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Katharine Hepburn has passed on (and Movie Still Gallery)

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Holy Zoo, Jun 29, 2003.

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  1. Holy Zoo

    Holy Zoo Gort (Retired) :-) Thread Starter

    Santa Cruz
  2. syogusr

    syogusr New Member

    Just watched a half-hour segment on her passing, with very misty eyes. Such a huge loss, they really don't make 'em like this anymore. A wonderful and most professional lady:(
  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    She had a great full life. RIP.

    (CNN) -- Screen and stage legend Katharine Hepburn has died, according to Old Saybrook, Connecticut police. She was 96.

    Hepburn's film career spanned seven decades, and she was perhaps the most decorated actor, male or female, in the industry. She won more Academy Awards for lead roles (four) than anyone -- and her 12 nominations in the best actress category also was a record.

    Old Saybrook authorities and the executor of Hepburn's estate, Cynthia McFadden, told The Associated Press that Hepburn died Sunday at 2:50 p.m. She was at her home. Hepburn's health had declined in recent years.

    A statement from her family was expected later Sunday.

    In her work, Hepburn transformed herself from the key actress of a generation into thespian royalty, an uncontested icon of live theater and cinematic art. In private life, her 25-year love affair with actor Spencer Tracy is the stuff of Hollywood legend, and so are her bouts with Hollywood itself.

    But her performances in some of the century's top films are what stand out as enduring evidence of her power and gifts. The American Film Institute ranked Hepburn the top female star in its "50 Greatest Movie Legends," one of a handful of AFI picks that ruffled few feathers.

    "I'm a personality as well as an actress," Hepburn once said. "Show me an actress who isn't a personality, and you'll show me a woman who isn't a star."

    An unconventional star
    Katharine Houghton Hepburn was born May 12, 1907, in Hartford, Connecticut. She was the second of six children. Her father was a doctor, and her mother was a suffragette -- an influential combination that perhaps brought out the brazen, outspoken personality that distinguished the actress as "a personality."

    Hepburn said she was always fascinated with acting. As a youngster, she used to take on odd jobs to pay for tickets to the latest silent films. Her first acting experience can be traced to an amateur production at age 12.

    She attended college at Bryn Mawr, at first struggling with academics but then finding her calling in the theater. After college, she toured the East Coast with a stock company, eventually making a name for herself in the Broadway hit "The Warrior's Husband."

    By the early 1930s, Hollywood came calling. But in true Hepburn fashion -- which would later both hurt and embellish her career -- she had the audacity to turn down her first contract offer from Paramount Pictures, then make outlandish salary demands when approached by RKO Pictures.

    She told the studio she wanted $1,500 per week for her work. After seeing her screen test for "A Bill of Divorcement" (1932), the studio agreed to her demands, and Hepburn's film career was launched opposite that of screen legend John Barrymore.

    The following year, she starred as Eva Lovelace in "Morning Glory." Her characterization of a young woman trying to succeed in New York won Hepburn her first Oscar for best actress.

    Also in 1933, she starred as Jo in the screen adaptation of the Louisa May Alcott classic "Little Women"; it was a box-office record breaker. In 1935, Hepburn wowed audiences again, in the title role of "Alice Adams," which earned her a second Oscar nomination. (Bette Davis won that year for "Dangerous.")

    The 1938 screwball comedy "Bringing Up Baby" was a popular pick among critics and audiences. But some observers at the time said it came too late to save Hepburn's career, which was in decline.

    'Box office poison'
    It seems that Hepburn's unconventional personality off-screen was affecting audience perspective. Always known as the straightforward, anti-Hollywood New Englander, Hepburn refused to play the celebrity game.

    She defied the era's stereotypes for actresses, dressing unfashionably with no makeup and turning down interviews and autograph requests. Soon she'd attracted the "difficult to work with" label -- and audiences responded by staying away from her movies.

    Perhaps the low point in Hepburn's career came during the period when she was a contender for Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone With the Wind." She lost out to a young British actress named Vivien Leigh. It was around this time that an exhibitor publication branded her "box office poison."

    But Hepburn wasn't going quietly. "Not everyone is lucky enough to understand how delicious it is to suffer," the actress once said.

    Hepburn returned to Broadway in 1938 in Philip Barry's "The Philadelphia Story." She played Tracy Lord, a role Barry wrote for her. She felt so strongly for the project that she purchased the screen rights. After becoming a Broadway hit, the film, starring Hepburn, James Stewart and Cary Grant, came out in 1940, breaking all box-office records.

    Hepburn, meanwhile, was nominated for a best actress Oscar. In her early 30s, she was at the top of her game. But defining moments in her career were still around the corner.

    One of them came in 1942 when she co-starred with Tracy in "Woman of the Year." The romantic comedy about a sports reporter who wins the heart of a world-famous political commentator was a hit and earned Hepburn another Oscar nomination.

    Behind the scenes, she and Tracy fell in love. The relationship, like Hepburn's life, defied celebrity convention -- the pair never married.(Tracy, a devout Catholic, had been married to another woman since 1928 and remained so until his death), but the love affair lasted until Tracy died in 1967.

    Dream team on- and off-screen
    Hepburn and Tracy, who went on to film nine movies together, were the yin and yang of middle-century moviemaking. From different backgrounds, they complemented each other and brought out the other's strengths. To this day, they are one of the most popular screen teams of all time, a benchmark to which other movie couples are inevitably compared.

    The actress, as always, was honest about her feelings for men such as Tracy.

    "I often wonder whether men and women really suit each other," she once said. "Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then."

    On another occasion, she said, "I've been loved, and I've been in love. There's a big difference."

    After "Woman of the Year," Hepburn worked steadily through the 1940s, including the 1949 comedy "Adam's Rib," also with Tracy.

    A mark of a great actress is her ability to switch parts to match her age, and Hepburn did just that with her next acclaimed film. In "The African Queen" (1951), she starred opposite Humphrey Bogart -- by now, a legend in his own right -- as a straight-laced World War I missionary who convinces Bogart's gin-swilling riverboat captain to use his boat to attack a German ship.

    It was another Oscar-nominated performance for Hepburn; Bogart won the best actor Oscar.

    Hepburn was again nominated for Oscars for "Summertime" (1955), "The Rainmaker" (1956), "Suddenly, Last Summer" (1959) and "Long Day's Journey Into Night" (1962).

    An Oscar record breaker
    But she didn't win an Academy Award again until she returned to the screen with Tracy in "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" (1967). The acting team played a couple who deals with their daughter's decision to marry a black man, played by Sidney Poitier.

    For Tracy, it was his final role. After battling his ailing health for years, he passed away a few weeks after the movie completed shooting.

    Hepburn followed this Oscar-winning role with her portrayal of Eleanor of Aquitaine in "The Lion in Winter" (1968), winning her third Oscar. The story of Henry II details the king's deliberations over his successor on a fateful Christmas Eve.

    In 1969, Hepburn returned to Broadway in the musical "Coco." Years of success apparently had not mellowed her; during one performance, she dropped out of character to chastise an audience member for using flash photography.

    The 1970s saw Hepburn delve into television. She won an Emmy in 1975 for her lead role in "Love Among the Ruins." She was nominated for four Emmys in her acting career.

    Hepburn continued to redefine herself with age. Suffering from a progressive neurological disease, which caused uncontrollable shaking, she starred in 1981's "On Golden Pond" as the devoted wife of an aging professor played by Henry Fonda. Both won Oscars for their roles.

    Hepburn last appeared in a major motion picture in 1994's "Love Affair," which starred Warren Beatty and Annette Bening. Her minor role as a grand-aunt received high praise.

    She once told a reporter that she lived her life on her own terms.

    "I don't regret anything I've ever done," she said, "as long as I enjoyed it at the time."
  4. proufo

    proufo Forum Resident

    A recipe for reaching 96.

    What a fantastic lady!
  5. Dan C

    Dan C Forum Fotographer

    The West
    Sad news indeed, but what a brilliant life she had.
    RIP beautiful Kate.

    Dan C
  6. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    Yes, this is definitely sad news. RIP Katharine.
  7. Jimbo

    Jimbo Forum Hall Of Fame

    Zero/Zero Island
    Beautiful, smart, strong, independent, pure class--my kind of woman!

    Au revoir, Kate...:(
  8. jamesmaya

    jamesmaya Senior Member

    Mudwest, SoCal
    "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner" is one of my all-time favorite movies. You will be fondly remembered and missed, Katharine Hepburn. Rest in peace.

    Jim W.
  9. Ed Bishop

    Ed Bishop Incredibly, I'm still here

    R.I.P. Katy

    Amazing in so many films, but my faves are "Woman Of The Year," "Adam's Rib," "Pat And Mike," "The African Queen" and "The Madwoman Of Chaillot." She had a great, great ride and always a class act.

    Farewell, my lovely....:(

  10. bldg blok

    bldg blok Forum Resident

    Elmira, NY
    My favorite Kate movie is "Bringing Up Baby". IMO the world NEEDS more screwball comedies. As Steve H. remarked, she had a rich,full life...and career. Thanks Kate!
  11. Casino

    Casino Senior Member

    Classy lady.
  12. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    A wonderfully lovely woman...RIP.
  13. Claus

    Claus Senior Member

    Sad news... a great actress!
  14. ClausH

    ClausH Senior Member

    Very sad news. RIP Katharine
  15. guy incognito

    guy incognito Senior Member

    Not everyone regarded Kate so highly. Reviewing a Hepburn performance in a stage play once, Dorothy Parker wrote that the actress had "run the gamut of emotions from A to B".

    Okay, so maybe Parker caught her on an off night... ;)

    Farewell to one of the real giants on the business. As Jimbo says, she had everything you could want in a modern woman and never presented herself with anything less than the utmost grace. I'm glad she went into acting, and I'm glad her life was as full, rich, and long as it was.
  16. Matt

    Matt New Member

    The best film actress ever, period.
  17. AudioGirl

    AudioGirl Forum Resident

    Los Angeles
    A True Beauty in every way...

    as Eva Lovelace 1933 "Morning Glory"

    Attached Files:

  18. AudioGirl

    AudioGirl Forum Resident

    Los Angeles
    as Susan in 1938 "Bringing Up Baby", with Cary Grant.

    Attached Files:

  19. AudioGirl

    AudioGirl Forum Resident

    Los Angeles
    Another one as Susan in 1938 "Bringing Up Baby"

    Attached Files:

  20. AudioGirl

    AudioGirl Forum Resident

    Los Angeles
    as Tracy Samantha Lord in 1940 "The Philadelphia Story", with Jimmy Stewart, who won the oscar.

    Attached Files:

  21. AudioGirl

    AudioGirl Forum Resident

    Los Angeles
    Another one from "The Philadelphia Story", directed by George Cukor.

    This was a project especially dear to Hepburn. Two years prior to the release of THE PHILADELPHIA STORY, Hepburn had been branded "box-office poison" by a leading exhibitor, thus prompting her to look for a Broadway show suitable for her talents. Playwright Barry wrote the role of Tracy expressly for Hepburn, who covered 25 percent of the play's cost and took no salary, shrewdly opting to take 45 percent of the considerable profits. Joseph Cotten played the Cary Grant role while Van Heflin originated Stewart's part. The cagy actress also purchased the film adaptation rights and eventually succeeded in getting Louis B. Mayer not only to pay her $250,000 for them but also won the right to select her own director, screenwriter, and costars. Grant accepted his role only on the proviso that he receive top billing, which he did. He then demanded a then-whopping salary of $137,000 and got it. (Grant later donated his entire salary from the film to the British War Relief Fun.) TV Guide.

    Attached Files:

  22. AudioGirl

    AudioGirl Forum Resident

    Los Angeles
    One more from "The Philadelphia Story", with Cary Grant playing her ex-husband.

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  23. AudioGirl

    AudioGirl Forum Resident

    Los Angeles
    as JamieRowan in 1945 "Without Love", with Spencer.

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  24. AudioGirl

    AudioGirl Forum Resident

    Los Angeles
    Another one from "The African Queen", with Bogie.

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  25. AudioGirl

    AudioGirl Forum Resident

    Los Angeles
    From the 1957 CinemaScope film "The Desk Set"; classic Tracy & Hepburn.

    Attached Files:

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