Born Andrey Kathleen Ruston in Antwerp, Belgium, daughter of a well-to-do British banker and a Dutch baroness mother. Ms. Hepburn attended private schools in England and the Netherlands, but after the divorce of her parents she was living with her mother in the Netherlands when the German invasion and occupation of World War II occurred.
After the landing of the Allied Forces on D-Day, things grew worse under the German occupiers. During the Dutch famine over the winter of 1944, brutality increased and the Nazis confiscated the Dutch people's limited supply of food and fuel for themselves. Without heat in their homes, or food to eat, people in the Netherlands starved and froze to death in the streets, their dead bodies stacked one on top of another. Suffering from starvation, Ms. Hepburn developed numerous health problems associated with malnutrition and the impact of those times would shape her life and values.
After the war, she and her mother moved to London, England where she studied ballet, worked as a model, and, in 1951 began acting in films. After being chosen to play the lead character in the Broadway play, Gigi, and after a successful run in New York, Ms. Hepburn was offered a starring role in the Hollywood motion picture, Roman Holiday. For her performance, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress and over her illustrious career she would be nominated best actress four more times.
One of Hollywood's most popular box-office attractions, Audrey Hepburn co-starred with major actors such as Fred Astaire, Humphrey Bogart, Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, Rex Harrison, Peter O'Toole, Gregory Peck, and Sean Connery.
From 1967 onward, after fifteen highly successful years in film, Ms. Hepburn only acted occasionally, her last role filmed in 1988 just before she was appointed as a special ambassador to the United Nations Children's Fund . Grateful for her own good fortune after being a victim of Nazi atrocities as a child, Audrey Hepburn dedicated herself for the remainder of her life to helping impoverished children in the world's poorest nations.
In 1992, President George Bush Sr. presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of her work with UNICEF. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, posthumously awarded her The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for her contribution to humanity.
Audrey Hepburn has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1652 Vine Street.