audrey hepburn an elegant spirit


I suppose people could blame me for ending Audrey Hepburn’s career. She knew her potential. If she had kept working, the parts were there for her, and her success professionally would have continued at a high level for years. But she wanted to be with her family. She wanted a private life. And she couldn’t bear the thought that she might fail as a mother. It was too important to her.

I remember her long hair, her bare feet, which as a little boy I often caressed while she put her makeup on. Whenever she had to go to a dinner or a cocktail party, she would always say, “Oh, if only I could only stay home and eat in the kitchen with you." 

I remember school days, cramming for exams for which she probably fretted more than I did. She would test me before bed and again in the morning, waking up with a sort of sleepy head only adults enjoy. I remember her elation at good grades, her support and positiveness for the "not so good ones”. I remember sleepovers on weekends, when we would chat with the lights out, during those precious few moments before one falls asleep. We would talk about feelings and plans and people and things, but in that way that is specific to that darkness, like two souls suspended. 

I am often asked what it was like to have a famous mother. I always answer that I don’t know. I knew her first as my mother and then as my best friend. She wanted to be a mother very much so when she had the opportunity, she did it to the fullest extent of the law. Audrey Hepburn’s son, Sean Hepburn Ferrer +


Audrey Hepburn with son, Sean, at their home in Bürgenstock, Lucerne, Switzerland, 1962. Photographs by Pierluigi Praturlon

“This was the home my parents lived in when I was born and where I grew up for the first three years of my life. The house was perched atop a peak overlooking the city of Lucerne and its lake. My room as well as Gina’s, my nanny, were on the third floor. There was also a guest room where members of the family stayed when they visited. My parents’ room was on the second floor right below mine. My father had rented the house for the fresh mountain air, to help my mother’s asthma.” Sean Hepburn Ferrer

“Although she was never an ardent follower of any formal religion, my mother’s own faith endured throughout her life: her faith in love, her faith in miracle of nature, and her faith in the goodness of life.” - Sean Hepburn Ferrer (Audrey Hepburn, An Elegant Spirit)

Audrey Hepburn photograhed by Philippe Halsman, famous “Jump” series, 1955.



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“We arrived in Switzerland on December 20. The next few days were spent organizing her care and trying to put together a last minute Christmas. We were told that getting home health-care assistance in Switzerland over the holidays was going to be difficult. So we asked Betty, a wonderful nurse who had cared for my mother during her stay at Cedars, to come back with us and help get us through the holidays. This was a hard decision for Betty and her family. I remember her husband coming to meet us at the hospital. He wanted to look us in the eyes as he told us they had decided that she would come with us. This was our first Christmas gift: they were giving us their Christmas.

She remembered feeling butterflies in her stomach and felt she had come home. How often I have thanked those butterflies for flying around in her body for those few moments of perfect expectation.

Christmas had always been the time when our family would get together, and this year, more than ever, it was going to be just that, maybe for the last time. She always asked us not get her expensive presents. Sometimes she would ask for pencils, erasers, and other office sundries to last her the whole year. Other times, a scented candle or a particular kind of shampoo that came from America. She always wanted practical presents rather than what she felt were the useless silly things that seem to fill the stores at this time of year. Shopping that Christmas was a difficult task for all of us. We didn’t want to be away from the house, yet we didn’t want to hurt the spirit of the holidays and our time together.

She told us that what she disliked most about her condition was the fact that she felt that is was going to be a burden on all of us.

After Christmas dinner my mother came downstairs. We all gathered around and shared in the gifts we had for each other. Since she couldn’t leave the house to go shopping, she had chosen things she owned to give to each of us: a scarf, a sweater, a candle. This made it so touching and all the more valuable. Afterward, she read a short text that she was using in one of her speeches for UNICEF. It had been written by Sam Levenson, a humorist and TV and radio personality, to her granddaughter on the day she was born. Worried that due to his age, he might not be able to be there when she became a young lady, it was his way to pass on some of his wisdom. My mother had edited it into a poem and entitled it, ‘Time Tested Beauty Tips’.”

From Sean Hepburn Ferrer’s, An Elegant Spirit.

top left: Audrey Hepburn and son Sean, two and a half years old, photographed by Mel Ferrer in Bürgenstock, Switzerland, 1962. top right: Audrey Hepburn and son Sean, three years and a half, photographed by Mel Ferrer while spending their last Christmas Holidays at Vila Bethania, Bürgenstock, 1963. middle: Audrey Hepburn, Mel Ferrer and Sean Hepburn Ferrer photographed at the circus by Pierluigi Praturlon, 1961. bottom left: Audrey Hepburn and son Sean photographed by Mel Ferrer in Marbella, Spain, during a burrada, which’s a picnic you take along on a burro ride. bottom right: Audrey Hepburn and son Sean with a baby goat, photographed by Mel Ferrer, in Marbella, Spain, circa 1964.

scans from Audrey Hepburn, An Elegant Spirit

veronicamason  asked:

Hi, that's Veronica again!! I actually wrote to you a few days ago, I'm looking for a picture of Audrey on the set of Funny Face, it's on page 54th of the book Audrey, an elegant spirit, by Sean Hepburn Ferrer, I can't find it on web, would you help me to find it?? Thank you!!

Hello Veronica! I would be delighted to help you. Here is the picture you’re looking for:

anonymous asked:

Bea do you know if Audrey had any diet plans or what she ate?

Luca Dotti’s kitchen biography — Audrey at Home would be a lovely addition to your collection (if any)! 

“She was crazy about the pasta,” says her younger son, Luca Dotti, 45. "She would eat it almost every day,“ he notes. "Her absolute favorite was spaghetti with tomato sauce. She could live on that alone. Mum had a serious pasta addiction. She couldn’t do without it.”

Despite her pasta indulgences, Hepburn remained disciplined. “Snacks didn’t really exist in our household,” says Luca, whose father was Hepburn’s second husband, Italian psychiatrist Andrea Dotti. (She also had an older son, Sean Ferrer, from her first marriage, to actor Mel Ferrer.) “She was very strict. When it was breakfast, lunch or dinner, her feeling was, you should take your time for meals and stop what you are doing.”

Once a month, Audrey went on a simple detox plan consisting of plain yogurt and grated apple.

Still, she enjoyed her favorite treats: squares of dark chocolate. “She ate it every day,” says Luca. “A bite or sometimes more. She had a special drawer in the house where she would put her chocolate and it was forbidden to touch. She would get upset if someone finished it before her. Chocolate was her favorite pick-me-up.”

Also, An Elegant Spirit by Sean Ferrer suggests only a few: to eat colorfully (lots of veggies) and don’t snack!