Audrey Hepburn had one of those rare faces that happens just once. She was a stunning beauty who took the world by storm, becoming one of the most famous movie stars and fashion icons during the course of her short life. Her legacy lives on through her timeless romantic comedies and the posters that line girls’ dorm rooms. However, that isn't the only version of Audrey Hepburn. There was much, much more to Audrey than just the beautiful images taped to bedroom walls.
When you think of Audrey Hepburn, you most likely think of the infamous Breakfast at Tiffany’s promotional stills, in which she smokes a cigarette and makes it look like the chicest thing in the entire world. Seriously, if anyone could make an argument for smoking, it was Audrey. You also may think of Audrey in one of the many sleek black dresses she wore in her films. But, there is another side to Audrey beyond the black dresses and chic cigarettes. She was not always so perfect. Okay, she was always perfect, but there are some pictures of her looking more relaxed, laid back, and full of life. She simply radiated a positive energy and the camera captured that in the rare photos below.
Below are sixteen photos of Audrey Hepburn like you’ve never seen her before. You’ll find her swimming, getting her hair done, napping with her pet deer – yes, she had a pet deer because she was an actual angel. While the Breakfast at Tiffany’s stills will always be a display of Audrey's beauty, the below photos show her private life and her lively inner self.
12 She Never Stopped Smoking
Following the ‘60s, Audrey more or less left Hollywood. She instead devoted her time to her family and charity work because she was an actual angel. If you’ll learn anything from this article, it’ll be that Audrey Hepburn was a real angel living in the world.
Because she shied away from Hollywood in the later years of her life, there are less photos of her in her later years. However, we have one here… and she’s smoking! While Audrey Hepburn lived a pretty healthy lifestyle, her one vice was definitely smoking, which is fitting, in a way, since she is remembered for smoking the chicest cigarette ever in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
In 1992, Audrey complained of stomach pains and was diagnosed with abdominal cancer, which had already metastasized. In 1993, Audrey died in her sleep at the age of 63. After her passing, Gregory Peck, her Roman Holiday costar, went on camera and read her favorite poem. People who had the pleasure of working with Audrey Hepburn ended up loving her all their life (because she was an angel).
11 Lounging With The Chorus Girls
In this photo, Audrey is pictured with fellow chorus girls Aud Johanssen and Enid Smeedon, who she performed with in Sauce Tartar at the Cambridge Theatre in London. It was obviously summer, as the ladies are keeping cool with an actual block of ice. Yes, that’s a block of ice that they are putting their feet on. Hey, it’s one way to cool off. Seeing Audrey relax on a London rooftop with a block of ice is certainly a new side of her that the public rarely sees.
This photo was taken way back in 1949, a few years before Hollywood fell in love with the European beauty. Audrey would soon star in 1953’s Roman Holiday and take Hollywood by storm. It was her first major film role and she even went on to win the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance. Talk about making an entrance in Hollywood...
10 As A Baby Ballerina
Because Audrey’s posture and figure always looked like that of a ballerina's, it may not surprise many to see that she was an actual ballerina. While she was incredibly talented, she was told that she would never reach levels of prima ballerina because of her height. She was 5’7” and the ideal ballerina height is 5’5”. While two inches may not seem like that much, it apparently makes a big difference. Audrey was also told that her weak constitution would be an issue. Due to the malnutrition she suffered during Nazi occupation in World War II, Hepburn had issues maintaining a healthy weight all her life. That was not something a ballerina who practiced intense physical workouts every day could deal with. Because of these issues, Audrey put her efforts into acting instead.
Due to the success of Roman Holiday, Audrey signed a 7-picture contract with Paramount and would next star in 1954’s Sabrina for the film studio, for which she was nominated for another Academy Award. With Academy Award nomination after Academy Award nomination, Audrey probably got over her crushed ballerina dreams just fine.
9 Lady In A Red Bathing Suit
A picture of Audrey Hepburn in a bathing suit is a rare gift and a colored picture of Audrey Hepburn in a bathing suit is an ever rarer gift, but we have it for you here. Audrey also managed to make a very simple red bathing suit look like the most fashionable thing in the world, which was part of Audrey’s charm. No matter what she wore or did with her hair, she looked like the most fashionable person in the room.
Audrey Hepburn’s fashion sense may be the very thing that set her apart as a star. Before the filming of Sabrina, Paramount sent her to Europe in order to find some European styles for her character. While there, Audrey stumbled upon a man named Hubert de Givenchy, who just so happened to be the founder of the Givenchy house of fashion. Yes, the same Givenchy that Beyoncé sings about and Kim K wears. Audrey and Givenchy had a very close, personal friendship her whole life (because she was an angel of a person) and he went on to dress Audrey in Sabrina and many of her other films.
11. Laying Out (With A Swim Cap)
We had to include another Audrey bathing suit photo because they are just so rare. What’s fun about this photo of Audrey sunbathing is that she’s rocking a ‘60s swim cap. Yes, women really wore them… in public. Audrey somehow makes it look adorable, though I’m sure most other women would not look as cute rocking one of those swim caps.
Audrey wasn’t critically acclaimed in just her film roles. In 1954, she starred in Broadway's Ondine, in which she played a water spirit who falls in love with a human. She won a Tony for her performance, because it seemed that Audrey couldn't take a role without cleaning up awards. Ondine is also notable because she began a relationship with Mel Ferrer, whom she went on to marry. She then starred in 1956’s War and Peace alongside Mel yet again.
8 Inside Mel's Coat
This photo of Audrey and husband Mel Ferrer is both beautiful and haunting. Perhaps it’s the bare trees or empty background paired with the playful, loving way Mel tucked tiny Audrey into his coat that really draws the eye. Whatever it is, it's an interesting photo. Mel and Audrey also had a very interesting relationship. Mel had been married three times prior, which supposedly worried Audrey, but regardless they jumped into a marriage only eight months after meeting one another.
It’s been speculated that Mel stepped away from the limelight in order to help make Audrey a star, but then grew jealous of her success as she got bigger and bigger. During their marriage, Audrey also suffered two miscarriages before giving birth to Sean Hepburn Ferrer in 1960. With the weight of those losses and stress from their careers, rumors about their marriage being on shaky grounds began to appear.
7 Audrey, The Animal Whisperer
Audrey Hepburn is an angel and even donkeys love her. That’s an actual fact and the above photo proves it. I mean, who just chills with a donkey like that? Only Audrey Hepburn.
Following War and Peace, Audrey went on to star alongside Fred Astaire in 1957’s Funny Face. In the film, Audrey played a salesgirl who worked at a bookstore that was being used as a backdrop for a fashion shoot. When her character catches the eye of the photographer, she is lured into the world of fashion, eventually letting her prejudice against the industry go. It's a feel-good movie if there ever was one.
The musical didn’t earn Audrey an Academy Award nomination, but it did earn Givenchy who, of course, designed her costumes for the role, a nomination. It was the only time Givenchy would be nominated for Best Costume Design.
8. Audrey, The Animal Whisperer (Part 2)
All animals loved Audrey Hepburn, plain and simple. Of course, there was good reason for this dog to love Audrey, as it was her own dog. His name was Mr. Famous, because Audrey couldn’t have a dog and not name it a hilarious and adorable name. Mr. Famous was even a star (uh, famous) in his own right, as he had a small role in Funny Face.
Audrey’s next Academy Award nomination came for 1959’s A Nun’s Story, in which Audrey played (what else?) a nun. Besides her Academy Award for Roman Holiday, the only other Academy Award Audrey would ever win would be a posthumous Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. The award was voted upon prior to her death but the ceremony took place following her passing. Her son Sean H. Ferrer accepted the award in her honor.
7. Poolside Fun (And No Swim Cap)
A colored photo… of Audrey Hepburn in a bathing suit… in a pool… and not wearing a swim cap. This photo is a total score. She also looks delightfully happy.
1961’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s was obviously a big, huge deal in Audrey Hepburn’s career. It wasn’t just that Audrey Hepburn was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance or that she banked $750,000 for the film, which made her the highest paid actress at the time, it was the fact that Audrey Hepburn was cast against her type. In the past she had played princesses and nuns, but never anything close to a call girl, which is what Holly Golightly was. Yes, kids, she may wear a fancy dress, but Audrey Hepburn was playing a call girl in Breakfast at Tiffany's. In fact, Truman Capote, who penned the novella on which the film was based, had wanted Marilyn Monroe for the part. Luckily, it went to Audrey Hepburn instead because the rest is cinematic history. Plus, Marilyn Monroe playing a call girl would have been too... call girl-y.
6 Getting Her Hair Done
Now you can say you’ve seen Audrey Hepburn without her hair perfectly done, which is something most people in the world can’t say. While Audrey rocked a shorter hairstyle most of her life, she had longer hair in Breakfast at Tiffany’s so that’s oddly how a majority of people remember her.
Audrey may not have won, but Breakfast at Tiffany’s did win two Academy Awards for Best Original Song (for “Moon River”) and Best Music. “Moon River” has since become iconic and forever associated with New York. Many New York-based shows like Sex and the City, Mad Men, and Gossip Girl all having played different versions of the song as a special nod to Breakfast at Tiffany's.
We actually have Audrey Hepburn to thank for "Moon River" being included in the film. In a post-production meeting an executive famous said, “Well, I think the first thing we can do is get rid of that stupid song.” At this point, Audrey – who was always cool, calm and collected – stood up and said, “Over my dead body!” The song obviously stayed in the film.
5 Even Classy Girls Make Funny Faces
In this behind the scenes photo of Audrey, she is making a rare silly face. Generally, we see promotional stills of Audrey so it’s lovely to see her personality come out in the photograph. Of course, she still somehow looks so chic even while making a funny face, but that’s just the charm of Audrey.
On the subject of looking oh-so-chic, there was Audrey Hepburn in that classic black dress in the opening scene of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Does everyone just die over that dress or what? Givenchy (duh) designed the dress, but he wasn’t nominated for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design, which is basically a crime. That is a huge oversight on behalf of the Academy, as that dress has become one of the most iconic pieces of clothing ever worn in the film. The dress sold at Christie’s Auction House in London for $807,000. Behind the Best Picture Oscar for Gone with the Wind, it was the most expensive piece of movie memorabilia ever purchased.
4 Young Audrey In Color
Many of the colored photos of Audrey Hepburn are from her later years, because y’know technology and stuff. This is a rare colored photo from Audrey in her young days and she looks pretty much perfect as always. Audrey’s personal life, however, was not always perfect. After rumors about his temper and Audrey’s affair with costar Albert Finney, Audrey and Mel finally divorced in 1968 after 14 years of marriage.
In 1969, Audrey married Andrea Dotti, an Italian psychiatrist. Together, they had a son, whom they named Luca. Audrey and Dotti then divorced in 1982. Audrey went on to date Robert Wolders from 1980 until the time of her death. While she never married him, Audrey called her thirteen years with Wolders the best years of her life. While she may have looked perfect, Audrey went through some difficult times in her personal life.
3 Real Life Snow White
Audrey Hepburn was a real life princess and a real life angel. If you’re in need of proof, just check out the above photo of a dove chillin’ on Audrey’s shoulder. That is literally a scene from Snow White.
While Audrey may have been very much like Snow White, not all of her behavior was Disney princess approved. It’s been reported that Audrey Hepburn had an affair with William Holden while filming Sabrina together. At the time of the affair, Holden had a wife and three children. Disney princesses do not do that.
It’s even been reported that Holden was going to leave his wife for Audrey but the fact that he had a vasectomy kept Audrey from marrying him. She wanted children and he couldn't give her that. The relationship between Audrey and Holden is honestly more interesting than the plot of Sabrina.
A few months after ending things with Holden, Audrey would meet Mel and marry him. Of Audrey’s relationship with Mel, Holden said, “I think Audrey allows Mel to think he influences her.” It sure seems like Holden never got over ol' Audrey. I mean, how could a guy really?
2 Napping With Her Pet Deer
Audrey had a pet deer – a pet deer! Like we said, Audrey was an actual angel and princess. In fact, she was giving Snow White a run for her money at this point. Look at the little deer just napping serenely in her arms.
How did Audrey Hepburn come to acquire a pet friggin’ deer? Well, on the set of Green Mansions – an Audrey film that no one has ever seen – an animal trainer had a fawn on set. Apparently, Audrey and the fawn bonded so much that the trainer suggested Audrey take him home for a bit so as to form a relationship that would translate to the screen.
Audrey named him Pippin and took him everywhere, even food shopping. Apparently, Mr. Famous was even jealous of Pippin, as both animals were hungry for Angel Audrey’s attention. Unfortunately, when the filming finished, Audrey had to give back Pippin, but she still had a pet deer for a good year. That is some princess shit.
1 The Classiest Picture Ever Taken
Alright, so these are the two classiest photos to ever be taken in the history of photographs. We’re serious, there is nothing classier than Audrey Hepburn AND Grace Kelly. In fact, the amount of class may have broken the camera. These two photos were taken behind the scenes at the 28th Academy Awards in 1956 where both ladies were presenting awards. They are some of the only two photos of the famous actresses together.
In seeing these photos, hopefully you’ve learned Audrey Hepburn is so much more than those Breakfast at Tiffany’s photos. She was an actual angel who had a pet deer and she was also a woman who had an affair with a married man. She was layered, guys! Audrey left behind a wonderful legacy of phenomenal performances, ageless fashion and generous charity. She is one of the few performers to have won an EGOT – Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. Audrey Hepburn was many things, but she always had a big heart, which is the most important part.