Katharine Hepburn - Film & Theater Personalities, Career and Life

Home  ›  American  ›  Katharine HepburnMay 12, 1907142 views

0.0 based on 0 rates

Katharine Hepburn's Personal Details

Katharine Hepburn was a legendary actress who reigned over Hollywood with her beauty, independent spirit and eccentricity

InformationDetail
BirthdayMay 12, 1907
Died onJune 29, 2003
NationalityAmerican
FamousAtheists, Atheists/Agnostics, Film & Theater Personalities, Actresses, ENTJ
City/StateConnecticut
SpousesLudlow Ogden Smith
SiblingsMarion Grant - Margaret Hepburn - Richard Hepburn - Tom Hepburn - Robert Hepburn
Known asKatharine Houghton Hepburn
Universities
  • American Academy of Dramatic Arts - Bryn Mawr College - Kingswood-Oxford School
Birth PlaceHartford
GenderFemale
FatherThomas Norval Hepburn
MotherKatharine Martha Houghton
Sun SignTaurus
Born inHartford
Died at Age96

// Famous people with ENTJ

Katharine Hepburn's photo

Who is Katharine Hepburn?

With a record four Academy Awards for Best Actress, Katharine Hepburn was undoubtedly Hollywood’s top female legend. She was a versatile actress whose career spanned the media of stage, film and television for over six decades. Her acting career began on the Broadway where her amazing performance ensured her entry into Hollywood. With her luminous beauty, spirited personality and quick wit, the young woman seemed poised for great success. However, behind her charming personality lay a great childhood tragedy—her beloved brother Tom had died from an apparent suicide and this made the young Katharine moody, withdrawn and upset. She struggled hard to get over her brother’s death and found solace in acting. Even after foraying into the world of acting she did not find overnight success and had to struggle for months to find meaningful roles. But the gutsy lady never gave up and in the long run her perseverance paid off. Not only did she go on to have a successful career as a stage artist, but also successfully entered films and became the reigning queen of Hollywood. With her free-spirited attitude and assertiveness, she represented the modern woman of her times by refusing to give into the demands of traditional society.

// Famous Atheists/Agnostics

Childhood & Early Life

Hepburn was born as one of the six children of her parents Thomas Hepburn and Katharine Martha. Her father was an urologist at Hartford Hospital while her mother was a feminist campaigner.

Her father helped to establish the New England Social Hygiene Association while her mother was an active participant in the women’s suffrage movement and also campaigned for birth control.

Her parents were very progressive people who encouraged their children to think independently.

As a child she learned to swim, run, dive, wrestle and play tennis and golf. She was a tomboy who kept her hair short like boys.

Tragedy struck the happy family when her older brother Tom died from an apparent suicide in 1921. Katharine who was very close to her brother became very nervous and upset after the incident and even dropped out of school.

On her parents’ urging she enrolled at Bryn Mawr College in 1924. She struggled at college as she was not interested in academic pursuits but still managed to graduate with a degree in history and philosophy in 1928.

Career

In 1928, she went to Baltimore to pursue a career in acting and was cast in a small role in Edwin H. Knopf’s stage production ‘The Czarina’. Her role, albeit minor, was appreciated.

Knopf made her the leading lady in his production ‘The Big Pond’. However, she mixed up her lines and acted clumsy on the opening night and was fired. She kept trying and was soon hired as an understudy in Philip Barry’s play ‘Holiday’, a role which she held for six months.

The first few years of her acting career were very difficult and she was not able to find good roles. Nonetheless the self-assured lady never thought of giving up. Her perseverance paid off when she was chosen to play the lead role in the Greek fable, ‘The Warrior’s Husband’.

‘The Warrior’s Husband’ opened in March 1932 and gave her the big breakthrough she craved for. The play ran for three months and her role was positively reviewed.

She was offered a role in the 1932 film ‘A Bill of Divorcement’ opposite John Barrymore. The movie was a hit and she got noticed for her performance. She appeared in ‘Christopher Strong’ the very next year.

The 1933 was a great year for the actress. She played the aspiring actress Eva Lovelace in ‘Morning Glory’ and then appeared as Jo in ‘Little Women’. Both the films were big hits that earned her several awards.

In spite of being an established film actress she yearned to appear again on the Broadway. She agreed to act in the struggling producer Jed Harris’s play ‘The Lake’. The play was a commercial disaster due to Harris’s poor direction and Hepburn’s image suffered as well.

During the 1930s her career suffered a big set back. Many of her films like ‘The Little Minister’ (1934), ‘Break of Hearts’ (1935), ‘Sylvia Scarlett’ (1935), ‘Quality Street’ (1937) fared poorly and were flops. The actress’s career began spiraling downward.

Determined to get her failing career back on track, she decided to look for a stage project. She was cast as Tracy Lord in Philip Barry’s play ‘The Philadelphia Story’ which opened to positive reviews in 1939. The show was a bit hit and ran for 417 performances.

With her popularity reclaimed, she reprised the role of Tracy Lord in the 1940 movie ‘The Philadelphia Story’ which was based on the eponymous play. The film was a huge hit and she was nominated for an Academy Award.

The decade of the 1940s was not too successful for the actress with several of her movies receiving negative reviews. She decided to reinvent herself during the 1950s and took up more challenging roles in ‘The African Queen’ (1951) and ‘Pat and Mike’ (1952).

Her career during the 1960s was interrupted due to personal issues and commitments. During the 1970s and 1980s she remained focused on her career and acted in several films and Broadway productions. She also ventured into television during this time.

She was very active in films, television and stage even during her later years. She had a deep dedication towards her profession and made her last television appearance in the movie ‘One Christmas’ in 1994.

Major Works

She portrayed an aspiring actress in the drama film ‘Morning Glory’. This role was critically acclaimed and helped her win her first Academy Award.

She appeared in ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’ along with Spencer Tracy and Sidney Poitier. The film dealt with the topic of interracial marriages—a sensitive issue at that time and era.

The film ‘The Philadelphia Story’ helped her resurrect her declining career. It was a romantic comedy that was based on a Broadway play of the same name by Philip Barry. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards.

Awards & Achievements

She holds the record for winning the maximum Academy Awards for the Best Actress. She had been bestowed the award four times including ‘Morning Glory’ (1934), ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’ (1968), ‘The Lion in Winter’ and ‘On Golden Pond’ (1982).

She won the Lifetime Achievement Award from Screen Actors Guild in 1979.

Personal Life & Legacy

She married Ludlow Ogden Smith, a businessman in 1928. However she never committed to the relationship fully and divorced him in 1934. She never married again.

She had a long relationship with her co-star, actor Spencer Tracy. Their relationship is often cited to be among Hollywood’s legendary love affairs. Tracy was already married, but estranged from his wife. Hepburn took a break from her career to take care of Tracy during his final years.

She lived a long and fruitful life. She suffered several health problems during the final years of her life and died at the age of 96 in 2003.

Trivia

She was once criticized for “having no sex appeal”.

This legendary actress is named in Encyclopedia Britannica's list of "300 Women Who Changed the World".

// Famous Film & Theater Personalities

Katharine Hepburn awards

YearNameAward

Academy Awards(Oscars)

1982Best Actress in a Leading RoleOn Golden Pond (1981)
1969Best Actress in a Leading RoleThe Lion in Winter (1968)
1968Best Actress in a Leading RoleGuess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)
1934Best Actress in a Leading RoleMorning Glory (1933)

Primetime Emmy Awards

1975Outstanding Lead Actress in a Special Program - Drama or ComedyLove Among the Ruins (1975)

BAFTA Awards

1983Best ActressOn Golden Pond (1981)
1969Best ActressGuess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)
1969Best ActressThe Lion in Winter (1968)

People's Choice Awards

1983Favorite Motion Picture ActressWinner
1976Favorite Motion Picture ActressWinner

Katharine Hepburn biography timelines

  • // 12th May 1907
    Hepburn was born as one of the six children of her parents Thomas Hepburn and Katharine Martha. Her father was an urologist at Hartford Hospital while her mother was a feminist campaigner.
  • // 1921
    Tragedy struck the happy family when her older brother Tom died from an apparent suicide in 1921. Katharine who was very close to her brother became very nervous and upset after the incident and even dropped out of school.
  • // 1924
    On her parents’ urging she enrolled at Bryn Mawr College in 1924. She struggled at college as she was not interested in academic pursuits but still managed to graduate with a degree in history and philosophy in 1928.
  • // 1928
    In 1928, she went to Baltimore to pursue a career in acting and was cast in a small role in Edwin H. Knopf’s stage production ‘The Czarina’. Her role, albeit minor, was appreciated.
  • // 1928 To 1934
    She married Ludlow Ogden Smith, a businessman in 1928. However she never committed to the relationship fully and divorced him in 1934. She never married again.
  • // 1932
    ‘The Warrior’s Husband’ opened in March 1932 and gave her the big breakthrough she craved for. The play ran for three months and her role was positively reviewed.
  • // 1932
    She was offered a role in the 1932 film ‘A Bill of Divorcement’ opposite John Barrymore. The movie was a hit and she got noticed for her performance. She appeared in ‘Christopher Strong’ the very next year.
  • // 1933
    The 1933 was a great year for the actress. She played the aspiring actress Eva Lovelace in ‘Morning Glory’ and then appeared as Jo in ‘Little Women’. Both the films were big hits that earned her several awards.
  • // 1939
    Determined to get her failing career back on track, she decided to look for a stage project. She was cast as Tracy Lord in Philip Barry’s play ‘The Philadelphia Story’ which opened to positive reviews in 1939. The show was a bit hit and ran for 417 performances.
  • // 1940
    With her popularity reclaimed, she reprised the role of Tracy Lord in the 1940 movie ‘The Philadelphia Story’ which was based on the eponymous play. The film was a huge hit and she was nominated for an Academy Award.
  • // 1979
    She won the Lifetime Achievement Award from Screen Actors Guild in 1979.
  • // 1994
    She was very active in films, television and stage even during her later years. She had a deep dedication towards her profession and made her last television appearance in the movie ‘One Christmas’ in 1994.
  • // 29th Jun 2003
    She lived a long and fruitful life. She suffered several health problems during the final years of her life and died at the age of 96 in 2003.

// Famous Actresses

Katharine Hepburn's FAQ

  • What is Katharine Hepburn birthday?

    Katharine Hepburn was born at 1907-05-12

  • When was Katharine Hepburn died?

    Katharine Hepburn was died at 2003-06-29

  • Where was Katharine Hepburn died?

    Katharine Hepburn was died in Old Saybrook

  • Which age was Katharine Hepburn died?

    Katharine Hepburn was died at age 96

  • Where is Katharine Hepburn's birth place?

    Katharine Hepburn was born in Hartford

  • What is Katharine Hepburn nationalities?

    Katharine Hepburn's nationalities is American

  • Who is Katharine Hepburn spouses?

    Katharine Hepburn's spouses is Ludlow Ogden Smith

  • Who is Katharine Hepburn siblings?

    Katharine Hepburn's siblings is Marion Grant - Margaret Hepburn - Richard Hepburn - Tom Hepburn - Robert Hepburn

  • What was Katharine Hepburn universities?

    Katharine Hepburn studied at American Academy of Dramatic Arts - Bryn Mawr College - Kingswood-Oxford School

  • Who is Katharine Hepburn's father?

    Katharine Hepburn's father is Thomas Norval Hepburn

  • Who is Katharine Hepburn's mother?

    Katharine Hepburn's mother is Katharine Martha Houghton

  • What is Katharine Hepburn's sun sign?

    Katharine Hepburn is Taurus