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Hepburn, Katharine

HEPBURN, Katharine



Nationality: American. Born: Katharine Houghton Hepburn in Hartford, Connecticut, 9 November 1907 (or 1909). Education: Attended West Middle School; Oxford School for Girls, Hartford; Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania, 1924–28. Family: Married Ludlow Ogden Smith, 1928 (divorced 1934). Career: 1928—professional stage debut with Edwin H. Knopf's stock company, Baltimore, in The Czarina; New York debut in September under name Katharine Burns in Night Hostess; appearance on Broadway in November under own name in These Days; 1932—appearance in The Warrior's Husband led to Hollywood offers; contract with RKO; film debut in George Cukor's A Bill of Divorcement; 1934—returned to Broadway to star in The Lake; 1936–37—toured in Jane Eyre for the Theatre Guild; 1938—bought out of RKO contract rather than star in Mother Cary's Chickens; 1938—on Broadway in The Philadelphia Story (written for her by Philip Barry); 1941—teamed with Spencer Tracy for first time in Woman of the Year; 1950—on Broadway as Rosalind in As You Like It; continued through 1950s to tour in Shakespeare productions; later stage roles through the early 1980s. Awards: Best Actress, Academy Award for Morning Glory, 1932–33; Best Actress, Venice Festival, for Little Women, 1934; Best Actress, New York Film Critics, for The Philadelphia Story, 1940; Best Acting (collectively awarded), Cannes Festival, for Long Day's Journey into Night, 1962; Best Actress, Academy Awards, for Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?, 1967, and The Lion in Winter, 1968; Best Actress, British Academy, for Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? and The Lion in Winter, 1968; Best Actress, Academy Award, for On Golden Pond, 1981.

Films as Actress:

1932

A Bill of Divorcement (Cukor) (as Sydney Fairfield)

1933

Christopher Strong (Arzner) (as Lady Cynthia Darrington); Morning Glory (Sherman) (as Ada Love/"Eva Lovelace"); Little Women (Cukor) (as Jo)

1934

Spitfire (Cromwell) (as Trigger Hicks); The Little Minister (Wallace) (as Lady Babbie)

1935

Break of Hearts (Moeller) (as Constance Dane); Alice Adams (Stevens) (title role)

1936

Sylvia Scarlett (Cukor) (title role); Mary of Scotland (Ford) (title role); A Woman Rebels (Sandrich) (as Pamela Thistlewaite)

1937

Quality Street (Stevens) (as Phoebe Throssel); Stage Door (La Cava) (as Terry Randall)

1938

Bringing Up Baby (Hawks) (as Susan Vance); Holiday (Cukor) (as Linda Seton)

1940

The Philadelphia Story (Cukor) (as Tracy Lord)

1942

Woman of the Year (Stevens) (as Tess Harding)

1943

Keeper of the Flame (Cukor) (as Christine Forrest); Stage Door Canteen (Borzage) (as herself)

1944

Dragon Seed (Bucquet) (as Jade)

1945

Without Love (Bucquet) (as Jamie Rowan)

1946

Undercurrent (Minnelli) (as Ann Hamilton)

1947

The Sea of Grass (Kazan) (as Lutie Cameron); Song of Love (Brown) (as Clara Schumann)

1948

State of the Union (Capra) (as Mary Matthews)

1949

Adam's Rib (Cukor) (as Amanda Bonner)

1951

The African Queen (Huston) (as Rose Sayer)

1952

Pat and Mike (Cukor) (as Pat Pemberton)

1955

Summertime (Lean) (as Jane Hudson)

1956

The Rainmaker (Anthony) (as Lizzie)

1957

The Iron Petticoat (Thomas) (as Vinka Kovelenko); Desk Set (Walter Lang) (as Bunny Watson)

1959

Suddenly, Last Summer (Mankiewicz) (as Mrs. Violet Venable)

1962

Long Day's Journey into Night (Lumet) (as Mary Tyrone)

1967

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? (Kramer) (as Christina Drayton)

1968

The Lion in Winter (Anthony Harvey) (as Eleanor of Aquitaine)

1969

The Madwoman of Chaillot (Forbes) (as Countess Aurelia)

1971

The Trojan Women (Cacoyannis) (as Hecuba)

1973

A Delicate Balance (Richardson) (as Agnes); The Glass Menagerie (Anthony Harvey—for TV) (as Amanda Wingfield)

1975

Rooster Cogburn (Millar) (as Eula Goodnight); Love among the Ruins (Cukor—for TV) (as Jessica Medlicott)

1977

Olly, Olly, Oxen Free (The Great Balloon Adventure) (Colla) (as Miss Pudd)

1978

The Corn Is Green (Cukor—for TV) (as Lilly C. Moffat)

1981

On Golden Pond (Rydell) (as Ethel Thayer)

1983

The Ultimate Solution of Grace Quigley (Grace Quigley) (Anthony Harvey) (title role)

1984

George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey (Stevens, Jr.)

1986

Mrs. Delafield Wants to Marry (Schaefer—for TV) (title role); Spencer Tracy Legacy: A Tribute by Katharine Hepburn (Heeley—for TV)

1988

Laura Lansing Slept Here (Schaefer—for TV) (title role)


1993

The Man Upstairs (Schaefer—for TV) (as Victoria Brown)

1994

Love Affair (Caron) (as Ginny); This Can't Be Love (Anthony Harvey—for TV) (as Marion Bennett); One Christmas (Tony Bill—for TV) (as Cornelia Beaumont)



Publications


By HEPBURN: books—

The Making of The African Queen: Or How I Went to Africa with Bogart, Bacall, and Huston and Almost Lost My Mind, London 1987.

Me, New York, 1991.


By HEPBURN: articles—

Interview with I. McAsh, in Films (London), May 1982.

"Katharine Hepburn: 'It's My Last Day of Acting,"' interview with Army Archerd, in TV Guide, 17 December 1994.

On HEPBURN: books—

Newquist, Roy, A Special Kind of Magic, New York, 1967.

Dickens, Homer, The Films of Katharine Hepburn, New York, 1971.

Kanin, Garson, Tracy and Hepburn, New York, 1971.

Huston, John, An Open Book, New York, 1972.

Marill, Alvin H., Katharine Hepburn, New York, 1973.

Rosen, Marjorie, Popcorn Venus, New York, 1973.

Higham, Charles, Kate: The Life of Katharine Hepburn, New York, 1975.

Wallis, Hal, and Charles Higham, Starmaker, New York, 1980.

Navarro, Marie-Louise, Katharine Hepburn dans l'objectif, Paris, 1981.

Britton, Andrew, Katharine Hepburn: Star as Feminist, Newcastle upon Tyne, 1983; rev. ed., 1995.

Carey, Gary, Katharine Hepburn: A Biography, London, 1983.

Freedland, Michael, Katharine Hepburn, London, 1984.

Morley, Sheridan, Katharine Hepburn: A Celebration, London, 1984; rev. ed., 1989.

Spada, James, Hepburn: Her Life in Pictures, London, 1984.

Edwards, Anne, A Remarkable Woman: A Biography of Katharine Hepburn, New York, 1985.

Anderson, Christopher, Young Kate, New York, 1988.

Bryson, John, The Private World of Katharine Hepburn, London, 1990.

Tarshis, Lauren, Kate: The Katharine Hepburn Album, New York, 1993.

Leaming, Barbara, Katharine Hepburn, New York, 1995.

Ryan, Joal, Katherine Hepburn; A Stylish Life, New York, 1999.


On HEPBURN: articles—

Mason, G., "Katharine the Great," in Films and Filming (London), August 1956.

Tozzi, Romano, "Katharine Hepburn," in Films in Review (New York), December 1957.

Cowie, P., "Katharine Hepburn," in Films and Filming (London), June 1963.

Current Biography 1969, New York, 1969.

Bowers, R., "Hepburn since '57," in Films in Review (New York), August-September 1970.

Gilliatt, Penelope, "The Most Amicable Combatants," in New Yorker, 23 September 1972.

Phillips, Gene, "Cukor and Hepburn," in American Classic Screen (Shawnee Mission, Kansas), Fall 1979.

Crist, Judith, "Katharine Hepburn," in The Movie Star, edited by Elisabeth Weis, New York, 1981.

Watney, S., "Katharine Hepburn and the Cinema of Chastisement," in Screen (London), September/October 1985.

Cronyn, Hume, "Tracy, Hepburn, and Me," in New York Times, 15 September 1991.

McClurg, Jocelyn, "Kate on Kate," in Saturday Evening Post, January-February 1992.

Kanin, Garson, "Tracy and Hepburn," in Iskusstvo Kino (Moscow), May 1994.

Stars (Mariembourg), Summer 1995.

Radio Times (London), 13 January 1996.

Viviani, Christian, "Katharine Hepburn et George Cukor," in Positif (Paris), July-August 1996.


* * *

Any account of Katharine Hepburn must necessarily be indebted to Andrew Britton's book on her, which (together with Richard Dyer's Stars) represents a significant breakthrough in attempts to deal with the star phenomenon that transcends the gossip column and career outline.

Hepburn has represented, on a number of levels, a problem that Hollywood never quite managed to solve, although it proposed a number of partial solutions. Aspects of the problem were how to publicize her; how to deal with her intransigent demands for better or different types of roles; which leading man, or type of male lead, to cast with or against her; and what sort of star vehicles to construct around her. Central to the problem is her famous rebelliousness. It is fitting that one of her 1930s films should be titled A Woman Rebels, since this characteristic was consistently expressed both by the characters she played and in her offscreen image. The rebelliousness could be used, up to a point, to construct her as an attractive identification-figure for the female viewer; but it threatened continuously to become too subversive, too radical, too incontainable. The problem Hollywood faced with Hepburn was, precisely, that of containment. This gives her career, of course, a very special interest in relation to feminism: both on and off screen, Hepburn repeatedly challenged a male-dominated social order and the male-dominated industry that is at once a part of that order and represents its structures to the general public.

Britton argues convincingly that, from a feminist viewpoint, Hepburn's most progressive work is located in the 1930s rather than in her more popular and famous later films such as The Philadelphia Story or the movies in which she was teamed with Spencer Tracy. Many of the films of this early period were explicitly concerned with a woman's rebellion against male determination; some (Little Women, Stage Door) add to this strong connotations of lesbianism, in the wider sense in which that term is now commonly used in feminist discourse: female bonding for mutual support and solidarity. This in turn merges with strong overtones of androgyny, developed most fully in Sylvia Scarlett, in which for much of the film she is disguised as a boy. Gender, in fact, becomes a central issue when considering the Hepburn persona during this period, as the films frequently deal with (and undermine) the socially constructed norms of masculinity and femininity. It is interesting that in her first film (A Bill of Divorcement) and at all periods of her career Hepburn worked with George Cukor, producing much of her best, most responsive and vivid work in collaboration with a gay (and woman-oriented) director. She also in this period found her ideal co-star, Cary Grant. Her 1930s work culminates in two masterpieces in which they were teamed, Cukor's Holiday and Hawks's Bringing Up Baby. The Grant and Hepburn personas lent themselves with special aptness and felicity to Hawks's comedy of sexual role reversal.

The Philadelphia Story marks a watershed: it contains some of Hepburn's most brilliant and radiant moments, but ascribes her rebelliousness to the egocentricity of a spoiled socialite, the film's project being essentially her chastisement and conversion into what patriarchal culture defines as a "real woman." The teaming with Tracy is a logical next step: the rebellion, the struggle for independence, are still thematically present (Adam's Rib is perhaps the most explicitly feminist of all Hepburn's movies), but the continued expression of those drives is made more acceptable by the presence of a male co-star who represents an entirely unambiguous and irreducible "masculinity."

Of Hepburn's transition into old age, one might say that she at least retained her dignity, without the descent into exploitation horror movies suffered by Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, and Tallulah Bankhead. The alternative has proved, however, to be a move into the sort of "class" productions deemed respectable in middle-of-the-road bourgeois culture, and one may question whether it is really any happier a fate to spend one's old age appearing in The Lion in Winter and The Madwoman of Chaillot than in Straitjacket or Die, Die, My Darling. Hepburn's best work in this period has been, again, with George Cukor: the television movies Love among the Ruins and The Corn Is Green. On Golden Pond, a central movie of the Reagan era, finally subordinates her to the patriarchal order; yet her extraordinary vitality movingly survives.

In recent years, two biographical works have shed further light on Hepburn's background and motivation. One is an autobiography, called Me, in which she reveals her relationships with family and friends, and her need to be in control both personally and professionally. The second is Barbara Leaming's controversial tome, Katharine Hepburn, which serves to draw a very different and often unpleasant portrait of the Tracy-Hepburn relationship, and also her alleged romance with John Ford. In her late seventies and eighties, she continued acting in made-for-television movies (Mrs. Delafield Wants to Marry, Laura Lansing Slept Here, The Man Upstairs, This Can't Be Love) which are rare in story content in that each focuses on an elderly woman. But she did not altogether abandon the big screen, appearing as Warren Beatty's brittle but vigorous, wise aunt in Love Affair.

—Robin Wood, updated by Audrey E. Kupferberg

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Hepburn, Katharine

Katharine Hepburn

Born: May 12, 1907
Hartford, Connecticut

American actress

For over fifty years Katharine Hepburn was a successful actress on the stage and on the screen, delighting audiences with her energy, her grace, and her determination.

Hepburn's youth

Katharine Hepburn was born on May 12, 1907, in Hartford, Connecticut. Reports of the year of her birth date differ, but the years most frequently cited are 1907 and 1909. In her autobiography (1991) Hepburn stated her birth date as 1907. She was one of six children (three of each gender) born to a socially prominent, well-to-do, activist family. Her mother was a well-known and passionate suffragette (supporter of women's right to vote); her physician father was a creative pioneer in the field of sexual hygiene. Her youth was filled with physical activity. Her social conscience was developed early in her lifeshe and her siblings formed a neighborhood performing group, sending the proceeds from one production to benefit Navajo children in New Mexico.

Educated by private tutors and at exclusive schools, Hepburn entered Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania in 1924. Upon graduating four years later, she immediately embarked on a successful career in the theater. Her critical success as an Amazon queen in the satire The Warrior's Husband led to a contract with the film studio RKO. In 1932 she made her film debut in that company's A Bill of Divorcement, playing opposite John Barrymore (18821942). She received rave reviews for her performance and achieved stardom overnight.

Screen career

Hepburn's screen career lasted for over fifty years and was based on a persona whose essentials included energy, grace, determination, trim athletic good looks, and obvious upper-class breeding (as indicated, among other things, by a clipped manner of speaking). This persona, when intelligently put to use by producers and directors, led her to four Academy Awards as "Best Actress" in the films: Morning Glory (1933); Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967); The Lion in Winter (1968); and On Golden Pond (1981). Hepburn also received an additional eight Oscar nominations over the years for the films: Alice Adams (1935); The Philadelphia Story (1940); Woman of the Year (1942); The African Queen (1951); Summertime (1955); The Rainmaker (1956); Suddenly Last Summer (1959); and Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962). Her role in the 1975 made-for-television film Love Among the Ruins won her an Emmy award.

Hepburn's career, however, was not without its setbacks, most notable of which occured in the 1930s. A return to the Broadway stage in 1934 led to a role in a flop play, The Lake. In 1937 an important exhibitor placed an advertisement in a trade paper and described Hepburn, along with various other female stars, as "box office poison." RKO's indifferent response led Hepburnat a cost to her of over $200,000to buy out her contract from the company. Shortly thereafter she was rejected for the role of Scarlett O'Hara in the film version of Gone with the Wind. (1939).

Hepburn, determined to re-establish herself, returned to the Broadway stage, playing the lead in a successful production of The Philadelphia Story. Having invested in the production, she controlled the screen rights, which she ultimately sold to Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) in return for a tidy profit and the studio's guarantee that she would play the lead in the film version. She did, and the film was a critical and a commercial success. Her Oscar nomination was but one demonstration of the dramatic way she had re-established herself in Hollywood, California.

Hepburn and Tracy and other romantic interests

Hepburn's next MGM film brought Spencer Tracy (19001967) into her life, with whom she began a relationship that lasted over two decades, until his death in 1967. Although separated from his wife, Tracy never divorced her. His romance with Hepburn was a quiet, tender, and private affair. In the 1960s Hepburn interrupted her career to care for the ailing Tracy. They were a team professionally as well as personally. They made nine films together over a period of twenty-five years, including: Woman of the Year (1942); Keeper of the Flame (1942); Without Love (1945); Sea of Grass (1947); State of the Union (1948); Adam's Rib (1949); Pat and Mike (1952); The Desk Set (1957); and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967). Not all of these films were commercially or critically successful, but whether comedies or dramas, they were provocative and interesting, especially for their emphasis on the personal interaction between the sexes. Both Tracy and Hepburn played strong characters in these films, but neither was forced to give in to the other.

Hepburn had been married in 1928 to the social and well-to-do Ludlow Ogden Smith, who had changed his name to Ogden Ludlow because she did not want to be Kate Smith. The marriage actually lasted about three weeks before the couple separated, but they were not divorced until 1934. They remained friendly afterwards. Among her other romantic attachments in the 1930s was the well-known businessman and millionaire Howard Hughes (19051976).

Later career

Hepburn was not particularly lucky in her choice of work after the beginning of the 1970s. Except for a few notable exceptions, such as On Golden Pond (1981), the roles did not make good use of her considerable talents. Her television debut in 1972 as the mother in a version of Tennessee Williams' (19111983) moving The Glass Menagerie was not favorable. While apparently a great deal of fun for the stars on location, a pairing with the rugged action star John Wayne (19071979) in Rooster Cogburn (1975) proved to be lifeless. She had some success playing the noted French designer Coco Chanel (18831971) in a Broadway musical that opened in 1969; Coco had a long run but did not make impressive use of her capabilities. Several later Broadway undertakings proved to be failures.

Although Hepburn suffered some significant injuries in a 1985 automobile accident, and illnesses usual to one of her years, she golfed, cycled, and swam in the sea into her nineties. Katharine Hepburn provided some new perspectives on her personality and the roles she played on stage and screen in her autobiography, published after she retired from performance. In it she stressed the important influence of her intellectual family, and her continued closeness with her siblings and their children.

Katharine Hepburn never conformed to the traditional star image, but there is no doubt that she was a super star as an actress in movies, on stage, and on television. A strong-minded, independent woman, she has lived her life and her career to suit herself. In the process she has entertained, delighted, and aroused millions, and she has done so without compromising her beliefs.

For More Information

Bryson, John. The Private World of Katharine Hepburn. Boston: Little, Brown, 1990.

Hepburn, Katharine. Me: Stories of My Life. New York: Knopf, 1971.

Kanin, Garson. Tracy and Hepburn: An Intimate Memoir. New York: Viking Press, 1971.

Leaming, Barbara. Katharine Hepburn. New York: Crown Publishers, 1995.

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Katharine Hepburn

Katharine Hepburn

Katharine Hepburn (born 1907) was a critically successful actress on the stage and on the screen for over 50 years, delighting audiences with her energy, her grace, and her determination.

Katharine Hepburn was born in Hartford, Connecticut. Her birthdate is variously given; the years most frequently cited are 1907 and 1909. In her autobiography (1991), Hepburn stated her birthdate as 1907. She was one of six children (three of each gender) born to a socially prominent, well-to-do, activist family. Her mother was a well-known and passionate suffragette; her physician father was an innovative pioneer in the field of sexual hygiene. Educated by private tutors and at exclusive schools, she entered Bryn Mawr College in 1924. Upon graduating four years later she immediately embarked on a successful career in the theater. Her critical success as an Amazon queen in the satire The Warrior's Husband led to a contract with the film studio RKO. In 1932 she made her film debut in that company's A Bill of Divorcement, playing opposite John Barrymore. She received rave reviews for her performance and achieved overnight stardom.

Her screen career lasted for over 50 years and was based on a persona whose essentials included energy, grace, determination, trim athletic good looks, and obvious upper class breeding (as indicated, among other things, by a clipped manner of speaking). This persona, when intelligently utilized by producers and directors, led her to four Academy Awards as "Best Actress:" Morning Glory, 1933; Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, 1967; The Lion in Winter, 1968; and On Golden Pond, 1981. Hepburn also garnered an additional eight Oscar nominations over the years: Alice Adams, 1935; The Philadelphia Story, 1940; Woman of the Year, 1942; The African Queen, 1951; Summertime, 1955; The Rainmaker, 1956; Suddenly Last Summer, 1959; and Long Day's Journey Into Night, 1962. Her role in the 1975 made-for-television film Love Among the Ruins won her an Emmy award.

Hepburn's career, however, was not without its setbacks, most notably in the 1930s. A return to the Broadway stage in 1934 in a flop play—The Lake—led to the well-known quip by the acerbic wit Dorothy Parker that the actress "runs the gamut of emotion, all the way from A to B." In 1937 Hepburn, along with various other female stars, was described as "box office poison" in a trade paper advertisement placed by an important exhibitor. RKO's indifferent response led Hepburn—at a cost to her of over $200,000—to buy out her contract from the company. Shortly thereafter she was rejected for the role of Scarlett O'Hara in the film version of Gone with the Wind.

Determined to re-establish herself, she returned to the Broadway stage, playing the lead in a successful production of Philip Barry's comedy of manners, The Philadelphia Story. Having invested in the production she controlled the screen rights, which she ultimately sold to MGM in return for a tidy profit and a guarantee by the studio that she would play the lead in the film version. She did, and the film was a critical and a commercial success. Her Oscar nomination was but one manifestation of the dramatic way she had reestablished herself in Hollywood.

Hepburn's next MGM film brought into her life Spencer Tracy, with whom she began a liaison that lasted for over two decades until his death in 1967. Although separated from his wife, Tracy never divorced her, and his romance with Hepburn was a quiet, tender, and private affair. In the 1960s Hepburn interrupted her career to care for the ailing Tracy. They were a team professionally as well as personally and made nine films together over a period of 25 years: Woman of the Year, 1942; Keeper of the Flame, 1942; Without Love, 1945; Sea of Grass, 1947; State of the Union, 1948; Adam's Rib, 1949; Pat and Mike, 1952; The Desk Set, 1957; and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, 1967. These films were not all either commercially or critically successful, but whether comedies or dramas they were provocative and interesting, especially for their emphasis on the personal interplay between the sexes. Both Tracy and Hepburn played strong characters in these films, but neither was forced to give in to the other.

Hepburn had been married in 1928 to the social and well-to-do Ludlow Ogden Smith, who had changed his name to Ogden Ludlow because she did not want to be Kate Smith. The marriage actually lasted about three weeks before they separated, but they were not divorced until 1934 and they remained friendly. Among her other romantic attachments in the 1930s was the eccentric tycoon Howard Hughes.

The actress was not particularly fortunate in her choice of vehicles in any medium after the beginning of the 1970s. But for a few notable exceptions, such as On Golden Pond (1981), the roles, whatever their promise, did not make really good use of her considerable talents. Her television debut in 1972 as the mother in a version of Tennessee Williams' moving The Glass Menagerie was not auspicious. A pairing with the rugged action star John Wayne Rooster Cogburn, (1975), while apparently a great deal of fun for the stars on location proved to be lackluster. She had some success playing the noted French designer Coco Chanel in a Broadway musical which opened in 1969; Coco had a long run but did not make impressive use of her capabilities. Several later Broadway ventures proved abortive.

Katharine Hepburn never conformed to the conventional star image, but there is no doubt that she was a super star in more than one medium. A strong-minded independent woman, she governed her life and her career to suit herself. In the process she entertained and delighted and aroused millions and did so without compromising her cherished beliefs. Hepburn, without any doubt, was, as one of her biographers claimed, "a remarkable woman."

Although she suffered some significant injuries in a 1985 automobile accident, and illnesses usual to one of her years, Hepburn golfed, cycled, and swam in the sea into her nineties.

Katharine Hepburn provided some new perspectives on her personality and the roles she played on stage and screen in her autobiography, published after she retired from performance. In it she stressed the important influence of her liberal intellectual family, and her continued closeness with her siblings and their offspring. Through this charming, witty and frank summing up of herself may be discerned the natural aristocracy of the person and the solidity and permanence of her character.

Further Reading

Biographies of Hepburn were by Charles Higham (1975), Michael Freedland (1984), and Anne Edwards (1985). A moving and witty book is Tracy and Hepburn: An Intimate Memoir (1971) by Garson Kanin.

See also Katharine Hepburn's autobiography, Me: Stories of My Life New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991.

For a detailed listing to 1983 of Katharine Hepburn's stage appearances, tours, awards and films, refer to Contemporary Theater, Film and Television Biographies, Volume I, pps. 240-241. Hepburn has also written The Making of the African Queen for those who are film fans and want to see behind the scenes. □

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Hepburn, Katharine

Katharine Hepburn, 1907–2003, American actress, b. Hartford, Conn. She made periodic stage appearances from 1928 on and debuted in the first of her 43 films in 1932; in her early roles she was usually cast as rather brittle, one-dimensional characters. With the classic romantic comedy The Philadelphia Story (1940), she softened her image and began playing more interesting women who were also more evenly matched to their romantic partners. Hepburn also established her lifelong image as a high-spirited, intelligent, witty, idiosyncratic, and sophisticated woman, a persona mirrored in her private life. In Woman of the Year (1942) she found her ideal leading man (and life partner) in Spencer Tracy, whose solidity balanced her sophistication in a total of nine comedies spanning 25 years. Their other films include State of the Union (1948), Adam's Rib (1949), and Pat and Mike (1952).

Hepburn won four Academy Awards, for Morning Glory (1933), Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968), and On Golden Pond (1981). Among her other outstanding films are Little Women (1933), Alice Adams (1935), Stage Door (1937), Bringing Up Baby (1938), The African Queen (1951), The Rainmaker (1956), Long Day's Journey into Night (1962), and The Trojan Women (1970). For television she did Love among the Ruins (1975), in which she costarred with Laurence Olivier, and several other productions. Later stage appearences include Coco (1969) and The West Side Waltz (1981).

See her autobiographical writings, The Making of The African Queen (1987) and Me (1991); A. Edwards, A Remarkable Woman (1985); G. Kanin, Tracy and Hepburn (1988); B. Leaming, Katharine Hepburn (1995); A. S. Berg, Kate Remembered (2003); W. J. Mann, Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn (2006); Katharine Hepburn: All about Me (television documentary, 1993).

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Hepburn, Katharine

Hepburn, Katharine (1909–2003) US stage and film actress. She made her film debut in 1932 and won her first best actress Academy Award for Morning Glory (1933). She made nine films with Spencer Tracy, beginning with Woman of the Year (1952) and ending with an Oscar-winning performance in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967). In 1968 she won a third best actress Oscar for The Lion in Winter. Her performance in On Golden Pond (1981) gained her a fourth award. Other films include Bringing Up Baby (1938), The Philadelphia Story (1940), The African Queen (1951), Suddenly Last Summer (1959), and Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962).

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"Hepburn, Katharine." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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