Happy 116th Birthday Katharine Hepburn

Today is Katharine Hepburn’s 116th birthday.  I tried to narrow down my favorite film of hers, but I couldn’t.  If you haven’t seen “A Delicate Balance,” you should, it showcases some of the her best acting in a screenplay by Edward Albee.  You can’t go wrong with that team.

We can all take inspiration from her fearless individuality. She created her own identity, her own reality, how she knew was the best way for her to live her life how she could do it within the construct of Hollywood, fame and the entertainment industry. We don’t have to worry about all that as much as just being as uncompromisingly authentic to ourselves as possible. Unapologetically organic. Most everyone can sniff out a fake just as much as they can recognize when they are witnessing realness. Be like Kate. The world is a better place because she was in it and still feels the loss that she has left.

NAME: Katharine Hepburn
OCCUPATION: Film Actress, Theater Actress
BIRTH DATE: May 12, 1907
DEATH DATE: June 29, 2003
EDUCATION: Bryn Mawr College
PLACE OF BIRTH: Hartford, Connecticut
PLACE OF DEATH: Old Saybrook, Connecticut
OSCAR FOR BEST ACTRESS: 1934 for Morning Glory
OSCAR FOR BEST ACTRESS: 1968 for Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
OSCAR FOR BEST ACTRESS: 1969 for The Lion in Winter
OSCAR FOR BEST ACTRESS: 1982 for On Golden Pond
EMMY: 1975 for Love Among the Ruins
HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME: 6288 Hollywood Blvd.

BEST KNOWN FOR: Katharine Hepburn was an actress known as a spirited performer with a touch of eccentricity in films such as The African Queen and On Golden Pond.

Katharine Houghton Hepburn was an American actress of film, stage, and television. In a career that spanned 62 years as a leading lady, she was best known for playing strong-willed, sophisticated women in both dramas and comedies.

I wear my sort of clothes to save me the trouble of deciding which clothes to wear.

Raised in Connecticut by wealthy, progressive parents, Hepburn turned to acting after graduation from Bryn Mawr College. After four years in the theatre, favorable reviews of her work on Broadway brought her to the attention of Hollywood. She became an instant star with her feature debut, 1932’s A Bill of Divorcement, and within 18 months received an Academy Award for Morning Glory. This initial success was followed by a series of commercial failures, and in 1938 she was labeled “box office poison”. Hepburn masterminded her own comeback, buying herself out of her contract with RKO Radio Pictures and acquiring the film rights to The Philadelphia Story, which she sold on the condition that she be the star. The movie was a hit, and Hepburn’s career was successfully revived.

In 1941 she joined Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and began an alliance with Spencer Tracy, forming a popular partnership that produced nine movies over 25 years. Her work began to slow in this decade, and is dominated by the pictures she made with Tracy. Hepburn’s output expanded in the 1950s, as she frequently worked overseas and appeared in a number of Shakespeare productions on the stage. On screen she found a niche in playing middle-aged spinsters, including The African Queen, and the public embraced Hepburn in these roles. She enjoyed a great level of success in the latter half of her life, winning three more Oscars for her work in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, The Lion in Winter and On Golden Pond. In 1973 she made her first appearance in a television movie, and the medium was where she found her greatest success in her later years. She remained active into old age, making her final screen appearance in 1994 at the age of 87.

Hepburn was famously outspoken and evasive with the press, while refusing to conform to societal expectations of women. She married once, before moving to Hollywood, but thereafter maintained an independent lifestyle. In 1941, Hepburn began an affair with her co-star Spencer Tracy and became devoted to the actor. They remained together until his death in 1967, although the relationship was hidden from the public and Tracy never divorced his wife. After a period of inactivity and ill-health, Hepburn died in 2003 at the age of 96.

Hepburn received a total of 12 Academy Award nominations for Best Actress throughout her career, and her four wins is a record for a performer. Her on-screen persona often matched her own independent personality, and she came to epitomize the “modern woman” in 20th century America. She is credited with helping change the way females were depicted on screen, and acknowledged as an influential figure in the public’s changing perception of women. In 1999, she was named by the American Film Institute as the top female legend of the screen.

If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased.

Birth of the Living Dead (18-Oct-2013) as Herself
Love Affair (21-Oct-1994)
The Man Upstairs (6-Dec-1992)
Laura Lansing Slept Here (7-Mar-1988)
Mrs. Delafield Wants to Marry (30-Mar-1986)
George Stevens: A Filmmaker’s Journey (25-Sep-1984) as Herself
Grace Quigley (May-1984)
On Golden Pond (4-Dec-1981) as Ethel Thayer
Olly, Olly, Oxen Free (Aug-1979)
The Corn Is Green (29-Jan-1979)
Rooster Cogburn (17-Oct-1975) as Eula
Love Among the Ruins (6-Mar-1975)
The Glass Menagerie (16-Dec-1973) as Amanda Wingfield
A Delicate Balance (10-Dec-1973) as Agnes
The Trojan Women (27-Sep-1971) as Hecuba
The Madwoman of Chaillot (12-Oct-1969) as Countess Aurelia
The Lion in Winter (30-Oct-1968) as Eleanor of Aquitaine
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (11-Dec-1967) as Christina Drayton
Long Day’s Journey Into Night (9-Oct-1962) as Mary Tyrone
Suddenly, Last Summer (22-Dec-1959) as Mrs. Venable
Desk Set (1-May-1957)
The Rainmaker (13-Dec-1956) as Lizzie Curry
The Iron Petticoat (12-Dec-1956) as Vinka Kovelenko
Summertime (21-Jun-1955) as Jane Hudson
Pat and Mike (13-Jun-1952) as Pat Pemberton
The African Queen (23-Dec-1951) as Rose Sayer
Adam’s Rib (18-Nov-1949) as Amanda Bonner
State of the Union (30-Apr-1948) as Mary Matthews
Song of Love (Oct-1947) as Clara Wieck Schumann
The Sea of Grass (27-Feb-1947) as Lutie Cameron
Undercurrent (28-Nov-1946) as Ann Hamilton
Without Love (22-Mar-1945) as Jamie Rowan
Dragon Seed (18-Jul-1944) as Jade
Stage Door Canteen (24-Jun-1943) as Herself
Keeper of the Flame (Dec-1942) as Christine Forrest
Woman of the Year (19-Jan-1942) as Tess Harding
The Philadelphia Story (1-Dec-1940) as Tracy Lord
Holiday (15-Jun-1938) as Linda Seton
Bringing Up Baby (18-Feb-1938) as Susan
Stage Door (8-Oct-1937) as Terry Randall
Quality Street (26-Mar-1937) as Phoebe Throssel
A Woman Rebels (29-Oct-1936) as Pamela Thistlewaite
Mary of Scotland (28-Jul-1936) as Mary Stuart
Sylvia Scarlett (12-Dec-1935) as Sylvia Scarlett
Alice Adams (14-Aug-1935) as Alice Adams
Break of Hearts (16-May-1935) as Constance Dane Roberti
The Little Minister (28-Dec-1934)
Spitfire (8-Mar-1934) as Trigger Hicks
Little Women (16-Nov-1933) as Jo
Morning Glory (16-Aug-1933) as Eva Lovelace
Christopher Strong (9-Mar-1933) as Lady Cynthia Darrington
A Bill of Divorcement (30-Sep-1932) as Sydney Fairfield

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