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Audrey Hepburn: Fair Lady of the Screen Mass Market Paperback – 15 Jul 1993
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"As Ian Woodward demonstrates in this well-researched biography, she was every bit as charming and delightful off screen as on" (Mail on Sunday)
AN INTIMATE PORTRAIT OF A SCREEN ICONSee all Product description
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Woodward divides his biography into five chapters, starting with "War and Peace" - a scary and brutal account of Audrey's childhood in Nazi-occupied Holland. The author reveals the awful reality that Audrey and many others faced during this time, but shows that she found dance and performance as an escape mechanism.
Next, "English Rhapsody" shows Audrey developing as a ballet dancer in the United Kingdom. At this stage, the fantasy world of Hollywood movies was not even in her sights.
In "Hollywood Romance", Woodward details Audrey's breakthrough into A-List movies with the classic fairy-tale "Roman Holiday" and reveals her rumoured interactions with some of her leading men, and her ill-fated marriage to Mel Ferrer. Woodward highlights that Audrey was more surprised than anyone when she broke through as an actress as she had never had an acting lesson! The author charts the development in Audrey's career including her performances in "Sabrina", "Funny Face" and "The Nun's Story", and describes how Audrey started working with Hubert de Givenchy who became her life-long friend and fashion guru.
"Motherhood" shows how Audrey changed her lifestyle when she became a mother, but continued to make movies, including "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "My Fair Lady". Woodward sympathetically shows how Audrey struggled to find true happiness in her personal relationships, despite motherhood and a phenomenally successful movie career.
Finally, "The Eternal Phoenix" illustrates Audrey returning to Rome and marrying Andrea Dotti. Woodward paints a relatively negative picture of both of Audrey's husbands, and if half of what the author states is true, Audrey seems to have been badly let down by the men she trusted. Woodward reveals Audrey found possibly her best relationship towards the end of her life with Robert Wolders - probably the only time she was truly happy in a relationship. Also, her charitable contribution to UNICEF is documented.
Woodward's biography paints a wonderful picture of Audrey - she comes alive with the energy and joie de vivre that makes her image so enduring. Throughout the book, the author successfully shows that there were two Audrey's - a glamorous screen goddess and fashion icon, but also a quiet and relatively normal wife and mother. Overall, it is a fair portrayal of the "Fair Lady of the Screen".