Audrey: A Few Things You Didn't Know!

I couldn’t let the birthday of one of my favorite stars go by without a quick tribute.

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Today is the birthday of the beautiful Audrey Hepburn, who was even more beautiful on the inside than the outside, if you can believe it.

More Than a Film Star, More Than a Fashion Legend

Audrey’s influence on film, fashion, and humanitarian work runs deep even now, over two decades after her passing.

But today I want to celebrate this fair lady by sharing a lesser-known anecdote that exemplifies the mother she was. 

In his recent book about his mother, Audrey at Home: Memories of My Mother’s Kitchen, Audrey’s younger son Luca shares the sweetest story about Audrey’s first trip to Japan.  The reason for the trip: a haute couture show celebrating the renown designer Hubert de Givenchy. Audrey, the ever-loyal friend, traveled to Japan to support Givenchy, her friend of almost 30 years.  She brought Luca with her to enjoy the sights.

Audrey and Givenchy always enjoyed each other's company, and became lifelong friends. They first met near the beginning of their respective careers. Audrey really made him a name in the fashion world when she first wore his clothes in Sabrina (1954), and continued to wear Givenchy designs both on and off screen thereafter. If Audrey was wearing Givenchy, you can bet the rest of the world wanted to as well!

There were a whole lot of ritzy, fancy-pants events planned, and Audrey was expected to attend them.  But thirteen-year-old Luca caught the flu, so things got a little complicated. 

Audrey in Japan, 1983.

Audrey, Always a Mother First

Now Audrey had also brought with her to Japan the family’s housekeeper, Giovanna, whose life-long dream had always been to visit Japan.

Well, the sensical thing to do, or rather the movie star thing to do, in this situation would have been for Audrey to ask Giovanna to stay at the hotel with her sick son, right?  Then Audrey would be free to go attend the galas and events.

If you think that is what Audrey did, you probably haven’t read a whole lot about her.  For those of you who have read enough about Ms Hepburn to feel like you know her, you know EXACTLY what she did.

In Luca’s own words,

“My mother stayed behind to take care of me, appointing Giovanna as her representative at social events, to the amazement of our hosts.”

Audrey with her two sons, Sean (left) and Luca (right). Luca said he never really knew that his mom was a world renown film star until after her death because "she always put her family first."

Ok, how cool is that?  And can you imagine the shock it must have been for everyone at these events when, expecting to see Audrey Hepburn, her housekeeper showed up?  But to Audrey, her son’s health came first, regardless of how big the event was.  And the icing on the cake was that by having Giovanna go in her place, Audrey also made Giovanna’s dreams of seeing Japan come true!

Why We Still Love Audrey

Maybe because I am a mother now myself, seemingly small acts such as this speak volumes to me, and I get quite emotional. I think we love Audrey Hepburn because she was always doing things like this.  That is why we still care, cherish, and revere Audrey.  She was so much more than a pretty face.

So Happy Birthday Audrey!  Thank you for making the world a more beautiful place, and for continuing to inspire us all to be better.

How has Audrey inspired your life?  I would love to know your thoughts on this special lady!

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