Tag Archives: Academy Award

Audrey Hepburn 5.4.14 Thought of the Day

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others;
for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and
for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”
— Audrey Hepburn.


English: Cropped screenshot of Audrey Hepburn ...

English: Cropped screenshot of Audrey Hepburn from the trailer for the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




Audrey Kathleen Ruston was born on this day  in Brussels, Belgium in 1929. Today is the 85 anniversary of her birth.


Her mother was a member of the Dutch aristocracy. Her father was banker. She had two older half brothers.


She grew up in Belgium, England and the Netherlands. She attended a small boarding school in Elham England (there were only 14 students) before the outbreak of WWII. Her parents divorced and her mother, Ella took Audrey back to Arnhem hoping that the Netherlands would remain neutral. There she attended the Arnhem Conservatory and continued to study ballet. She used the pseudonym Edda van Heemstra during the war because Audrey sounded too English. “Hepburn and her mother struggled to survive. She reportedly helped the resistance movement by delivering messages.” [Biograph.com] She carried messages in the toes of her ballet slippers and performed in a dance troupe that gave concerts to raise money for the Dutch resistance. She survived starvation by eating cakes made of flour made of ground tulip bulbs.  She suffered from anemia and malnutrition. She never forgot the hardships of her war-time youth and devoted herself to the humanitarian organization UNICEF in her later years.


After the war, Hepburn continued to pursue an interest in dance. She studied ballet in Amsterdam and later in London. In 1948, Hepburn made her stage debut as a chorus girl in the musical High Button Shoes in London. [Ibid]


Her first film role was an untitled one in 1951’s One Wild Oat. She met the French writer Colette who insisted that Hepburn play the lead in the Broadway play version of her book Gigi. So at 22 Hepburn found herself the star of major Broadway production.


Cropped screenshot of Audrey Hepburn and Grego...

Cropped screenshot of Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck from the trailer for the film Roman Holiday. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Soon she was making movies and at 24 she starred opposite Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday. She won an Academy Award for her performance as the elegant, spunky,  yet somehow fragile Princess Ann.


The following year, in 1954 she won a Tony for her role in the Broadway play Ondine opposite Mel Ferrer. She played a water nymph who falls in love with a human. In real life Hepburn and Ferrer fell in love off stage. They married in September of that year.


Also in 1954 Hepburn starred in Sabrina opposite Humphrey Bogart and William Holden. She got an Oscar nom. for this bittersweet  romantic comedy.



English: Screenshot of Audrey Hepburn and Hump...

English: Screenshot of Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart from the trailer for the film en:Sabrina (1954 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Rita’s note: Can some one please tell Hollywood… THIS is how you make a romantic comedy!






Hepburn turned to dramatic costume drama in 1956 co-starring with her husband, Ferrer, and Henry Fonda in War and Peace.




She teamed up with Fred Astaire for 1957’s Funny Face. The film allowed Hepburn to show off her dancing skills.




In 1959 she received another Oscar nom. for her role as Sister Luke in The Nun’s Story, which Variety called “her most demanding film role.”   [Ibid]




Then in 1960 she went Western starring in John Huston’s classic The Unforgiven with Burt Lancaster.




In 1961 she went back to rom/coms in Truman Copote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Her Holly Golightly earned her a fourth Oscar nom.




For the rest of the 1960s, Hepburn took on a variety of roles. She starred with Cary Grant in the romantic thriller Charade (1963). Playing the lead in the film version of the popular musical My Fair Lady (1964)… Taking on more dramatic fare, she starred a blind woman in the suspenseful tale Wait Until Dark (1967) opposite Alan Arkin. …This film brought her a fifth Academy Award nomination. That same year, Hepburn and her husband separated and later divorced. She married Italian psychiatrist Andrea Dotti in 1969, and the couple had a son, Luca, in 1970. [Ibid]



Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady (1964)

Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady (1964) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The roles slowed down in the 1970’s and 80s. She worked with Sean Connery, playing an aging Marian in Robin and Marian in 1976. She brought sophisticated grace to the crime thrilled Bloodline with Ben Gazzara in 1979. The two switched gears to comedy and starred again in They All Laughed in 1981. Steven Spielberg had the honor of directing her last film, when she took on a cameo role as an angel in Always.




Hepburn died on January 20, 1993 of appendiceal cancer.



... Audrey Hepburn

… Audrey Hepburn (Photo credit: x-ray delta one)


You may be interested in my previous blog post on

Secondary Character Saturday: Mr. Roat (Wait Until Dark)

Gregory Peck 4.5.13 Thought of the Day


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Tommy Lee Jones 9.15.13 Thought of the Day

“Acting is fun for me and it doesn’t really matter how, whether it’s hard work or easy work, it’s always fun.” — Tommy Lee Jones

Français : Tommy Lee Jones au festival de Cannes.

Tommy Lee Jones was born on this day in San Saba, Texas, USA in 1946. He is 67 years old.

His father, Clyde, was an oil field worker, his mother, Lucille,  held various jobs while Tommy was growing up, including teacher and police officer. She also owned her own beauty shop. He went to Robert E. Lee High School, then got a scholarship to St. Marks, an elite Dallas prep school. When he graduated from high school he got a football scholarship to Harvard where he roomed with future Vice President Al Gore. Jones played varsity ball for Harvard. The team was undefeated in his Junior year. He graduated in 1969  Cum Laude.

Jones was realistic about his chances of playing professional ball, he was too small to be an NFL athlete, so he pursued his interest in acting. He moved to New   York and quickly landed jobs off broadway . He was a regular for 4 years on the soap One Life to Live. His first movie role was a Ryan O’Niel’s roommate in Love Story.

In 1975 he moved to the West Coast and continued to add to his movie and television resume. His first big break was landing the role of “Do” Lynn in A Coal Miner’s Daughter (opposite Sissy Spacek). He earned his first Golden Globe nomination for his work on the film, and gained national attention.

He won an Emmy Award for Executioner’s Song in 1982.

His work in the ensemble western Lonesome Dove earned Jones an Emmy nomination and a Golden Globe Award. He was in Oliver Stone’s JFK (and got nominated for an Academy Award) in 1991 Then he worked with Andrew Davis in Under Siege in 1992.

He  worked with Davis again in 1993 on The Fugitive. Jones was pitch perfect as the determined detective hunting Harrison Ford. And although The Fugitive was supposed to be Ford’s vehicle it was clear that Tommy Lee was in the driver’s seat. The movie made $170 million dollars and Jones won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

He let his (dry) comic side out when he teamed up with Will Smith for Men In Black in 1997. The sci-fi summer blockbuster spawned two sequels.

Last year Jones took on the role of abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens in Steven Speilberg’s Lincoln. He was nominated for another Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

Tommy Lee Jones on hand for his new movie, The...

Tommy Lee Jones on hand for his new movie, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. Cropped image from the file below. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cate Blanchett 5.14.13 Thought of the Day

“If you know you are going to fail, then fail gloriously.”– Cate Blanchett

English: Actress Cate Blanchett at the 2011 Sy...

English: Actress Cate Blanchett at the 2011 Sydney Film Festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Catherine Élise Blanchett was born on this day in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia  in 1969. She is 44 years old.

She is the middle child born to Bob and June Blanchett. Her parents met by chance when her father — a Petty Officer in the US Navy —  was on leave in Melbourne (his ship, The USS Arneb was docked in the harbor for repairs.)

She grew up in the  Ivanhoe neighborhood where she went to Ivanhoe Girl’s Grammar School and Methodist Ladies College (secondary school). She attended the University of Melbourne where she studied economics and fine arts. She continued her education at the National Institute of Dramatic Art.

Her professional acting career started on the Sydney stage  and she landed her first big role in Oleanna by David Mamet in 1992.

For her … performance, Blanchett won the Sydney Theatre Critics Circle Newcomer Award in 1993. She also received critical acclaim for roles in the theater productions of Hamlet, The Tempest and The Seagull. [Biography.com]

She made her film debut in 1997’s fabulous Paradise Road with Glenn Close and Frances McDormand. She plays a nurse, Susan, in an internment camp on Sumatra during World War II. The women of the camp form a vocal orchestra to keep their spirits up in the face of harsh conditions and cruel punishments.

Blanchett and McDormat in Paradise Road [Image courtesy: FanPop.com]

Blanchett and McDormand in Paradise Road [Image courtesy: FanPop.com]

Also in 1997 she made the period drama Oscar and Lucinda with Ralph Fiennes. The following year she starred as Queen Elizabeth I  in Elizabeth. She won a BAFTA and Golden Globe for the role (and was nabbed her first Academy Award nomination). She mixed additional movie roles  (An Ideal Husband,  The Talented Mr. Ripley, The Gift) with a starring role in Plenty on London’s West End.

Middle Earth came calling in 2001 when Peter Jackson cast her as Galadriel in the film adaptation of  J.R.R. Tolkien‘s The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring. Her performance as the beautiful, powerful Elf Queen was reprised in The Two Towers, The Return of the King and The Hobbit.

Cate Blanchett portrays Galadriel in The Lord ...

Cate Blanchett portrays Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the Aviator Blanchett took on the role of film icon Katharine Hepburn. She won an Oscar for her performance opposite Leonardo DiCapro in the 2005 film. The following year she continued her run of roles in which she starred opposite A list actors, incluidng Brad Pitt in Babel, George Clooney in The Good German and Dame Judi Dench in Notes on a Scandal.

She rounded out the decade by:

  • getting rave reviews as one of six actor embodying the persona of Bob Dylan in I’m Not Here
  • repeating her performance as Elizabeth Rex in Elizabeth: The Golden Age (The first one was much better than this sequel.)
  • playing a KGB agent, Irna Spalko, in Indian Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
  • starring opposite Pitt again, this time in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

In 2010 Blanchett donned another long gown, this time for her role as Marion Loxley in Ridley Scott’s action packed version of Robin Hood. The following year she showed her very nasty side in Hanna.

Coming up for Blanchett is a Woody Allen film, Blue Jasmine, due out this July,  and a duo of Terrance Malick  films that are currently in post-production, Lawless and Knight of Cups.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (film)

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

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