Katharine Hepburn


Image of Katharine Hepburn


Yankee Stadium, Chevrolet, and Katharine Hepburn. The first two are American Institutions, bastions of Western industry and longevity. The last is one of the greatest actresses of the last century, but she is no less a symbol of American diligence and quality. Katharine Hepburn, nominated for twelve Oscars® and the winner of four, a Connecticut Yankee who conquered Hollywood then returned to her New England nest, remains one of the most admired women in the world for her talent, personality, and class. Who else could entitle their autobiography “Me” and get away with it? Katharine Houghton Hepburn was born on November 12, 1907, in Hartford, Connecticut. Her mother came from a prominent social family and was an advocate for women’s rights; her father was a successful surgeon. Not surprisingly, young Katharine burned with the belief that she could do anything. And what she wanted to do was act. As a young girl, she organized plays among her playmates, always taking the lead.

As a student at prestigious Bryn Mawr College she met with resistance among her capable classmates. But after graduation she joined a theater company in Baltimore, vowing to become a great stage actress despite her parents’ protestations. She made her mark on stage right away. Hollywood came courting, and by 1932, one of the worst years of the Great Depression, Katharine commanded $1,500 a week as a contract player at RKO Pictures. She was arrogant and talented and by 1933 she had won her first Oscar® for Morning Glory. It was an auspicious start. She followed up with another great performance in Little Women (1933), working with the great director, George Cukor, who would direct her in the classic Holiday (1938) and The Philadelphia Story (1940), based on a play she had commissioned and starred in on Broadway. Katharine appeared with Cary Grant in these last two, as well as in Bringing Up Baby (1938), considered one of the greatest screwball comedies of all time.


Image of Katharine Hepburn


After being passed over for the role of Scarlett O’Hara for “not being sexy enough,” Katharine began the great romance of her life – onscreen and off – with Spencer Tracy. A Catholic, Tracy would not get a divorce from his wife, but he and Katharine began a long personal and professional collaboration starting with Woman of the Year (1942) and continuing through Keeper of the Flame (1943), Adam’s Rib (1949), Pat and Mike (1952), and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), the last netting Katharine another Oscar®. She won a third Oscar® the next year for The Lion in Winter (1968), then slid into a period of lesser roles. The seventies saw her acting mostly in television, most notably with Laurence Olivier in Love Among the Ruins (1975). She won a fourth Oscar® opposite Henry Fonda in On Golden Pond (1981), all while battling a variety of illnesses. Katharine Hepburn passed away at her home in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, on June 29, 2003. An enduring star and role model for generations of women, she will live on as the benchmark by which future stars are judged.


OSCARS AND OTHER AWARDS
Four Oscar wins... the first in 1934 for Best Actress for Morning Glory, then Best Actress in 1968 for Guess Who's Coming To Dinner, again in 1969 for Best Actress for The Lion in Winter and finally Best Actress for On Golden Pond in 1982.



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MOVIE AND TV CREDITS

2010 Movies Embracing Chaos: Making the African Queen as Herself / Rose Sayer (archive footage)
2004 Movies Broadway's Lost Treasures II as Katharine Hepburn
2003 Movies Complicated Women as
1994 Movies Love Affair as Ginny
1994 Movies That's Entertainment! III as
1994 Movies This Can't Be Love as Marion Bennett
1992 Movies The Man Upstairs as Victoria Brown
1988 Movies Bacall on Bogart as Herself
1987 Movies Happy 100th Birthday, Hollywood as Herself
1986 Movies Mrs. Delafield Wants to Marry as Margaret Delafield
1981 Movies On Golden Pond (1981, Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda) as Ethel Thayer
1979 Movies The Corn Is Green as Miss Lilly Moffat
1975 Movies Rooster Cogburn as Eula Goodnight
1975 Movies Brother Can You Spare A Dime as Herself
1974 Movies That's Entertainment! as Herself - at Banquet (archive footage) (uncredited)
1973 Movies A Delicate Balance as Agnes
1969 Movies The Madwoman of Chaillot as Contessa Aurelia
1968 Movies Black History: Lost Stolen, or Strayed as
1968 Movies The Lion in Winter as Eleanor of Aquitaine
1967 Movies Guess Who's Coming to Dinner as Christina Drayton
1964 Movies The Big Parade of Comedy as Tracy Lord (archive footage)
1962 Movies Long Day's Journey Into Night as Mary Tyrone
1959 Movies Suddenly, Last Summer as Mrs. Violet Venable
1959 Movies Suddenly Last Summer (Paramount 1959, Elizabeth Taylor, Montgomery Clift) as Mrs. Violet Venable
1957 Movies Desk Set as Bunny Watson
1957 Movies The Iron Petticoat as Captain Vinka Kovelenko
1956 Movies The Rainmaker as Lizzie Curry
1952 Movies Pat and Mike as Patricia 'Pat' Pemberton
1951 Movies The African Queen as Rose Sayer
1949 Movies Adam's Rib as Amanda Bonner
1948 Movies State of the Union as Mary Matthews
1948 Movies State of the Union (MGM 1948, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn) as Mary Matthews
1947 Movies The Sea of Grass as Lutie Brewton
1945 Movies Without Love as Jamie Rowan
1944 Movies Dragon Seed as Jade Tan
1943 Movies Stage Door Canteen as Herself
1943 Movies Keeper of the Flame as Christine Forrest
1942 Movies Woman of the Year as Tess Harding
1940 Movies The Philadelphia Story as Tracy Lord
1940 Movies Cavalcade of the Academy Awards as
1938 Movies Holiday as Linda Seton
1938 Movies Bringing Up Baby as Susan Vance
1937 Movies Stage Door as Terry Randall
1937 Movies Quality Street as Phoebe Throssel
1936 Movies A Woman Rebels as Pamela 'Pam' Thistlewaite
1936 Movies Mary of Scotland as Mary Stuart
1935 Movies Alice Adams as Alice Adams
1935 Movies Break of Hearts as Constance Dane Roberti
1934 Movies The Little Minister as Barbara 'Babbie'
1934 Movies Spitfire as Trigger Hicks
1933 Movies Little Women as Jo
1933 Movies Morning Glory as Eva Lovelace
1933 Movies Christopher Strong as Lady Cynthia Darrington
1932 Movies A Bill of Divorcement as Sydney Fairfield



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