Women in History of
Katharine Hepburn was born in 1907 in
Hartford, Connecticut. Her father was a doctor and the family was very well off
financially. Dr. Hepburn was a direct descendent of James Hepburn 4th Earl of
Boswell. Her mother was years ahead of her time and campaigned for such causes as family
In 1928 Kate married businessman Ludlow Ogden Smith. They
divorced April 30, 1933.
Kate made her professional debut in the play "The
Czarina" in 1928 in Baltimore. "A Bill of Divorcement" (1932) was her first
film. She won an Academy Award for her third film "Morning Glory"(1933). She
would go on to win four Best Actress Awards. In addition to "Morning Glory", she
won for "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner"(1967), "The Lion in
Winter"(1968), and "On Golden Pond"(1981).
Miss Hepburn was branded box office poison in the late
thirties. She brought her talents to Broadway in "The Philadelphia Story" which
was written specially for her by Philip Barry. The play was such a hit that Hollywood
again came beckoning. The film was an even bigger hit than the play and once again Kate
was back on top.
In 1943 Miss Hepburn co starred with Spencer Tracy for the
first time in "Woman of the Year". They went on to co-star in 9 movies and have
a life long relationship even though Spencer never divorced his wife. Her movies with
Spencer Tracy were, on the whole, much better than those she appeared in without him.
"The African Queen" (1951) with Humphrey Bogart was
the highlight of Kate's career in the 1950s as her film appearances were becoming fewer
and fewer. "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" and "The Lion in Winter" was
her two outstanding films of the 1960's.
"On Golden Pond" (1981) paired Kate with Henry and
Jane Fonda. It was a success. In 1994 Kate appeared in "Love Affair" with Warren
Beatty. It was her last appearance in film and it is doubtful she will appear on screen
again. According to her family she no longer has any memory and spends much of her time in
In addition to appearing on film, TV, and Broadway, Miss
Katharine Hepburn is a best selling author. She has written "The Making of the
African Queen" and "Me" (1991).
Miss Hepburn currently spends her days looking out the window
of her Fenwick mansion in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. Her family says she is frail, suffering from short term
memory loss, and withdrawn.
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