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Audrey Hepburn Quotes

Audrey Hepburn Quotes
They say that a person's words might just reflect her character. Find out how beautiful the soul of that very princess is, the one who made our Roman Holiday so special. Read these quotes by Audrey Hepburn to know more about the lady who was a true princess of many hearts.
Ankana Dey Choudhury
Born as Audrey Kathleen Ruston, just mention the name Audrey Hepburn, and a warm smile of remembrance spreads over every face. The runaway princess who just wished to have some commoners' fun. The lady in black who elevated the 'little black dress' to a state of permanent vogue. She was breathtaking. But her beauty spilled out of the silver screen as well.
Audrey Hepburn was a philanthrope who worked for people extensively. Her honesty and unfaltering vocation for the betterment of human condition made her the goodwill ambassador to the United Nations Children's Fund from 1988 to 1992. She also nurtured great love for animals, and had several pets who she adored dearly throughout the course of her life.
Be it Mr. Famous, the Yorkshire terrier she lost in a car accident, or the fawn from 'Green Mansions' bought to cheer her up by her first husband Mel Ferrer after she suffered a miscarriage, or the two Jack Russell terriers she kept at the later stages of her life, she cherished them all. She was the lady who crooned 'Happy Birthday, Dear Jack' for John F. Kennedy on his last birthday, just a year after Marilyn Monroe did the same. Hepburn happened to be the President's preferent actress.
"For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge you'll never walk alone.
It is, therefore, very often misunderstood as one of Hepburn's own sayings.
Rabindranath Tagore's "Unending Love" was another one of her favorite verses, which is why Gregory Peck read it out in front of the camera after her demise. She did believe in the poem deeply...
"I was born with an enormous need for affection, and a terrible need to give it."
"For me, the only things of interest are those linked to the heart."
"Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it's at the end of your arm, as you get older, remember you have another hand: The first is to help yourself, the second is to help others."
"People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone."
"Whatever a man might do, whatever misery or heartache your children might give you - and they give you a lot - however much your parents irritate you - it doesn't matter because you love them."
Strangely, the lady who was voted the "most beautiful woman of all time" in 2006 by the readers of "New Women", was constantly critical of her own looks.
"I never thought I'd land in pictures with a face like mine."
"I'm not beautiful. My mother once called me an ugly duckling. But, listed separately, I have a few good features."
Among those features were...
"I know I have more sex appeal on the tip of my nose than many women in their entire bodies. It doesn't stand out a mile, but it's there."
In fact she thought...
"My look is attainable. Women can look like Audrey Hepburn by flipping out their hair, buying the large sunglasses, and the little sleeveless dresses."
It was a wonder to Hepburn that she ever made it as a movie star. She was very innocently honest about such confessions wherein her fears greatly resembled the inhibitions, hesitations and confusions resembling those of a girl next door. Strange for some won who bagged an Oscar for "Roman Holiday" and won several Golden Globe and BAFTA awards.
"I probably hold the distinction of being one movie star who, by all laws of logic, should never have made it. At each stage of my career, I lacked the experience." ~ Hepburn prepared to become a dental assistant before entering the glossy world of showbiz."
"I think sex is overrated. I don't have sex appeal and I know it. As a matter of fact, I think I'm rather funny looking. My teeth are funny, for one thing, and I have none of the attributes usually required for a movie queen, including the shapeliness."
"I'm not a born actress, as such, I care about expressing feelings."
"I was asked to act when I couldn't act. I was asked to sing 'Funny Face' when I couldn't sing, and dance with Fred Astaire when I couldn't dance - and do all kinds of things I wasn't prepared for. Then I tried like mad to cope with it." ~ True it wasn't easy for her. In fact she was gravely hurt when informed that her already recoded vocals in "My Fair Lady" would be substituted by Marni Nixon's. She had left the sets in a huff that day but had come back to apologize for her "wicked" reaction, the very next morn.
But the film created history and she then explained that...
"You can't let yourself worry when you play a classic role. I'm an introvert anyway. Playing the extroverted girl in Breakfast at Tiffany's was the hardest thing I ever did. If I had stopped to think about comparison with my predecessors as Eliza, I'd have frozen completely. But I loved this part. Eliza is vulnerable, but she has a beautiful inner strength. I made myself forget the problems. I threw myself into it and tried to make it me."
"I understood the dismay of people who had seen Julie on Broadway. Julie made that role her own, and for that reason I didn't want to do the film when it was first offered. But Jack Warner never wanted to put Julie in the film. He was totally opposed to it, for whatever reason. Then I learned that if I turned it down, they would offer it to still another movie actress. So I felt I should have the same opportunity to play it as any other film actress."
She was all very uncomfortable with the attention...
"If I blow my nose, it gets written all over the world."
And so she felt that...
"I was born with something that appealed to an audience at that particular time...I acted instinctively. I've had one of the greatest schools of all - a whole row of great, great directors."
But even at the end of all the accolades, the lady had her head firmly on her shoulders.
"I never think of myself as an icon. What is in other people's minds is not in my mind. I just do my thing."
And it could have been because...
"It's that wonderful old-fashioned idea that others come first and you come second. This was the whole ethic by which I was brought up. Others matter more than you do, so 'don't fuss, dear; get on with it.'"
Nevertheless she enjoyed the appreciation in a rather childlike manner...
"People associate me with a time when movies were pleasant, when women wore pretty dresses in films and you heard beautiful music. I always love it when people write me and say 'I was having a rotten time, and I walked into a cinema and saw one of your movies, and it made such a difference.'"
The lady had two marriages that ended in heart breaking divorces. But she believed in love and the sanctity of marriage.
"The best thing to hold on to in life is each other."
"You can always tell what kind of a person a man really thinks you are by the earrings he gives you."
"If I get married, I want to be very married."
"I don't want to be alone, I want to be left alone."
"Your heart just breaks, that's all. But you can't judge, or point fingers. You just have to be lucky enough to find someone who appreciates you."
"I heard a definition once: Happiness is health and short memory! I wish I'd invented it, because it is very true." ~ And that is how the actress probably came to terms with her not so ideal married life.
All in all she was pretty clear about her perceptions of life some of course influenced by her growing up years and experiences.
"I decided, very early on, just to accept life unconditionally; I never expected it to do anything special for me, yet I seemed to accomplish far more than I had ever hoped. Most of the time it just happened to me without my ever seeking it."
"I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it's the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It's probably the most important thing in a person."
"Success is like reaching an important birthday and finding you're exactly the same."
On her post childcare come back in 1976, she proclaimed that
"Whatever happens, the most important thing is growing old gracefully. And you can't do that on the cover of a fan magazine."
"[I have] enormous faith, but it's not attached to any one particular religion.... My mother was one thing, my father another. In Holland they were all Calvinists. That has no importance at all to me."
"Living is like tearing through a museum. Not until later do you really start absorbing what you saw, thinking about it, looking it up in a book, and remembering - because you can't take it all in at once."
Some were pretty diplomatically double meaning-ed though...
"There are certain shades of limelight that can wreck a girl's complexion."
While working with UNICEF in regions such as Africa, South America and Asia, she was moved immensely. Such emotions could be traced back to her own harrowing experiences during the World War II. She did admit it right after she became UNICEF's goodwill Ambassador by saying,
"I can testify to what UNICEF means to children, because I was among those who received food and medical relief right after World War II. I have a long-lasting gratitude and trust for what UNICEF does."
"I saw but one glaring truth: These are not natural disasters but man-made tragedies for which there is only one man-made solution - peace."
"I have a broken heart. I feel desperate. I can't stand the idea that two million people are in imminent danger of starving to death, many of them children, [and] [sic] not because there isn't tons of food sitting in the northern port of Shoa. It can't be distributed. Last spring, Red Cross and UNICEF workers were ordered out of the northern provinces because of two simultaneous civil wars... I went into rebel country and saw mothers and their children who had walked for ten days, even three weeks, looking for food, settling onto the desert floor into makeshift camps where they may die. Horrible. That image is too much for me. The 'Third World' is a term I don't like very much, because we're all one world. I want people to know that the largest part of humanity is suffering."
"It makes me self-conscious. It's because I'm known, in the limelight, that it's getting all the gravy, but if you knew, if you saw some of the people who make it possible for UNICEF to help these children survive. These are the people who do the jobs-the unknowns, whose names you will never know... I at least get a dollar a year, but they don't."
She also worked because she opined that,
"A quality education has the power to transform societies in a single generation, provide children with the protection they need from the hazards of poverty, labor exploitation and disease, and given them the knowledge, skills, and confidence to reach their full potential."
It was the one thing she felt most comfortable doing and was best suited for...
"I auditioned for this job for forty-five years and I finally got it. I always felt very powerless when I would see the terrible pictures on TV. But I was offered a wonderful opportunity to do something [and it] is a marvelous therapy to the anguish I feel."
"Taking care of children has nothing to do with politics. I think perhaps with time, instead of there being a politicization of humanitarian aid, there will be a humanization of politics... Anyone who doesn't believe in miracles is not a realist. I have seen the miracle of water which UNICEF has helped to make a reality. Where for centuries young girls and women had to walk for miles to get water, now they have clean drinking water near their homes. Water is life, and clean water now means health for the children of this village... People in these places don't know Audrey Hepburn, but they recognize the name UNICEF. When they see UNICEF their faces light up, because they know that something is happening. In the Sudan, for example, they call a water pump UNICEF."
Just 4 months before her demise her visit to Somalia left her profoundly scarred...
"I walked into a nightmare. I have seen famine in Ethiopia and Bangladesh, but I have seen nothing like this - so much worse than I could possibly have imagined. I wasn't prepared for this.... The earth is red - an extraordinary sight - that deep terra-cotta red. And you see the villages, displacement camps and compounds, and the earth is all rippled around them like an ocean bed. And those were the graves. There are graves everywhere. Along the road, around the paths that you take, along the riverbeds, near every camp - there are graves everywhere."
With her sudden death due to abdominal cancer in 1993, she left millions in tears with their hearts aching. She had once said that,
"Pick the day. Enjoy it - to the hilt. The day as it comes. People as they come... The past, I think, has helped me appreciate the present - and I don't want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future."
And she lived her life just like that.
But I guess it would be best for me to end this article on famous quotes with the words the actress herself chose to sum up her own life. A life lived constructively and in style at that.
"How shall I sum up my life? I think I've been particularly lucky. Does that have something to do with faith also? I know my mother always used to say, 'Good things aren't supposed to just fall in your lap. God is very generous, but he expects you to do your part first.' So you have to make that effort. But at the end of a bad time or a huge effort, I've always had - how shall I say it? - the prize at the end. My whole life shows that."