, she traveled to Turkey where they vaccinated the whole country in ten days.

In the final part of the year, she visited Venezuela and Ecuador. There, she helped communities create water systems and build their own schools.

Next began her tour of Central America. She visited Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador and met with their leaders. Later she visited Sudan on a mission called "Operation Lifeline. " This mission was in place because the civil war in Sudan had cut off aid from food agencies. They had to move food from one part of the country to another. In 1990 Hepburn went to Vietnam and enacted immunization and clean water programs.

Four months before she died, Audrey Hepburn went to Somalia. Of the experience, she compares it to "walking into a nightmare." She saw awful things in Ethiopia and Bangladesh, but they didn't compare to the horror in Somalia.

A photographer that was traveling with her remarked how loving she was. He said that she would grab children and hug them. Even if they were sickly or covered in flies. She wouldn't hesitate, she wanted to love and help them all.


"Taking care of children has nothing to do with politics ... with time, instead of ... a politicization of humanitarian aid, there will be a humanization of politics."

"... for beautiful eyes, look for the good in others ... for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness ... for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone."

"How [must] I sum up my life? ... I've been particularly lucky."

"I never think of myself as an icon. What is in other people's minds is not in my mind. I ... do my thing."