Katharine Hepburn 5.11.13 Thought of the Day

“. . . as one goes through life one learns that if you don’t paddle your own canoe, you don’t move.”–Katharine Hepburn

From Woman of the Year [Image courtesy: Wikimedia]

From Woman of the Year [Image courtesy: Wikimedia]

Katharine Houghton Hepburn was born on this day in Hartford, Connecticut, USA in 1907. Today is the 106th anniversary of her birth.

She was the second of six children born to Thomas and Katharine Hepburn. Her father was a urologist, her mother was a suffragette. Her parents “encouraged her to speak her mind, develop it fully, and exercise her body to its full potential.” [IMDb] She decided to become an actress while attending Bryn Mawr College.

Upon graduation  in 1928 (she got her degree in history and philosophy) she went to Broadway  where she got a number of small roles before starring as Antiope, the Amazon princess, in A Warrior’s Husband in 1932. The same year she made her first film A Bill of Divorce with John Barrymore. She won her first Academy Award for 1933’s Morning Glory.

Hepburn was always her own woman. She wore pants, but didn’t wear makeup. She spoke her mind and she certainly didn’t fit into the Hollywood starlet mold. That made for a difficult road for the actress in the mid to late 1930’s. Although she had a few stage and screen successes  she struggled until she starred in The Philadelphia Story on Broadway in 1938.

Cropped screenshot of the film The Philadelphi...

Cropped screenshot of the film The Philadelphia Story (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She quickly bought the film rights, and so was able to negotiate her way back to Hollywood on her own terms, including her choice of director and co-stars. The film version of The Philadelphia Story (1940), was a box-office hit, and Hepburn, who won her third Oscar nomination for the film, was bankable again. For her next film, Woman of the Year (1942), she was paired with Spencer Tracy, and the chemistry between them lasted for eight more films, spanning the course of 25 years, and a romance that lasted that long off-screen. (She received her fourth Oscar nomination for the film.) Their films included the very successful Adam’s Rib (1949), Pat and Mike (1952), and Desk Set (1957). [Ibid]

Cover of "The Hepburn & Tracy Signature C...

Cover via Amazon

By the 1950’s she was pegged for more mature roles like Oscar nominated role opposite Humphrey Bogart in The African Queen.

She won her second Oscar opposite Spencer Tracy in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (Tracy’s last movie) in 1967. And repeated the walk down the red carpet to pick up Oscar #3 the following year for The Lion In Winter.

Hepburn added more TV work to she schedule in the 1970s, but still found some plum film work  including Rooster Cogburn and On Golden Pond. She won her 4th Oscar for Golden Pond.

From On Golden Pond [Image courtesy: The Hairpin.com]

From On Golden Pond [Image courtesy: The Hairpin.com]

Katharine Hepburn died on June 29, 2003. She was 96 years old.


About ritalovestowrite

Freelance writer, graphic designer, musician, foodie and Jane Austen enthusiast in Northern Baltimore County, Maryland. As a writer I enjoy both fiction and non fiction (food, travel and local interest stories.) As an advocate for the ARTS, one of my biggest passions is helping young people find a voice in all the performing arts. To that end it has been my honor to give one-on-one lessons to elementary, middle and high school students in graphic design and music. And as JANE-O I currently serve as the regional coordinator for JASNA Maryland and am working on a Regency/Federal cooking project. View all posts by ritalovestowrite

2 responses to “Katharine Hepburn 5.11.13 Thought of the Day

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: