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Katharine Hepburn

Uploaded by gurlyguy on Feb 18, 2007

Katharine Hepburn was born on May 12, 1907, in Hartford, CT, at 22 Hudson Street, which was then opposite the Hartford Hospital. Her mother, Katharine Martha Houghton, was a strong willed and intelligent feminist and suffragist. Her father, Thomas Norval Hepburn, was a doctor who fought for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. Both of Hepburn's parents were strong advocates of birth control. Katharine credited her parents for her sense of adventure and independence.

Hepburn had five siblings, Tom (b. 1905), Dick (b. 1911), Bob (b. 1913), Marion (b. 1918) and Peg (b. 1920). In 1921, Katharine found her beloved brother Tom hanging by the neck in their aunt's attic while on a visit. It was never determined whether his death was a suicide or a stunt gone wrong, but his death was terribly traumatic for young Katharine, and would haunt her for years.

Hepburn attended Bryn Mawr College, graduating in 1928. While in college, she met Ludlow Ogden Smith, who she married in 1928 (and later divorced in 1934). Also at Bryn Mawr, she became active in theatrical productions, and after her senior year she appeared in two productions in Baltimore. That same year, she moved to New York to begin training as an actor, and appeared in her first New York production, The Big Pond. Although she was fired from that show after only one night, she soon found regular work on Broadway.

In 1932, Hepburn appeared on Broadway in The Warrior's Husband. Her performance was well received, and led to several screen tests, and eventually to a role in the 1932 film A Bill of Divorcement. Hepburn received excellent notices for her performance in this film. A string of films followed in the 1930s, including Morning Glory, her third film, for which Hepburn received her first Academy Award for Best Actress.

In 1933 Hepburn returned to New York to star in the Broadway production of The Lake, which turned out to be a critical and commercial failure. Upon her return to Hollywood, she starred in a string of films of varying quality and success, and by 1938 she was labeled "box office poison" by exhibitors who claimed that people weren't paying to see her films.

In 1939 Hepburn again returned to New York to star on Broadway, this time in The Philadelphia Story as Tracy Lord, a role playwright Philip Barry had written for her. The play was a tremendous success, and...

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Uploaded by:   gurlyguy

Date:   02/18/2007

Category:   Biographies

Length:   4 pages (838 words)

Views:   2692

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