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Katherine Hepburn Facts

Katherine Hepburn

Facts about Katherine Hepburn

Biography Summary:
Katherine Hepburn was a wonderfully strong modern woman ahead of her time.

She became iconic for those characteristics and portrayed those qualities in the film roles she chose. Although she married young when she divorced her husband she vowed never to marry again and felt that having children was a full time commitment she was not prepared to make, instead she mothered the children within her family and that was enough.

She devoted her life outside of her career to the one man she loved beyond all else, Spencer Tracey. A totally remarkable women.

Katherine Hepburn Fact Sheet: Who was Katherine Hepburn? The following short biography and fact sheet provides interesting facts about the life, times and history of Katherine Hepburn.

Katherine Hepburn Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1907 - 2003 *** Full Name: Katherine Houghton Hepburn *** ::Nickname: Katherine of Arrogance *** Occupation: American Actress *** Date of Birth: Katherine Hepburn was born on May 12th 1907 *** Place of Birth: Katherine Hepburn was born in Hartford, Connecticut, USA *** Family background: Her father was Thomas Norval Hepburn who was a urologist at the Hartford Hospital and her mother was Katharine Martha Houghton who was a feminist campaigner. She was responsible for establishing the New England Social Hygiene Association which was there to educate the public on sexually transmitted diseases and she would accompany her mother on demonstrations for “Votes for Women”. Her parents were very progressive people *** Early life and childhood: She grew up with five other siblings, an older brother tom, two younger sisters, Marion and Margaret and two younger brothers Richard and Robert *** Education: Katherine Hepburn was highly educated ***

Katherine Hepburn Fact 1: Katherine Hepburn was born on May 12th 1907 and during the 20th century period in history when there were world changing events happening including the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Cold War.

Katherine Hepburn Fact 2: Hepburn was very much a tomboy as a child, with her hair cut short like a boys. Her father was insistent that all his children use the minds and bodies to their full advantage. All of his children were taught to swim, dive, run, wrestle and ride as well as play tennis and golf. Gold would become a great passion of Hepburn's.

Katherine Hepburn Fact 3: From an early age she loved theatrics and every Saturday night would attend the local movie house.

Katherine Hepburn Fact 4: In 1921 on April 3rd she would make the most horrific discovery of her life. While visiting friends in Greenwich Village she would be the one to discover her beloved brothers hanging body it was said from suicide. The family were adamant that he would not have committed such an act willingly and that it must have been the result of a terrible accident or experiment that went very wrong.

Katherine Hepburn Fact 5: The whole incident had an absolutely devastating effect on the young Hepburn and she became mistrusting of everybody, she became moody and nervous. She dropped out of school and was tutored at home.

Katherine Hepburn Fact 6: She attended her mother’s alma marter in 1924, Bryn Mawr College. She never felt comfortable there, she was very self-conscious having not attended a school for several years.

Katherine Hepburn Fact 7: She was immediately drawn towards the acting but taking part in the college productions meant she needed good grades and so once her grades were better she performed and often as she was able. So well was her performance in The Woman in the Moon received she knew she wanted to pursue an acting career. In June of 1928 she graduated with a history and philosophy degree.

Katherine Hepburn Fact 8: She was fortunate that straight out of college she arrived in Baltimore and met with Edwin H Knopf a repertory theatre owner who gave her a break. Her first performance was well received but not so much her second.

Katherine Hepburn Fact 9: Hepburn left Baltimore to head for New York and a voice coach to help her. After a succession of small roles, being fired and rehired and generally trying to find her feet but by 1932 he seemed she had.

Katherine Hepburn Fact 10: A Hollywood scout was in the audience of her Broadway production and asked her to screen test. The test was successful and she was given a temporary contract.

Katherine Hepburn Fact 11: She arrived in California in 1932, a twenty five year old who was intimidated by nothing. In fact she became more interested in the industry and its workings than she had been before.

Katherine Hepburn Fact 12: After her success in A Bill of Divorcement RKO signed her to a longer contract and George Cukor her director from that film would make a further ten films with her and became lifelong friends.

Katherine Hepburn Fact 13: Having a desire to conquer the stage she again engaged in a theatre production that did not go well but it served a purpose and that was to teach her to keep control of her career.

Katherine Hepburn Fact 14: Returning to RKO she was cast in The Little Minister but the film was a flop, after three successes flops her next film, Alice Adams was a total success and she received an Oscar Nomination for her performance.

Katherine Hepburn Fact 15: In 1938 she stared next to Cary Grant in Bringing Up Baby a screwball comedy and although the movie was good and Cary Grant a very popular actor for some reason the audience took against Hepburn and the Independent Theatre Owners of American added Hepburn's name to a list of actors they considered “box office poison”. The next film she was offered was a small film and instead she bought herself out of her contract.

Katherine Hepburn Fact 16: Having hit a slump with film work she decided to look for a different project and hit on Philip Barry’s new play called The Philadelphia Story. Her partner at the time was Howard Hughes and he felt the part was so completely right for her that he bought the film rights before the production had even made its debut. The production was a massive success in all areas and ran for four hundred and seventeen performances and began a second tour.

Katherine Hepburn Fact 17: She was approached by many film studios but would choose Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to make the film. She was to star in the lead and could choose her own director, George Cukor was her choice. Originally wanting Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable for her leading men they were not available so she chose Cary Grant, even granting him top billing. She also made a calculated decision to re-package herself in so much as she wanted the audience to be laughing at her in the hope that by the time the film ended they would be laughing with her.

Katherine Hepburn Fact 18: After her next successful film, Woman of the Year she began a relationship with Spencer Tracey who at the time was a sufferer of insomnia and an alcoholic and she was determined to help him.

Katherine Hepburn Fact 19: By the 1950’s she was finding material to stretch her abilities and would create some of her best work, notably African Queen with Humphrey Bogart. She went on to make Summertime and the following year toured Australia with the Old Vic theatre company performing as Kate in The Taming of the Shrew, Isabella in Measure for Measure and Portia in The Merchant of Venice.

Katherine Hepburn Fact 20: She continued to work over the coming years and during the 1960’s appeared in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner alongside Tracey completing their ninth film together. At this time, Tracey was suffering from heart disease and was actually dying. Seventeen days after completing his part in the film Spenser Tracey died leaving Hepburn devastated.

Katherine Hepburn Fact 21: She worked her way through her grief and appeared in such films as The Lion in Winter and The Madwoman of Chaillot.

Katherine Hepburn Fact 22: By the 1980’s she had begun to display a visible tremor which resulted in a permanent shaking of her head and she stepped away from acting for a couple of years. However seeing a production on Broadway of On Golden Pond and finding that Jane Fonda had bought the film rights Katherine was eager to play opposite Henry Fonda as the older couple coming to terms with the difficulties of aging.

Katherine Hepburn Fact 23: Her career slowed noticeable thereafter and she did a few television roles before eventually giving up her acting career. She gave several television interviews and wrote her autobiography Me.

Katherine Hepburn Fact 24: Katherine Houghton Hepburn died at home in Fenwick, Connecticut on June 29th 2003 aged ninety six. Her body was laid to rest in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Harford.

List of Academy Awards given to Katherine Hepburn:  6th Academy Awards (1934): Best Actress, win, for Morning Glory *** 40th Academy Awards (1968): Best Actress, win, for Guess Who's Coming to Dinner *** 41st Academy Awards (1969): Best Actress, win, for The Lion in Winter (shared with Barbra Streisand for Funny Girl) *** 54th Academy Awards (1982): Best Actress, win, for On Golden Pond ***

Influence & Legacy of Katherine Hepburn: "Confident, intelligent and witty, four-time Oscar winner Katharine Hepburn defied convention throughout her professional and personal life ... Hepburn provided an image of an assertive woman whom [females] could watch and learn from." Horton and Simmons wrote and film historian Jeanine Basinger said "What she brought us was a new kind of heroine - modern and independent. She was beautiful, but she did not rely on that." The Los Angeles Times wrote "More than a movie star, Katharine Hepburn was the patron saint of the independent American female."

Short Facts about Katherine Hepburn for Kids
The above short facts detail interesting information about the life, milestones, history and key events that occurred during the life of this famous character, Katherine Hepburn. A fast, simple way to present a short biography of Katherine Hepburn with important dates and info that provides details such as the date of birth (birthday), place of birth, education, family, work and career. An ideal educational resource for kids, schools, teachers and social studies.

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