04.05.

1929: Baronial and Royal Ancestry of Audrey Hepburn

1929: Baronial and Royal Ancestry of Audrey Hepburn
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 4 May 1929
  • Her mother was a Dutch baroness and her mother's father, Baron van Heemstra, was the governor of Suriname colony in South America. Audrey's father was allegedly descended from James Hepburn, husband of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots.

On this day one of the most famous stars in film history – Audrey Hepburn – was born. 

Her origin is very interesting. She was born in the Belgian city of Brussels, her mother being the Dutch baroness Ella van Heemstra. Her mother’s family therefore belonged to the Dutch aristocracy, and her mother’s father, Baron van Heemstra, was governor of the Suriname colony in South America.

Audrey’s father was of English descent, but was born in the Bohemia. Allegedly he was descended from James Hepburn, husband of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots. Due to her multi-ethnic origin, Audrey had a great talent for languages ​​and had no problem speaking English, Dutch, Spanish, French, and Italian.

During World War II, young Audrey was in the Netherlands with her mother and survived the war devastations. Because of the great famine in the Netherlands, she suffered from malnutrition and anemia, she also witnessed the transportation of Jews to concentration camps. After the war she worked as a ballet dancer, but then switched to acting.

During her career she won almost all the awards that can be won. She was the first person in history to win all four major awards: Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, and Tony. She dedicated the last years of her life to humanitarian work for UNESCO. She died in 1993, at the age of 63, in Switzerland.

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