Thursday, May 12

A True Classic

Since Alex was grounded on Monday (for reasons I won't detail) I have been celebrating the birthday week of Katharine Hepburn watching some of my favorite Hepburn classics.

At a time when women were seen as the weaker sex, she didn’t wear make-up or dresses, she didn’t cooperate with the media, and she had a habit of insulting other people in the business. She had red hair and freckles and a sharp cheekbone. But she was one of the best and most popular actresses of the twentieth century. She won four Academy Awards and was nominated for eight more. My favoriate films of hers include: Little Women (1933), Alice Adams (1935), Bringing Up Baby and Stage Door (1938), The Philidephia Story (1940), Women of the Year (1942), Adam's Rib (1949), The African Queen (1951), Pat and Mike (1952), Desk Set (1957)Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), The Lion in Winter (1969).

She made a name for herself on Broadway in the role of an Amazon in The Warrior’s Husband. The role required her to come on stage by leaping down a flight of steep steps while carrying a stag on her shoulders, and a talent scout was so impressed by the feat that he offered her a movie deal. She starred with John Barrymore in A Bill of Divorcement (1932), and suddenly she went from making $80 a week to $1,500 a week. It took her just a year to win her first Oscar, for her role in Morning Glory (1933). After that, she handpicked each of her movies, a noted luxury in the golden age of Hollywood, and she often had a say in who the other actors in the movie would be. Sometimes she rewrote her own lines.
She said, "If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun."
And, "Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get - only with what you are expecting to give - which is everything. What you will receive in return varies. But it really has no connection with what you give. You give because you love and cannot help giving."
And, "If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased."

*References -  Me: Stories of My Life by Katherine Hepburn.
**Photo and date of films found at


The Bug said...

I've always loved her. I love On Golden Pond too even though it was very late in her career.

Katy said...

I probably need to re-watch that one. I was in high school when I first saw it, and I think I might have more appreciation for it now.