Katharine Hepburn Biography

Birthday: 1907-05-12
Place of Birth: Hartford, Connecticut
Height: 5' 7½" (1.71 m)
Wiki Biography: Born May 12, 1907 in Hartford, Connecticut, she was the daughter of a doctor and a suffragette, both of whom always encouraged her to speak her mind, develop it fully, and exercise her body to its full potential. An athletic tomboy as a child, she was also very close to her brother, Tom, and was devastated at age 14 to find him dead, the apparent result of accidentally hanging himself while practicing a hanging trick their father had taught them. For many years after this, Katharine used his birthdate, November 8, as her own. She then became very shy around girls her age, and was largely schooled at home. She did attend Bryn Mawr College, however, and it was here that she decided to become an actress, appearing in many of their productions. After graduating, she began getting small roles in plays on Broadway and elsewhere. She always attracted attention in these parts, especially for her role in "Art and Mrs. Bottle" (1931); then, she finally broke into stardom when she took the starring role of the Amazon princess Antiope in "A Warrior's Husband" (1932). The inevitable film offers followed, and after making a few screen tests, she was cast in A Bill of Divorcement (1932), opposite John Barrymore. The film was a hit, and after agreeing to her salary demands, RKO signed her to a contract. She made five films between 1932 and 1934. For her third, Morning Glory (1933) she won her first Academy Award. Her fourth, Little Women (1933) was the most successful picture of its day. But stories were beginning to leak out of her haughty behavior off- screen and her refusal to play the Hollywood Game, always wearing slacks and no makeup, never posing for pictures or giving interviews. Audiences were shocked at her unconventional behavior instead of applauding it, and so when she returned to Broadway in 1934 to star in "The Lake", the critics panned her and the audiences, who at first bought up tickets, soon deserted her. When she returned to Hollywood, things didn't get much better. From the period 1935-1938, she had only two hits: Alice Adams (1935), which brought her her second Oscar nomination, and Stage Door (1937); the many flops included Break of Hearts (1935), Sylvia Scarlett (1935), Mary of Scotland (1936), Quality Street (1937) and the now- classic Bringing Up Baby (1938). With so many flops, she came to be labeled "box-office poison." She decided to go back to Broadway to star in "The Philadelphia Story" (1938), and was rewarded with a smash. She quickly bought the film rights, and so was able to negotiate her way back to Hollywood on her own terms, including her choice of director and co-stars. The film version of The Philadelphia Story (1940), was a box-office hit, and Hepburn, who won her third Oscar nomination for the film, was bankable again. For her next film, Woman of the Year (1942), she was paired with Spencer Tracy, and the chemistry between them lasted for eight more films, spanning the course of 25 years, and a romance that lasted that long off-screen. (She received her fourth Oscar nomination for the film.) Their films included the very successful Adam's Rib (1949), Pat and Mike (1952), and Desk Set (1957). With The African Queen (1951), Hepburn moved into middle-aged spinster roles, receiving her fifth Oscar nomination for the film. She played more of these types of roles throughout the 50s, and won more Oscar nominations for many of them, including her roles in Summertime (1955), The Rainmaker (1956) and Suddenly, Last Summer (1959). Her film roles became fewer and farther between in the 60s, as she devoted her time to her ailing partner Spencer Tracy. For one of her film appearances in this decade, in Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962), she received her ninth Oscar nomination. After a five-year absence from films, she then made Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), her last film with Tracy and the last film Tracy ever made; he died just weeks after finishing it. It garnered Hepburn her tenth Oscar nomination and her second win. The next year, she did The Lion in Winter (1968), which brought her her eleventh Oscar nomination and third win. In the 70s, she turned to making made-for-TV films, with The Glass Menagerie (1973) (TV), Love Among the Ruins (1975) (TV) and The Corn Is Green (1979) (TV). She still continued to make an occasional appearance in feature films, such as Rooster Cogburn (1975), with John Wayne, and On Golden Pond (1981), with Henry Fonda. This last brought her her twelfth Oscar nomination and fourth win - the latter currently still a record for an actress. She made more TV-films in the 80s, and wrote her autobiography, 'Me', in 1991. Her last feature film was Love Affair (1994), with Warren Beatty and Annette Bening, and her last TV- film was One Christmas (1994) (TV). With her health declining she retired from public life in the mid-nineties. She died at the age of 96 at her home in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.

Katharine HepburnPhotos & Pictures

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Filmography

TV Title Appeared As Year Genre
Adam's Rib Amanda Bonner 1949 Comedy
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? Christina Drayton 1967 Drama
One Christmas 1994 Drama
Shark Wranglers Herself 2012 Adventure
Movies Title Appeared As Year Genre
A Bill of Divorcement Sydney Fairfield 1932 Drama
Christopher Strong Lady Cynthia Darrington 1933
The Little Minister Barbara 'Babbie' 1934 Drama, Romance
Break of Hearts 1935 Drama, Romance
Alice Adams Alice Adams 1935 Comedy, Drama, Romance
Sylvia Scarlett Sylvia Scarlett a.k.a. Sylvester 1936 Comedy, Drama, Romance
Mary of Scotland Mary Stuart 1936 Drama, History
A Woman Rebels Pamela 'Pam' Thistlewaite 1936 Drama, History, Romance
Quality Street Phoebe Throssel 1937 Comedy, Drama, Romance
Stage Door Terry Randall 1937 Comedy, Drama
Bringing up Baby Susan Vance 1938 Comedy, Romance
The Philadelphia Story Tracy Lord 1940 Comedy, Romance
Women in Defense 1941 Documentary
Woman of the Year Tess Harding 1942 Comedy, Romance, Sport
Keeper of the Flame 1942
Dragon Seed 1944
Stage Door Canteen 1944 Comedy, Musical, Romance
Without Love 1945
Undercurrent Ann Hamilton 1946 Biography, 0
The Sea of Grass Lutie Cameron Brewton 1947 Drama
Song of Love Clara Wieck Schumann 1947 Drama, Music, Romance
Adam's Rib Amanda Bonner 1949 0, 0
The African Queen Rose Sayer 1951 0, Romance
Pat and Mike Patricia 'Pat' Pemberton 1952 Comedy, Romance, Sport
The Iron Petticoat 1957 Comedy
Desk Set Bunny Watson 1957 Comedy, Romance
Suddenly, Last Summer Mrs. Violet Venable 1959 0
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner Christina Drayton 1967
The Lion in Winter Eleanor of Aquitaine 1968 Drama, History, Romance
The Madwoman of Chaillot Countess Aurelia 1969 Comedy, Drama
A Delicate Balance Agnes 1973
Rooster Cogburn Eula Goodnight 1975
Love Among the Ruins 1975 Drama, Comedy, Romance
Olly Olly Oxen Free 1978
On Golden Pond Ethel Thayer 1981
Grace Quigley Grace Quigley 1985 Comedy
Laura Lansing Slept Here 1988 Comedy
Love Affair Ginny 1994 Drama, Romance, Comedy
Summertime Jane Hudson 2011 0, Biography
Spitfire Trigger Hicks 2018