Birth: May 12 th, 1907
Death: June 29th, 2003
Sisters: Peg and Marianne Hepburn.
Brothers: Tom, Robert and Richard Hepburn.
Husband: Ludlow Ogden Smith, or Ogden Ludlow; married in 1928, divorced in 1934.
Relationship(s): Leland Hayward, Howard Hughes, Spencer Tracy.
Education: Hartford School for Girls in Hartford, Connecticut. Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.
Who was Katharine Hepburn?
Four-time academy award winning American star of film, television and stage, widely recognized for her sharp wit and independence. She was also known for her strong characters on the screen, in a time (1940’s) when women in movies usually were presented as the weaker sex. She has won “Best Actress” Oscar-prize four times, and has been nominated eleven times. Only Meryl Streep holds the record for most overall acting nominations with fourteen.
Hepburn was born in Hartford Connecticut, to her father Thomas Norval Hepburn, and her mother, Katharine Martha Houghton. Her father was a successful surgeon, while her mother was a suffragette and birth control advocate. Therefore, Katharine and her siblings were not afraid of expressing frank wiews on various topics, like sex. Her father insisted that his children should be athletic, and encouraged swimming, horse back riding, golf and tennis. Eager to please her father, Katharine emerged as a fine athlete in her late teens, and won a bronze medal for figure skating. When she was still young, Hepburn found her older brother Tom, whom she idolized, hanging from the rafters by a rope, dead of suicide. She was devastated, and sank in to a deep depression. She shied away from other kids her age, and used her brother’s birth date as her own. It was not revealed until her biography, “Me: Stories Of My Life”, that her true birth date was really May 12th.
In 1928, Hepburn, at that time 21, married the businessman Ludlow, who was 29. In 1934 they were officially divorced.
Hepburn’s first leading role was in a production of “The Big Pond”, but there she was fired for forgetting her lines, tripping over her feet and for coming late. She continued to work in small stock company roles and as an understudy. Later, she was cast in the speaking Broadway play Art and Mrs. Bottle. She was fired from this role as well, but was re-hired when the director couldn’t find anyone to replace her. After another summer of stock companies, in 1932 Hepburn landed the role of Antiope the Amazon princess in The Warrior's Husband (an update of Lysistrata), which required her to wear a very short costume and debuted to excellent reviews. Hepburn became the talk of New York City, and began getting noticed by Hollywood.
MORNING GLORY (1933) with Katharine Hepburn and Doulgas Fairbanks in the leading roles.
Morning glory is the story about the wannabe- actress, whose looks draw more attention than her acting skills.
After her divorce with Ludlow Ogden Smith, Katharine hade several relationships with different men. In the play “The Warrior’s Husband”, she was said to enter the stage carrying a large stag on her shoulders. The RKO scout Leland Hayward discovered her, and he recommended her to “A Bill Of Divorcement”. This is probably also how they met each other, since Katharine had a romance with him. She also had a romance with Howard Hughes and Spencer Tracy. Katharine met Spencer Tracy on the set of “Woman Of The Year” in 1942, and behind the scenes they fell in love.