This new woman didn’t need to use her beauty to get ahead, nor did she need to slip on a slinky dress and get her nails done every week to epitomize femininity. Hepburn broke the mold for women everywhere when she refused to conform to society’s expectations of what it meant to be a woman. She became an icon for the outspoken, career-driven girls, and the women of the 20th century.
So, in the spirit of woman power, here are a few interesting facts you may not know about this iconic woman:
1. Hepburn’s mother was a feminist campaigner and headed the Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association. Hepburn joined her mother for several “Votes for Women” demonstrations.
2. As a child, Hepburn cut her hair short and called herself Jimmy. She was also heavily into sports, especially swimming and golf. At one point she reached the semi-finals of the Connecticut Young Women’s Golf Championship. She was even seen playing tennis well into her 80s.
3. She studied with a voice tutor in New York City after being criticized for having a shrill voice.
4. Hepburn was fired from her first lead role in The Big Pond after showing up late, tripping on stage, and speaking so fast no one could understand her.
5. Hepburn tried out for the role of Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind, but the producer denied her the part due to her lack of sex appeal.
I strike people as peculiar in some way, although I don't quite understand why. Of course, I have an angular face, an angular body and, I suppose, an angular personality, which jabs into people.
7. Hepburn vowed to never have children, as she saw motherhood as a full-time commitment. She was quoted saying that’d she be a terrible mother because she was, “a very selfish human being.”
8. Many co-workers, and Hepburn herself, said that the characters she played were essentially the same and closely resembled Hepburn’s real life personality.
9. When the costume department at RKO hid Hepburn’s pants from her (because they were too boyish), she protested by walking around the studio in her underwear and refused to put anything on until she got her slacks back.
10. Hepburn had a 26-year relationship with Spencer Tracy, although Tracy was already married and refused to divorce his estranged wife. It didn’t stop the two from sharing an electric romance on and off-screen, even if they did have to keep it private. It wasn’t until Tracy’s wife died that Hepburn opened up about her affair with Tracy.
11. Before she died at age 96, she said she wasn’t afraid of death; it was how you lived your life that really counted.