STORIES
Women

Audrey Hepburn

by Nicki from San Diego

Audrey Hepburn as a child. (www.audreyhepburn.com ())
Audrey Hepburn as a child. (www.audreyhepburn.com ())

"As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others" (Audrey Hepburn). This line from the heroic Audrey Hepburn inspires people to be the change and the voice to better ones life. Born May 4, 1929, in Brussels, Belgium, Hepburn always possessed perseverance to achieve her goals and aspirations. As a child, she lived during the tragic period of World War II, and was discriminated as a Jew during the Holocaust. When Audrey turned eight years old, her father abandoned her family and they were left to suffer from extreme starvation during the Nazi invasion. Young Audrey did not lose hope in herself no matter how difficult the situation was. As Hepburn grew older, she moved to the United States and shocked people with her impeccable screen presence and acting skills. In 1953, Hepburn began her first major starring role in the movie Roman Holiday. After her incredible acting in this movie, she unexpectedly received her first Academy Award for Best Actress. Despite her acting and modeling career, Hepburn chose to take a break and spend time with her husband and two sons. During this time, she began working for UNICEF in 1988 to nurse famine children suffering from hardships and tremendous natural disasters. Being the ambassador of this organization, Hepburn traveled to over twenty countries witnessing families suffering from starvation and no shelter. Around the world, she reported everything she spotted to spread the word. In 1992, Hepburn was diagnosed with appendiceal cancer and medication did not ease her pain. Tragically, Audrey Hepburn passed away on January 20, 1993. Her legacy still remains and even though she suffered through hardships as a child and that did stop her from achieving her dream of not only being an actress, but helping others in need. Hepburn was not only a famous actress and model, but also a selfless hero that was humble in her life choices and inspired others by becoming a humanitarian of the organization UNICEF to save the lives of suffering children, but managed to help society as well.

Audrey Hepburn with her family. (www.baomoi.com ())
Audrey Hepburn with her family. (www.baomoi.com ())

Even though Hepburn had a serious acting and modeling career, she was humble enough to be able to juggle her humanitarian work with UNICEF to nurture children who were suffering in different parts of the world. Audrey decided to take a break from her exotic career and help others in need." In turn, Hepburn yielded to a calling other than acting, preferring to spend her time with her two sons and working for UNICEF. 'If there was a cross between the salt of the earth and a regal queen,' Shirley MacLaine told People, 'then she was it'" ("Audrey Hepburn" Newsmakers). Hepburn, an impassioned spokeswoman, became the goodwill ambassador for the organization UNICEF in 1988. She thought that the life of others was more important than her acting career and she could not bear to see children suffer in pain. Her main goal in life was to make a difference and that is exactly what she did. Shirley MacLaine also mentioned that Hepburn was "a cross between the salt of earth and a regal queen" meaning that even though she was a famous actress, she still had that caring and nurturing side to her. Her number one goal was to save lives and her second goal was to pursue her career. Audrey was not greedy over her famous career; she thought of others as well. "Instead of using the title for travel privileges and charity balls, Hepburn worked in the field, nursing sick children and reporting on the suffering she witnessed" ("Audrey Hepburn" Newsmakers). Hepburn was very adventurous and enjoyed seeing others healthy and living in a well state of mind. That is why she could not bear to see the children and families suffering through agonizing pain and living in terrible conditions. Audrey Hepburn always had a humble personality and believed that others deserved to have a life as well as she did.

Audrey Hepburn saving lives in Somalia. (fanpop.com ())
Audrey Hepburn saving lives in Somalia. (fanpop.com ())

Hepburn's actions of traveling to different parts of the world and saving lives of families were helpful to society. Audrey traveled to many countries and reported the terrible living conditions that children and families dealt with. "For five years, Audrey traveled to over 20 countries witnessing innocent children struggling for survival.  She reported these conditions to world leaders, governments and the international media, detailing provocative, often gruesome details about millions of children and their families caught in the midst of natural and man made disasters" ("Audrey Hepburn's Children's Fund"). Audrey wanted to make a difference in other people's lives by helping them get to a better lifestyle. Hepburn also reported the news of what is occurring in the countries she traveled to, so she could spread the word and allow others to come and help. These actions not only helped society, but assisted the families in trouble because more and more people would donate to their cause. Before Hepburn was diagnosed with cancer, she decided to travel to Somalia to support people living in starvation and chaos of the warfare. "Her last plea proved most moving; Hepburn had traveled to Somalia in the fall of 1992, and 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. For all her otherworldly good looks, Hepburn was a down-to-earth, sensible actress in a Hollywood of excess" ("Audrey Hepburn" Encyclopedia of World Biography). Even though Hepburn was starting to get sick, she felt like the people being tortured in Africa mattered more. Also, she always wanted to make the world a better place for people to enjoy and live. Hepburn did not want her childhood to be repeated by witnessing all these families trying to survive. She traveled to many different countries, fed famine children, and gave shelter to families caught in natural disasters to make society a better place to live.

Audrey Hepburn's humanitarian work inspired others as well as the organization UNICEF to make differences in the world and her work is still appreciated by others. Hepburn enjoyed her work being an ambassador of UNICEF. "Audrey's work on behalf of UNICEF has served to inspire many others to reach out and commit their time to improving the lives of the world's children" ("Audrey Hepburn's Children's Fund"). Hepburn worked diligently to keep the aspirations of helping others and wanted people to continue doing the same in their life. Also, because of Audrey's sacrifices, others have learned that making a difference not only betters the society, but betters a person's personality overall. People still look up to all the work Hepburn has done with UNICEF. "Today, the Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund continues her work to bring help and hope to children around the world by raising funds and supporting organizations with the health, well being and education of children as their central mission" ("Audrey Hepburn's Children's Fund"). Hepburn's work inspired many to take action and make a difference around the world. Also, UNICEF continues to respect Hepburn's work and aspirations and believes children deserve hope. Audrey Hepburn made a huge difference around the world and inspired others to do the same.

Audrey Hepburn speaking in behalf of UNICEF. (arcus.centerblog.net ())
Audrey Hepburn speaking in behalf of UNICEF. (arcus.centerblog.net ())

Hepburn's work not only saved lives, but inspired people to never give up on life even if times are tough and one feels like they must not continue. Even though Audrey suffered tremendously as a child, she did not lose hope or faith in life. Living during the Holocaust, Hepburn was neglected by her father and her mother had difficulties trying to provide for her. When World War II was officially over, Audrey was able to move out to the United States to start a new life. Her presence and impeccable skills in dancing, singing and especially acting moved the whole world. Being the spokeswoman and ambassador of UNICEF, she was able to pursue her dreams of helping others who suffered from famine and warfare. Her death was a tragedy, but her amazing dedication to help others and perseverance to achieve her goals still remains.  Audrey Hepburn inspires others to always stay on the path of their aspirations and dreams. Personally, Audrey Hepburn educated me to become a better person and to make a difference in the world. She also taught others to not only take care of themselves, but to take care of others as well. Making a change in life not only makes society a better place, but it also makes one feel better about them selves. By her incredible actions, Audrey showed the world to be the voice of one who cannot be the voice of their own. The truest heroes possess characteristics that make a difference in the lives of others and do not lose hope in their own lives. Audrey Hepburn truly possesses this hope and her legacy will never be forgotten.

Works Cited

"Audrey Hepburn." Newsmakers. Detroit: Gale, 1993. Student Resources in Context. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.

"Audrey Hepburn." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Biography in Context. Web. 21 Mar. 2014.

"Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund - About the Fund." Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund - About the Fund. UNICEF, Web. 23 Mar. 2014

Page created on 4/15/2014 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 4/15/2014 12:00:00 AM

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