One love and four Oscars. How did the lives of Katharine Hepburn

One love and four Oscars. How did the lives of Katharine Hepburn

May 12, marks exactly 110 years since the birth of the quadruple owner of the award “Oscar” Katharine Hepburn.

Little Catherine loved the Sabbath, because on this day each week, the Hepburn family, headed by father went to the movies. At 12 she began to participate in Amateur productions, and after some 8 years, I told my parents I wanted to become an actress.

Thomas Norval Hepburn and his wife, Katharine Martha Houghton, an active public figures who clearly were not ready to such turn of events, but accepted her daughter’s decision. Moreover, as soon as Katherine came first the material difficulties, and she needed the money to pay for the services of a teacher of speech, the father immediately sent the missing amount, which, in fact, began her journey first to the stage, and then in the movie.


Hepburn’s career from the beginning resembled a real roller coaster. It was worth it to get a decent role, as the producers immediately changed plans, and it went to someone else. It happened with the first play, which was attended by Catherine: “Big lake”. At first all went well: the girl was invited to be the understudy a more experienced actress Lucille Nicholas, who performed a major role.

But one of the rehearsals Hepburn miraculously made such a strong impression on the Director that her and Nicholas immediately reversed! Katherine was elated, but production failed miserably, and the next morning the actress was left without a job.

After the “Big lake” was the play “These days”. Alas, she quickly descended with a theatrical stage, not having to really on them to come up. And then — “Holiday”, “Death taking a holiday”, “a month in the country” and other attempts to assert itself. Sometimes Hepburn rehearsed the role for months, and then suddenly found out that dismissed. And yet, the actress can be called a real lucky, because it never sat long without a job. As soon as she closed one door, then opened the other.

Only husband

In my entire life the actress only once tied the knot. Even while in College Bryn MAWR she met Ludlow Ogden Smith. The first time young men were great friends, and then Luddy seriously interested in Catherine. Girl to marry him, but not from a great love, but rather out of respect. Smith adored Hepburn, she loved herself and wanted to be a star.

Personication Hepburn

During the short marriage the husband did everything that a wife can build a career: contained in moments of complete lack of money, brought his business to new York for her, and once even became a donor for a pregnant sister, Catherine, who could die together with the child, if not for the blood of Smith.

Alas, all this could not save the marriage in which loving was only one person. July 4, 1932, when the actress went to Hollywood, it became clear that separation is not far off.

But even after the divorce, faithful Laddi many years was next door to ex-lover, especially because she often turned to him for help. Once Hepburn realized that just using ex-husband, and moved away into the shadows. After some six months, Smith married the second time and had two children.

A star named Catherine

Going to audition for the film “bill of divorce”, Hepburn was determined. In California, she went with a friend, Laura Harding. However, during this short trip Katherine got a nasty surprise: when the girls decided to look at the moon with the car-platform, the actress with the wind bumped up into the eyes of three sharp little pieces of metal. The doctor was able to retrieve them, but that the wound healed faster, he put a bandage on the face.

Of course, samples of the makeup and costumes had to endure, and yet Hepburn got the role of Sydney Fairfield. After five weeks of shooting is over, it will release in theaters the critics and the press took a lot of joy. Ahead waited new film, which brought her the first Oscar, with a symbolic name “Early glory”. Initially to do it was Connie Bennet, however, after reading the script, Catherine realized that this role should belong to her, and succeeded.

Within six years, the actress has starred in 5 tapes and received the “Oscar”! It was an incredible success. High self-esteem Hepburn skyrocketed, she knew that now she needs to be in Hollywood and on Broadway. But the producer jed Harris was one of those who was not going to bow down before another young talent. They met long before the triumphant appearance of Catherine in the movie.

And, although in the mid-thirties, his career almost came to an end, and Hepburn was snapped, Harris is no problem.

He invited the actress to play in the play “the Lake” for a ridiculous fee: $ 500 per week. The figure was four times less than what she received before! However, Catherine wanted to help an old friend, agreed.

The pressure on the girl from jed during the rehearsals was so strong that many of them just ended in tantrums and tears. Harris didn’t like Hepburn. In his opinion, she did not say that, not looked at, not sat and walked on the stage, but what is really there, not even breathing. In short, the producer has made every effort to prove the Oscar-winning actress, Katherine Hepburn one. And he greatly succeeded.

If in Washington, the public has been very supportive of the actress, in new York, she expected a complete failure. Fortunately, on the way the girls turned out to be singer Susan Steele, who after another fiasco Katherine on stage came to her dressing room and offered to help: to work with voice. Although it did not help radically change the situation, after some time, Hepburn began to feel more confident. Yes, the success was not the question, but a full shame too! The actress won though small, but victory over yourself and your fear.

In the end, Katherine just paid jed, emptying their own expense. When many years later, Hepburn’s agent Leland Hayward met with him, he said: “you Know, Leland, I tried to destroy Katharine Hepburn”. Hayward said, “And lost, aren’t you, jed?”.

Howard Hughes

Hughes was one of those men who wanted to meet Hepburn. The first attempt to get closer to a Hollywood star, he made during the filming of the movie “Sylvia Scarlett”, where Catherine was playing with his good friend Cary Grant. Howard airplane circled over the crew during lunch, then sat down near her. But, this pretentious act rather angered actress than impressed.

However, Hughes did not think to change tactics next time, he similarly appeared on a Golf course, where he played Catherine. In the end she gave up and gradually sank into a relationship that lasted almost three years.

Both of the pair had one thing in common: they passionately wanted to become famous and achieved it. However, their meeting took place just at the moment when Hepburn’s career went into a nosedive. For the eyes it became known as “cash poison”.

Theater owners tried all means to get rid of the three hackneyed stars: Dietrich, Crawford and Hepburn.

In this difficult period she received an offer from the Studio “paramount”. Only it was more like a pathetic SOP: the fee for the role was 10000 to $ 150000, which she received for previous work. Of course, Katherine tactfully refused. Howard did not share her decision. In order to cope with this situation, she decided to return to the East coast and play in a play, and he did not stop and just stayed in the West. A beautiful love story ended very rapidly.

Back in business

Returning to the East, Catherine took part in a production of the play by Phil Barry’s “the Philadelphia story”. The film rights bought for her not anyone, namely Hughes. For her role in this film Hepburn was again nominated for “Oscar”. Since then, her career got a second wind.

In 1942 it’s time “Women of the year”. For this film the actress demanded a couple of Spencer Tracy and his face gained not only a wonderful partner, with whom later starred in nine films, but the main love of his life. Although at first there were no signs of a romantic ending. Rumor has it that, after learning about the offer to play with Hepburn, Tracy said, “How can I be in the picture with the woman with dirt under the nails, and which does not understand what sex always goes in the pants?”.

After filming “Women of the year” Spencer and Katherine have not broken up for almost 30 years, until the death of the actor, although officially he was married. Hepburn turn a blind eye, the only thing she wanted was to make his life comfortable and happy. It seemed that selfish Hollywood star in the past, and she was replaced by a real loving woman.

Personalmente Tracy

When in the sixties the state of health Tracy has deteriorated, the actress did not hesitate for several years practically retired.

After his death she called the legitimate wife of Spencer and offered her his friendship. However, she said, “I thought all this talk about you — gossip”. Of course, Katherine is hurt by her words, but, in fact, Louise Tracy was right: she is the legitimate spouse, and Hepburn lover.

And all the time spent beside the actor, was the happiest in her life, it is a pity that she was unable to follow him to the path as it should be.

After the death of Spencer Catherine returned to the business and even received three Oscars, including one for the painting, where Tracy also managed to play. In the last joint work — “guess who’s coming to dinner?” — they played husband and wife. The actress survived the civil wife for 36 years and died when she was 96! In a sign of mourning and respect in the evening of July 1, 2003, the lights of Broadway went out, saying goodbye to a legend by the name of Katherine Hepburn.