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Katharine Hepburn
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Katharine Hepburn

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  268 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Hollywood has produced many stars, but no one compares to Katharine Hepburn. She is the last of the great ones: a celebrated actress, a brilliant personality, an original.

Barbara Leaming has discovered thousands of never-before-seen documents that finally illuminate the mystery of this enigmatic, fascinating woman. Based on letters by Hepburn, her friends, and her family,...more
Published 1996 by Crown Publishers Inc. (first published January 1st 1995)
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decent choice for anyone interested in hepburn's background. it was a little dry and a lot unbalanced. we spend eons on katharine's ancestors and parents, and some of the information was really important for understanding kh's life- but some wasn't. i was fascinated by all the work kh's mom & aunt did for woman's rights, and really enjoyed reading that part, which is why the book gets 3 stars-- but then leaming goes on to write katharine's own life in terms of the men she was with, as if she...more
Janet Ott
I was 200 pages in and Kate was only 8. I'm now in her years at Bryn Mawr. She just swam naked in the fountain. Gotta love Kate! Hard to believe that in her first two years she was basically a wallflower. But then, she had discovered her brother's body after he hung himself only a year before going. That would throw anyone. And her family went completely silent about it afterward, forcing Kate to suppress her feelings about it. No wonder she can find her depth of feeling so well on film.
I thought this was a wonderful, thorough book about the life and career of one of my favorite actresses, Katharine Hepburn. The author takes the reader on a journey through Kate's life, describing her home life, parents, siblings, and relationship with Spencer Tracy in a way I had not experienced before.
I had always admired Hepburn as a woman who took control of her career in Hollywood where so many woman seemed to be steam-rolled into studio dictated lives. However, the thesis of this biography is a dark side of the Hepburn family and supposedly the effect of that on Kate. I would have to read other biographers to see if there is agreement on this. Leaming's picture of Kate certainly contrasts with Lauren Bacall's picture of her in Bacall's biography of 1978.
James Lew
The first book I ever picked up about Katharine Hepburn, one of my favourite actress, and I love how interesting her family tree and history is, and what she has endured as a modern woman and one of the best actresses ever.
What an odd family -- so many suicides and nervous conditions. Hepburn was beautiful but her life wasn't. Spencer Tracy wasn't such a nice guy either. Interesting story
Excellent narration.
Interesting facts about Katherine Hepburn's family history, her acting career, and her romantic relationships. I always admired her independent personality & enjoyed the book very much.
A really interesting, informative and well-researched biography of Katharine Hepburn. A good read.
Michelle Adcock
May 10, 2008 Michelle Adcock rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Kate fans
I think I loved this one so much because I love Kate. I thought the author did a pretty good job.
I loved this book. Hepburn is the ultimate blue blood East coast icon of all time.
A lot of information (as of page 77) of life in the late 1800's. Interesting!
Aug 15, 2013 Dawn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: readers of Hollywood, psychology, and bios
I have read a good many books about Katharine Hepburn, including her 2 autobiographies. But I was always left with a yearning to understand her more, and the books left so many unexplained personality changes, her character I saw as split in 2, the ultra independent force vs the codependent, lap rug to the men in her life. Barbara Leaming has finally put all the pieces together that make up the pie of this fantastic actress. Starting with both sets of grandparents and families, thru the death of...more
Heather Schmitt
I thought this was an amazing biography on an amazing woman.While Ms. Leaming does not sugar-coat facts, she does not villify either. Want to learn about Ms. Hepburn? I strongly suggest reading this book and,of course, Me, written by the actress herself.
Scott E
A more appropriate title would have been "The Hepburns" as this biography is roughly 50% about Katharine Hepburn, the rest being about her family. That wouldn't have been so off-putting if Leaming would have included more/any info about each of Hepburn's films (origin of material, negotiations of contracts, process of filming, public reception, etc...much of this info is included, but maybe a couple paragraphs at most for most of her films). I feel Leaming's account will appeal more to readers w...more
horribly written. Badly researched. She printed it again, and never bothered to correct her over the top mistakes.
Sarah Sammis
I ended up having to skip the first third of the book to finally get to Kate's biography. I got the impression that the author found her parents far more fascinating than the actress from the amount of pages spent on outlining every single detail of her parents' and grandparents' lives.
Got through 200 pages and could read no more. Not nearly as interesting as I thought it would be. I was reading this for book club and it underwhelmed me.
Melissa C
It was an interesting read. I don't really consider it a book about Katharine Hepburn, it focused mainly on her family (first half of the book) and the latter half of the book focused on the men she had affairs with.
This is a wonderfully written, well-researched biography, but the author interjects her own speculation into the story as fact far too often.
if anything a bit TOO thorough/detailed.
boring-just a series of movies & affairs
It read like fiction, fascinating!
Susie marked it as to-read
Oct 22, 2014
Jules marked it as to-read
Oct 22, 2014
Joannmuench Muench
Joannmuench Muench marked it as to-read
Oct 12, 2014
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Barbara Leaming is a NY Times bestselling author. Three of her books have been NY Times Notable Books of the Year. Her most recent book is "Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story". Leaming’s previous book, "Churchill Defiant: Fighting On 1945-1955", received The Emery Reves Award from the International Churchill Centre. Her groundbreaking biography of America's 35th President, " Jack...more
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