“My work is the best reward for me.”  20 years ago Katharine Hepburn passed away

In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked the best actresses in the history of American cinematography, placing her in first place. He’s called eccentric, tomboyish, against the stars, but he’s also the first lady of cinema—in short, Katharine Hepburn. From the moment she arrived in Hollywood, she was anything but a well-mannered Hollywood star, conforming to the rules and habits of the Dream Factory. She dressed as she saw fit, refused interviews, avoided autograph hunters like the plague, and until her life no one had access to the data. Character” – summarized film historian Stanislav Janicki in “Odeon. Film Columns” (2013).

Hepburn was born on May 12, 1907, in Hartford, Connecticut, one of six children of the venerable physician Thomas Hepburn and women’s rights activist Katherine Martha Hutton. The actress often referred to family ties, emphasizing how much she is indebted to her. “They always encouraged us to think independently. We read a lot. (…) I owe them everything I have, everything I’ve been able to achieve” – ​​she declares in the documentary All About Myself (1993).

At the age of 14, Katherine experienced a personal tragedy that had a major impact on her life. Older brother Tom hanged himself in the bedroom. Whether it was suicide or, as the father claimed in the press release, an accident caused by an ill-fated attempt at a rope trick is never made clear. “The next morning, I went upstairs to wake him up. There he was — beside the bed, knees — hanging by a torn piece of sheet. He was tied to the rafters. He was dead. He was strangled. It made no sense. The actress admitted in an interview with Vanity Fair” In a state of numb shock I cut him off and laid him on the bed.” “This incident cut me off from the world I knew. (…) I tried to go to school, but I felt isolated. I saw something girls didn’t see: tragedy,” she recalled years later. Perhaps it was because of her brother’s memory that she later stated that she was born on November 8 (Tom’s birthday).

She took her first steps on the professional stage in 1928 in Baltimore, playing a minor role in the theatrical play “The Tsarina”. She managed to reveal her talent so much that less than a year later she was performing on Broadway. “She turned out to be a stately, independent and surprising actress. Therefore, she was constantly broken up, or rather, new contracts were not signed, sometimes she was asked to take part in performances, only to quit performing after a while” – Stanislav Janicki reviews.

In 1932, she delighted theater critics with her role in the play The Warrior Husband. This led to the suggestion of a film contract. Interestingly, the work on the set of the film did not excite the actress, who – a little strange – demanded an exorbitant amount, which surprised the studio. This is how Hepburn first appeared on the big screen – the title of the film was – Omen! – “The Divorce Bill” (1932) by George Cukor, with whom the actress would meet several times on the set.

Hepburn’s film debut confirmed her acting ability. RKO Pictures – one of the leading Hollywood film studios at that time – decided to sign a contract with the actress for five more films. The following year, the Lowell Sherman melodrama Morning Glory appeared on the screens. The film tells the story of a simple country girl who decides to try her hand at acting on Broadway. Hepburn plays a major role in it, for which he received his first Oscar. It will get four in total, having been nominated twelve times. However, he will wait 34 years to get his second statuette.

In the same year, he also shot “Little Women”, dir. George Cukor. The film won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, and in 1995 it will be included in the Vatican’s list of 45 “Important and Valuable Feature Films”, compiled on the occasion of the centenary of cinema. A few years later, Hepburn tried out for a role in Gone with the Wind. But without much conviction, because she thought it was too ugly for her. In the end, the character of Scarlett O’Hara was played by the not-so-well-known Vivien Leigh.

Despite her success and recognition, Hepburn felt a lot of nervousness before going on stage. “Not mingling with the Hollywood crowd, she sought the company of an elite of intellectuals. Honest, and often arrogant, she demanded respect from bosses and producers for herself and her way of being.” Janick noticed.

In 1928, she married Ludlow Ogden Smith. However, the marriage broke up six years later, when on the set of the movie “Woman of the Year” she met Spencer Tracy – an actor with whom she began an affair, although at first they did not like each other. Tracy turns out to be the love of Hepburn’s life, even though they never married. The actor had been married before, and as a conservative Catholic, he did not acknowledge the divorce. The actress explained, “I didn’t destroy their marriage. It was a fantasy before I came along.”

Hepburn and Tracy made up one of the most important film duos in historyHe plays in: “Keeper of the Flame” (1942) by George Cukor, “Without Love” (1945) by Harold S. Bucquet, “Sea of ​​Grass” (1947) by Elia Kazan, “The State of the Union” (1948) by Frank Capra, “Adam’s Rib” (1949) by Cukor and in the comedy “Pat and Mike” (1952) by Cukor, “Desk on Transistors” (1957) by Walter Lang, and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” 1967) by Stanley Kramer.

“It was the most beautiful love story because it was our only secret.”

– said the actress years later. However, everyone learned about their relationship, including the actor’s wife. Tracy and Hepburn’s relationship was not easy. Not because they were completely different characters, but above all because of the actor’s depression and alcoholism. Hepburn was even able to give up her career to take care of Spencer, who was no longer involved with anyone after her death (1967). She later recalled: “I loved him and wanted to be with him. If I left him, I would have made both of us unhappy.”

In 1940, he played alongside Cary Grant and James Stewart in The Philadelphia Story. Directed by Cukor, the film received as many as 6 Academy Award nominations. It’s also a huge success for Hepburn, after whom she becomes the leading star of the MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) studio powerhouse. In 1951, in “African Queen,” she created a duet with Humphrey Bogart, which earned her another Oscar nomination—but she didn’t receive it. The statuette went to her after the movie “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (1967). It was the last movie with Tracy. Shooting ended several days before the death of the actor. A year later, Hepburn received another statuette – for the movie “The Lion in Winter” (1968). In the film directed by Anthony Harvey, she played Queen Eleanor, wife of King Henry II of England (Peter O’Toole).

The seventies did not bring the actress much publicity. She won her fourth and final Oscar in 1981 for On Golden Pond, Abbey. Mark Riedel. Although the most important acting statuette went to her four times, which was a record, she never received any of it personally, explaining – “My work is my best reward.” She has appeared on the big screen many times. Last time in “The Amorous Adventure” (1994) dir. Glenn Gordon Caron.

“Let’s face it—we’re whores. My whole life I’ve been selling myself, my face, my body, the way I move, how I talk. It’s like this: You can look at me, but you have to pay for it.”

she wrote in her diary.

Katharine Hepburn passed away on June 29, 2003.

Source: niezalezna.pl, pap

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