Born: 12 May 1907
Died: 29 June 2003 (Natural causes)
Birthplace: Hartford, Connecticut
Best known as: Silver screen legend, star of The African Queen
Flinty and fabulous, Katharine Hepburn won four Academy Awards in an acting career which lasted more than 60 years. She began making movies in the 1930s and succeeded almost immediately, winning her first Oscar for Morning Glory
in 1933. Hepburn's characters were often brash, chilly or even haughty on the outside, yet emotionally fragile at their core; her quick wit, intelligence and high-class bearing served her especially well in comedies, notably with co-stars Cary Grant
and Spencer Tracy
. She is perhaps best known for her role as a prim missionary opposite Humphrey Bogart
in The African Queen
. She won two more Oscars for Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
(1967, with Tracy and Sidney Poitier
) and The Lion In Winter
(1968), and toward the end of her career the nostalgic On Golden Pond
(1981, with Henry Fonda
) got her a 12th nomination and a fourth Oscar. In 1996 she retired to Connecticut and lived there quietly until her death in 2003.
After a short marriage, Hepburn divorced in 1934 and remained single; she had a long love affair with Spencer Tracy… For many years Hepburn held the record for acting Oscar nominations, with 12; Meryl Streep passed her with a 13th nomination (for Adaptation) in 2003… Hepburn’s last feature film was Love Affair (1994, with Warren Beatty)… Hepburn was played by actress Cate Blanchett in the 2004 film The Aviator, which dramatized her fling with millionaire movie producer Howard Hughes… Hepburn was no relation to actress Audrey Hepburn.
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