STORIES
Women

Audrey Hepburn

by Jacqueline from San Diego

Audrey Hepburn (http://shiningmalika.blogspot.com/2011/07/art-of-a (shiningmalika))
Audrey Hepburn (http://shiningmalika.blogspot.com/2011/07/art-of-a (shiningmalika))

During the Golden Age of Hollywood, Audrey Hepburn was one of many actresses distinguished for their stunning beauty. Even though she was a famous actress, she was also known to travel the world in hopes of releasing children from the pain of poverty and famine. Born with the name of Audrey Kathleen Ruston on May 4, 1929 in Brussels, Belgium, Hepburn lived during World War II and persevered through German threats of bombings and murder. Her aspiration to be a prima ballerina kept her alive until the end of the war, but unfortunately, her dreams "were crushed when she was told that she was too tall and had begun training too late in life" (Salmon). However, she recovered from the shock and began to take small parts in movie until she was scouted by French author, Colette. She was invited to play a part in a movie adaption of Colette's book Gigi, which was her big break as an actress. In addition to being an acclaimed actress, Audrey Hepburn defined her character through her inspiring integrity suggests that celebrities are just normal people at the end of the day, her dauntless motivation that managed to change how many people viewed third-world countries, and her never ending compassion towards others that saved many lives.

Audrey Hepburn displayed her integrity through her enthusiasm towards saving children suffering from the pain of wars, famine, and illnesses. As a young girl, she lived in Holland which was under German threat because of World War II. She wanted to contribute to the resistance against the Germans, and she worked towards what she believed was right, no matter how small the change was. "Hepburn and other children passed money and notes to resistance workers, knowing that they would be killed if caught" (Salmon). Hepburn didn't care about the consequences, and wanted to be true to what she believed in. This teaches others that when under a threat, you need to stand up for what you believe in order to make a change. "Hepburn utilized her experiences in ministering to the world's starving children, many of whom did not know that the beautiful woman was a movie star" (Biography in Context). She was a hero because not once did she want to announce to the world that she was a famous actress. Hepburn was honest about her moral values as a person even when celebrities were expected to stay in their cozy homes in Hollywood. Audrey Hepburn was a righteous woman that stood up for her morals and beliefs which continue to inspire many people to stand up for what is right.

Hepburn carrying a child in Somalia (http://www.unicef.org/photography/photo_goodwill_a (UNICEF))
Hepburn carrying a child in Somalia (http://www.unicef.org/photography/photo_goodwill_a (UNICEF))

Even though there were other people that traveled the world and third-world countries to help children, not many celebrities would go through such great lengths to help children, except Hepburn. Her dedication led people to understand that anyone can make a difference, no matter how small. After being named the UNICEF's goodwill ambassador, Hepburn immediately decided to begin her work traveling around the world. "Making more than 50 trips, Hepburn visited UNICEF projects in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America" (A&E Networks). She decided on her own that she would go on these trips to help children, this was her dedication towards the UNICEF. Because of her decision, she was able to explain, without words, about the importance of persevering and doing your best to do what you believe in as much as possible. Even when it got hard, Audrey Hepburn kept persevering and continued to fight for what was right until the very end of her life. "During that year, though ill with cancer, she had continued her work for UNICEF, travelling to Somalia, Kenya, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, France and the United States" (Salmon). Even with cancer, she still wanted to continue her work as a humanitarian regardless if she was at death's door, or not. Her efforts for the unnoticed children of the world showed that it was worth it to work hard. Audrey Hepburn wanted to work towards changing the world into a better place with no homeless or orphaned children, and she was determined to make this change happen no matter what, and with this mindset, she managed to change the lives of many children across the globe.

Hepburn aiding children in Somalia (http://www.unicef.org/photography/photo_goodwill_a (UNICEF))
Hepburn aiding children in Somalia (http://www.unicef.org/photography/photo_goodwill_a (UNICEF))

Not everyone in the world can be a Hollywood actress such as Audrey Hepburn, but what made her such a down to earth person was her deep love and compassion for others. During one of her missions, "her sad but hopeful account galvanized the world's response to the dreadful famine and warfare that would eventually kill thousands in that West African country." (Encyclopedia of World Biography). Although she knew that the famine would kill many citizens of West Africa, she wanted to reduce the amount of deaths. Though she had no connection to Africa, her endless love for the less fortunate empowered her to save others. While most famous people would just be satisfied with donating a large amount of money to a charity, she set herself apart from others by traveling around the world in hopes of raising awareness of the worldwide famine and warfare that was killing children. "She put her time and energy, as well as her substantial popularity, into bringing attention to children that have been abandoned. Her tireless work brought worldwide attention to the appalling conditions faced by refugees and vulnerable members of poor and war-torn countries. Hepburn gave speeches and interviews, made public appearances, and joined fundraising efforts to support a cause close to her heart." (Salmon). In addition to donating money to fund-raising efforts, she gave public appearances, and tried to raise awareness for what was going on around the world. Hepburn showed her deep compassion by using her fame for a good cause, to use her efforts in order to help those that genuinely needed it, such as war-torn countries with many orphaned children. Audrey Hepburn was a compassionate actress that set herself apart from other regular celebrities by working towards a better world with no child left behind to die of starvation, war, famine, or illnesses.

Hepburn after a trip to Ethiopia (http://www.bbcamerica.com/anglophenia/2012/04/the- (Marty Lederhandler))
Hepburn after a trip to Ethiopia (http://www.bbcamerica.com/anglophenia/2012/04/the- (Marty Lederhandler))

Audrey Hepburn set herself apart from other actors and actresses because of her great deeds of compassion, determination, and integrity. Her ability to love people unconditionally allowed her to succeed in getting children from around the world to be noticed and therefore, saved many lives from dying of war, hunger, famine, and illnesses. She has inspired me to do the best I can, no matter what others say, just like how her status as a celebrity didn't get in her way of helping other children. Hepburn was a powerful figure in society because of the way she motivated people such as myself, to help support children from third-world countries and find a way to prevent anyone of all ages from being starved or ill, even if I do just one small deed. Audrey Hepburn was a true hero because of her undying love of children and justice, and her motivation which helped me realize that outside our comfortable abode, contains a whole other world of suffering, war, famine, and epidemics.





Works Cited

A&E Networks Television. "Audrey Hepburn Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, 2014. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.

"Audrey Hepburn." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Biography in Context. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.

"Hepburn, Audrey." UXL Encyclopedia of World Biography. Ed. Laura B. Tyle. Vol. 5. Detroit:   UXL, 2003. 886-888. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 19 Mar. 2014.

Salmon, Virginia L., and Salmon Virginia L. "Audrey Hepburn." Great Lives From History: The Twentieth Century (2008): 1.Biography Reference Center. Web. 20 Mar. 2014.

UNICEF. "UNICEF People." UNICEF. N.p., 19 June 2003. Web. 24 Mar. 2014.

Page created on 4/19/2014 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 4/19/2014 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.
 

Related Links

Audrey Hepburn Children's Funds - -Audrey Hepburn's foundation to help children.
UNICEF - -The group which Hepburn was part of.
Tribute to Audrey Hepburn - -Additional information Audrey Hepburn's foundation.