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She met with John F. Kennedy, and her parents "glorified" fascism: 5 little-known facts about Audrey Hepburn. Photos and videos

Darya SkubEntertainment
From left to right: Audrey Hepburn dancing, a still from the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's, and John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Audrey Hepburn, the muse of French fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy, was a sensual actress who could play any role and one of the greatest style icons of the twentieth century! Her signature look in Breakfast at Tiffany's – a little black dress, big sunglasses, high hair and pearls – remains legendary to this day. But Hepburn is much more than her many film roles and exquisite outfits!

During the Second World War, an unknown girl helped the Dutch resistance movement against the Nazis. Later, at the peak of her fame, she quit acting and became a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF... On the occasion of Audrey Hepburn's 95th birthday, we decided to tell you the most interesting facts from her life in the OBOZ.UA article. The ones that will change your perception of her! The actress lived for 63 years. The cause of her death was colorectal cancer.

1. Her parents were supporters of fascism

In the mid-1930s, fascism took hold in Britain. This was facilitated by the British Union of Fascists (BUF), led by Sir Oswald Mosley. Audrey's father, Joseph Victor Ruston, and her mother, Baroness Ella van Gemstra, were members of the BUF. In 1935, the two toured Germany with other members of the organization, including the infamous Mitford sisters (British aristocrats who were imprisoned for their Nazi sympathies). In Munich, Ella met Adolf Hitler and wrote several favorable articles about him for BUF's publication The Blackshirt...

She met with John F. Kennedy, and her parents ''glorified'' fascism: 5 little-known facts about Audrey Hepburn. Photos and videos

When the BUF radicalized and its violent anti-Semitic views came to the fore, Ella joined the Dutch resistance movement. Audrey's father, on the other hand, abandoned the family (his daughter was 6 years old at the time) and moved to London, where he became deeply involved in fascist activities."It was the most traumatic event in my life... A tragedy from which I think I will never recover. I adored him and missed him terribly from the day he disappeared. I was always jealous of other people's children: I would come home in tears because they had a dad ," the actress shared her personal story in an interview.

It is also known that Hepburn, as an adult, could not come to terms with her parents' dark past... However, she never quarreled with her mother about her "glorification" of Hitler. But, according to Audrey, "for many years she carried the burden of this mistake."

She met with John F. Kennedy, and her parents ''glorified'' fascism: 5 little-known facts about Audrey Hepburn. Photos and videos

2. She witnessed the horrors of war and helped the resistance movement

During World War II, 11-year-old Audrey moved to the Netherlands. Her mother believed that she would be safe in a country that had promised to remain neutral. The Nazis invaded anyway... Hepburn, like millions of others, almost died of starvation when the occupiers stopped supplying food. Nettles, tulip bulbs, and water helped her survive... She was almost 168 centimeters tall and weighed 40 kilograms. The girl suffered from asthma, jaundice and other diseases caused by malnutrition. When Audrey was too weak to get out of bed, she would spend time with a book in her hands, hoping to drive obsessive thoughts about food out of her mind.

She met with John F. Kennedy, and her parents ''glorified'' fascism: 5 little-known facts about Audrey Hepburn. Photos and videos

In the German-occupied Netherlands, Audrey witnessed young men being pushed against a wall in the street and shot. She saw trains filled with Jews being deported, their faces peering through the cracks in the top of the cars. "I remember one little boy standing with his parents on the platform, very pale, wearing a coat that was too big for him... and he got on the train. I was a child watching a child," Hepburn said.

Seeing all these horrors, as well as losing her family and friends one by one, Audrey was determined to support the resistance movement. It is known that she was a volunteer nurse at a hospital where wounded soldiers were treated. She also took part in secret performances (musicals and ballets) known as "black nights" that were used to raise money for the resistance movement. "I danced at concerts, created dances myself... I had a friend who played the piano, and my mom made costumes," Hepburn shared her memories.

Sometimes Audrey carried secret messages to soldiers in her ballet shoes. On one of those days, she was detained by the Nazis, who suspected her of being a spy. How did she manage to escape? The girl pretended to be picking flowers on the side of the road and diverted unwanted attention.

3. She devoted many years of her life to charity

Audrey Hepburn was one of the first celebrities to use the UNICEF platform for charitable work on a large scale. She quit acting at the peak of her career to spend as much time as possible on humanitarian aid and raising her sons Luke and Sean.

Thus, in 1989, Audrey became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and made 50 trips to Ethiopia, Turkey, Venezuela, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, and Sudan. In addition, the star often spoke publicly about a number of humanitarian crises. Why? To raise public awareness and work together to find effective ways to solve problems.

She met with John F. Kennedy, and her parents ''glorified'' fascism: 5 little-known facts about Audrey Hepburn. Photos and videos

Fun fact! In 2002, the 213-centimeter-high Spirit of Audrey sculpture was erected in New York City, near the UNICEF headquarters. It is intended to immortalize the memory of Hepburn's tireless work as a goodwill ambassador.

She met with John F. Kennedy, and her parents ''glorified'' fascism: 5 little-known facts about Audrey Hepburn. Photos and videos

4. She had a love affair with John F. Kennedy

When John Fitzgerald Kennedy was a senator, he had an affair with Audrey Hepburn, which did not last long - a few months. The couple hid this fact from the public, and after the breakup, both continued to maintain friendly relations.

Many years have passed... In 1963, the actress was invited to the birthday celebration of the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, to sing Happy Birthday. She agreed and fulfilled her promise. You might have thought that we confused her with the actress Marilyn Monroe. But no! The star of the movie "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" congratulated the president a year earlier, in 1962. Unlike Monroe's speech, it was a private event, so there are no recordings of it.

She met with John F. Kennedy, and her parents ''glorified'' fascism: 5 little-known facts about Audrey Hepburn. Photos and videos

In 1963, John F. Kennedy was shot and killed. Audrey learned about the news while filming My Fair Lady. Then she asked everyone on the set to pray for him, and then she went offstage to her carriage, pulled down the curtains, and cried for a long time.

5. She was more than Givenchy's "muse"

Audrey was not only the inspiration for the world-famous fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy. She knew how to create great design projects. First, she would draw sketches of outfits, and then refine the ideas by discussing them with Hubert. So, it was two creative individuals working together to come up with innovative clothes. The actress understood how the camera would "see" the dress, what she should and should not wear. The results of this tandem are still impressive today!

She met with John F. Kennedy, and her parents ''glorified'' fascism: 5 little-known facts about Audrey Hepburn. Photos and videos
She met with John F. Kennedy, and her parents ''glorified'' fascism: 5 little-known facts about Audrey Hepburn. Photos and videos

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