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Katharine Hepburn

Born: November 12, 1907
Place: Hartford, Connecticut
Died: June 29, 2003
Place: Old Saybrook, Connecticut

Katharine Hepburn Katharine Houghton Hepburn was born in Hartford, Connecticut on November 12, 1907. Her father, Dr. Thomas Hepburn, was a prominent surgeon. Her mother, Katharine Houghton, was a well-known political activist, prominent in the movement to secure women's rights to vote, and an early proponent of birth control and family planning. Influenced by her mother's outspoken individualism, Katharine Hepburn grew up with her own sense of self, somewhat aloof, but confident and fiercely independent. Katherine attended the Oxford School for Girls in Hartford, Connecticut, and then continued her education at Bryn Mawr in Philadelphia. While at Bryn Mawr, she decided that acting was her calling.

Immediately after graduating from Bryn Mawr, Katharine joined a stock theater company, beginning a lifelong career as an actress. She worked for a short time on Broadway, in several minor roles, but Hollywood lured her. True to her independent spirit, Katharine rejected initial contract offers from Hollywood film studios, until she felt that she was earning what she was worth. In 1932, she made her first film, A Bill of Divorcement, playing opposite John Barrymore. It was the first of dozens of successful films in her career. In 1933, her third film, Morning Glory, earned her an Academy Award as Best Actress. This was the first of four Academy Awards that she garnered during her seven decades of acting.

Elegant, intelligent, classy, sassy, witty, and beautiful, Katharine Hepburn starred opposite Hollywood's leading men. In the 30's she co-starred with Cary Grant in the now-classic Bringing Up Baby. In 1942 she was cast in Woman of the Year with Spencer Tracy. This was the beginning of a very long screen and personal relationship with Tracy. The team of Hepburn and Tracy starred in numerous films, including Keeper of the Flame, Adam's Rib, State of the Union, Sea of Grass, and Pat and Mike. In 1951 she gave a dazzling performance opposite Humphrey Bogart in The African Queen. In 1967 she performed with Sidney Poitier and Spencer Tracy again in Guess Who's Coming To Dinner, which was Tracy's last appearance on film. In 1981 she gave a tremendous performance opposite Henry Fonda in On Golden Pond. Katharine Hepburn continued to appear in film, on Broadway, and on television into the 1990's.

Over the course of her acting career, Katharine Hepburn was nominated for 12 Academy Awards, and won Best Actress for Morning Glory, Guess Who's Coming To Dinner, The Lion in Winter, and On Golden Pond. In 1991 she published her autobiography, Me: Stories of My Life.

Through our association with Amazon.com, you can purchase Katharine Hepburn's autobiography Me: Stories of My Life by clicking here.

You may also want to purchase Author Joal Ryan's Katharine Hepburn: A Stylish Life, a very good biography of this dynamic actress. It is filled with black and white photographs, and covers Hepburn's seven decades on stage and film.

Katharine Hepburn died at the age of 96 on June 29, 2003 in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.


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