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Audrey Hepburn once said, "Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'!" She believed that anything was achievable, like from nearly dying to becoming a world famous actress and fashion icon. Audrey was born in Brussels, Belgium by the name of Edda Kathleen Hepburn-Ruston. She came into the lives of Baroness Ella van Heemstra and Joseph Victor Anthony on May 4, 1929. When Audrey was 8 years old, her father left her family. During World War II, her mother sent her to the Germany to live with relatives (Flounder). Later in her life, she made her first debut into the acting world in the musical High Button Shoes as a chorus girl in London (Biography.com Editors). When she became famous, Audrey traveled the world helping children in need with her knowledge of what was happening to them and from her own experiences. Later, she became an ambassador for UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund) in 1988. On January 20, 1993, Audrey died, at age 63, from colon cancer in Tolochenaz, Switzerland. People can be heros for many different reasons. Maybe they saved a kitten from a burning building or gave up an organ for a child with cancer. Two qualities that a person needs to be a hero is selflessness and the gift of giving hope. Audrey Hepburn is an iconic actress, but is also an inspiration to people everywhere, through her selfless acts and all of the hope she gave.
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Audrey Hepburn was selfless enough to devote the later part of her life to UNICEF, instead of living the typical celebrity life. In March 1987, Danny Kaye, a famous actor and UNICEF's most popular Goodwill Ambassador, died. This left an opening for someone else to take over. Barry Paris, author of Audrey Hepburn, said, "Now that her sons were grown, in 1988, instead of retiring in comfort to the jet set, Hepburn began the job that would occupy the last five years of her life: Special Ambassador for the United Nations Children's Fund" (Paris, 332). Audrey didn't just care about herself, she used her time to take care of the less fortunate. She could have been lounging on some beach somewhere, but she decided to use her time working selflessly in less fortunate areas and joining an organization that helped her when she needed it most. Audrey is a great example of using her time and energy for others. Audrey also did anything she could for UNICEF, from volunteering for trips to unfortunate places to giving what she had to the organization. Polly Flounder, author of "The Immortal Audrey Hepburn," said, "In her last movie, Steven Spielberg's Always (1989), she played an angel, dressed in white sweater and slacks. It wasn't a big part, but she made more than a million dollars for the appearance. She turned much of the money over to UNICEF, still determined to spare other lives in thanks for her own" (Flounder). Audrey was selfless enough to give most of her earnings from her last movie to the organization that helped bring her to where she was at the end of her life. That money helped bring many children out of unfortunate situations. She put what she had into making the world a better place. Audrey Hepburn is a hero because of all of the unselfish acts that she has done for those in need, most of which helped people like her, with UNICEF.
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From working with less fortunate families to acting on stage to just being herself, Audrey gave hope everywhere she went. In Tokyo, Audrey met Christina Roth, chief of UNICEF's Geneva office. They became great friends and later helpmates. Barry Paris, author of Audrey Hepburn, states that "For Roth, as for so many, Hepburn had been a role model. 'I'm fifty-four,' she says, 'so when I was a teenager, it was time of Brigitte Bardotâ€•and I was as skinny as Audrey. I thought, if it's not wrong for her, why should I feel bad about looking like that?' From now on, back in Switzerland, It was Christa who assisted her in a hundred ways..." (Paris, 333). Audrey gave hope to Christa Roth that even though she came from an unfortunate time, she could become as successful as Audrey when she became older. Roth ended up achieving that success and was able to help Audrey through UNICEF, all because of Audrey's example. Even though Audrey Hepburn was a phenomenal actress, she never thought that she could ever make it in the Hollywood world. Polly Flounder, author of "The Immortal Audrey Hepburn," said that "...Hepburn never had her heart-or her sights-set on Hollywood and stardom. 'My career,' she once said, 'is a complete mystery to me. It's been a total surprise since the first day. I never thought I was going to be an actress, I never thought I was going to be in movies, I never thought it would all happen the way it did'" (Flounder). Audrey never thought that she could ever get out of the situation she was in when she was younger. Even though she did not believe that she could ever be an actress, she still overcame her obstacles and became the amazing person she was. Therefore, she gives hope that anything is possible, even when it seems like it can never be true. Audrey Hepburn is a hero by the way she was able to give hope to those who needed it, through her actions and personal experiences.
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Audrey Hepburn is an iconic actress, but is also an inspiration to people everywhere, through her service to others and the hope she gave. Audrey was selfless because of her actions. She never used her social status for herself because she always put the needy and the unfortunate before herself. Audrey also gave hope to people worldwide. She showed that anything is possible, as long as you work at it. Audrey Hepburn is an inspiration to many because of how unselfish and kind she was. Barry Paris, author of Audrey Hepburn, said that when Audrey was at the Canberra Press Club, she was asked what she really did for UNICEF. She replied: "'My task is to inform, to create awareness of the needs of children,'...'It would be nice to be an expert on education, economics, politics, religions, traditions and cultures. I'm none of those. But I am a mother and will travel'" (Paris, 344). Audrey still thought about other people and brought cheer to all of the people who needed it, no matter what was on her agenda. Even though Audrey never thought in her wildest dreams that she could become a famous actress, fashion icon, and well known hero, she accomplished all of these. Audrey did this by being generous, a hope giver, and an inspiration to all. Audrey was right, "Nothing is impossible..."
Flonder, Polly. "The Immortal Audrey Hepburn." Biography, vol. 2, no. 8, Aug. 1998, p. 46.
Paris, Barry. Audrey Hepburn. New York, Berkley Books, 2001.
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Last edited 5/19/2017 12:00:00 AM