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Audrey Hepburn

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  1,232 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
The most ambitious and personal account ever written about Hollywood's most gracious star-Audrey Hepburn by Barry Paris is a "moving portrayal" (The New York Times Book Review) that truly captures the woman who captured our hearts...
With the insights of family and friends who never before spoke to a Hepburn biographer-and never-before-published photographs-Paris has creat
ebook, 464 pages
Published September 1st 2001 by Berkley Books (first published October 29th 1996)
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First, a disclaimer: I read a stack of biographies of Audrey Hepburn in college because I wrote a gigantic paper (more of a thesis really) about her, and I feel that I'm able to rate this biography against other biographies.

At any rate, I would say that this bio, the first I've read in many years, is so-so in comparison to the others. For one, I thought that the information was presented in a dry way, and is mostly composed of excerpts from previous interviews with her. The author uses very lit
Jul 31, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will say this: I found myself incapable of reading a lot before I had to close the book and gaze romantically at the cover, wondering how strange people would think me to be if I up and kissed it.

I know I can't hold Paris too responsible for the book being so dry (thus, the three out of two); he is, after all, a biographer and not a novelist. Still, the book reads like a lecture, and a bad one at that. Every so often there is a nice little glimpse of coyness by Paris, but it is quickly oversha
Feb 21, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked learning more about Audrey Hepburn. She was a very special person and inspired me because she was a total introvert but pushed herself to be extroverted. First with acting to support her mother and then with UNICEF to support the children of the world. At the same time, she was a human with faults–not a saint.
Oct 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enchanting biography of an unforgettable person, who was beautiful both inside and out.

Audrey Hepburn has to be one of the most beautiful people; both physically and with a heart that shone with warmth and love. In an age when icons were stereotypically curvaceous, blond bombshells Audrey broke the trend with her slim figure and stunning features (in particular her face). Her vivacity and energy, her innocence and charm along with her natural and matchless beauty propelled her to the height
Jana Kaplan
This was a long read, but I thoroughly enjoyed learning about Audrey Hepburn's life and career. This is a character study on an actress who never really wanted to be an actress but a ballerina....she survived the Nazis, being abandoned by her father at the beginning of WWII, two dastardly husbands and more than a few miscarriages. But she adapted, stood strong, remained positive and weathered through with class and grace. The writing style of the book is chronological, of course, but I found som ...more
May 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading Ernest Borgnine's autobiography, the beginning of Audrey Hepburn seemed a little dry at first, not as personal, especially in the listing of family names going into her genealogical background.

But as I continued reading, it seemed less dry and impersonal and more educational. The biography is very comprehensive, extremely well researched, almost academic, and the amount of information gave a surprising insight into Audrey's psyche. The author had great access to a lot of the people
Jul 03, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: randomchoice
So you want to read an epic tome of Audrey Hepburn? You've come to the right place!

On the Kindle, I underestimated how long this book was. It is huge. But not for the right reasons. There is an in-depth description of every movie, seemingly 50-75 pages a piece, except for only about a page and a half glossing over Breakfast at Tiffany's, as if the author has a secret disdain for the movie and can't stand to acknowledge it. Honestly, it was weird. I also imagine the author getting permission fro
Mar 20, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm not really a big fan of Audrey Hepburn, but as she has remained so popular, I was curious to know more about her life. This was quite a good read though I don't know how it compares to other biographies of her. It was interesting to learn about her childhood experience of war, her movies, her humanitarian work, and how she found love later in life. I can see why so many people admire her, and also why it's so hard to really know her.
Merja Pohjola
Well you gotta believe it... she was as close to an angel who ever walked the earth as anyone was... ;) Anyways, compared to Spoto they disagree on lots of things, mainly about her acting skills. I agree with Spoto that one only needs to look into her eyes at the end of "Children's hour" to know that she was an actress with a big A. I haven't seen all of her movies, and by no means does Barry Paris say she couldn't act, only that she couldn't have risen above the type of roles she played. I disa ...more
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this biography of Audrey Hepburn for a book bingo thing going on at my library. There was a category for “biography” and one for “book cover” and I was at the library and this book was on the shelf and I picked it up so it might serve both purposes.
The life of Audrey Hepburn is a fascinating one and this author delves into deep detail about her early years in Holland during WWII and then as a film star and finally as a wife and mother and international representative for UNICEF. She star
Amy Dingman rush
For those who love some of Audrey Hepburn's movies like I do, who find her classic beauty and sweet personality to be enchanting, you will thoroughly enjoy this book. It starts with her childhood, which includes the occupation of her hometown by the Nazi's and her several near-death experiences. It continues through her teenage years with her and her mother trying to survive post-war conditions in a new city. The book walks the reader through all of the important events that took place to lead h ...more
Malak El
5th Febuary 2015

Born in Belgium the 4th May of 1929, Audrey Kathleen Ruston had a big futur. She had a difficulty growing up because of the World War II but she moved to England in 1948. Audrey practiced balley with her bestfriend,Sonia Gaskell. Audrey performed her dance at the West End Musical Theatre Productions. She spoke six languages which are; English, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, and German. She was engaged with James Hanson but ended their relationship on their wedding day because t
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audrey Hepburn was an extraordinary person and Barry Paris pictures her life not in the romanticized way Hollywood movies have done in the past, but in an honest way. Before her dazzling and successful Hollywood career, she had lived in The Netherlands (very close to my hometown) and witnessed the horrors of the Second World War. This had influenced her life greatly and this became apparant in her humanitarian work for Unicef. I do not read biographies very often, but for this one I made an exce ...more
Dhiraj Sharma
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audrey Hepburn was IMHO one of the most beautiful actresses of Holywood. The whole world fell in love with her after watching her in Roman Holiday a role which fetched her an Oscar. She had that something about her which cannot be explained in words.
Barry Paris's biography does at good job of covering Audrey's life right from Arnheim raid of WW-II to her huminatarian work with Unicef. She was such a gentle, generous and an excellent human being, a fact which earned her many admirers. The book al
Apr 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not convinced that Barry Paris is the best biographer ever, but I did enjoy learning more about Audrey Hepburn, who always seemed to conduct herself as a lady should both on and off much so, that I never realized that her character Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's was a "lady of the evening" and I just watched it this summer!

I didn't know she lived through years of constant deprivation and hunger as a young girl witnessing of the horrors of Nazi-occupied Holland in W
Kristine Kohut
Nov 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best biographies out there. It's well researched. The opening chapters taught me so much about Dutch history during WWII. Though flawed, I still fell in love with this lady. I felt so affirmed in collecting her movies. It got a bit repetetive and cookie-cutter during the movie-by-movie part of the book, and read sort of like the research projects I assigned my 11th Grade students, however, I enjoy watching making-of documentaries on films, and that's what these chapters were like. The ...more
Audrey Hepburn was, and is, one of my all-time favorite actresses. I went through an "Audrey" phase in middle school and read this back then. The best parts of this book, from what I can remember, are the beginning and end, which describe Audrey apart from her movie roles. Her childhood experiences in the Netherlands under the German occupation during World War II, and her relief work as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF towards the end of her life, make this biography worth reading and demonstra ...more
Audrey Hepburn was an enchanting woman, but biographer Barry Paris is rather too obviously in love with her here. Hepburn can do pretty much no wrong in his eyes. So little professional distance from his subject makes for a poor biography. He goes through the motions of her life, but you never really feel that he (or the reader) really gets to know her. The book is from 1996, only three years after her death; perhaps that was simply too soon for a proper biography.

Apart from that, I found the wr
Jan 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge fan of Audrey Hepburn and one of my friends bought this book for me for my birthday one year. It was great reading about her life, her career and all the charity work she was well known for. She was truly a wonderful and talented person. I loved the pictures that were included. She had such a unique beauty about her and such grace. There will never be another actress quite like her.
Feb 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While this book was a bit boring at parts, it helped me understand and know more about Audrey Hepburn. I love how classy she was and how she dealt with every situation with positivity and hopefulness. She could have turned to drugs or drinking, but she stayed herself throughout every part of her life and I think she sounds like an incredible person. If I could go back in time and meet one single person and just have one conversation with them, I would choose Audrey Hepburn.
De'borah Samuelson
Mar 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies
This is one of the better biographies I've read in a long time. I went to a book swap and even though I would not call myself a fan of Hepburn's, I do like biographies and gave this one a try. I was not disappointed. It is well written and full of touching, telling scenes about Audrey's life. I would recommend this book to any of her fans and say that even if you aren't a fan its a well written book and you should add it to your collection.
Nov 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Breakfast at Tiffany’s has always been a favorite movie of mine. But, I had no idea of Audrey Hepburn’s past before reading this book. At the age of 13, she was part of the resistance movement during the German occupation of the Netherlands, risking her life. Her family had very little to eat and she almost died from malnutrition. Later in her life, she devoted herself to UNICEF to help others who were suffering as she once had. She was truly an amazing woman.
Yulya Roesdy
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Audrey Hepburn by Barry Paris is a great book about an amazing lady. She's not only extremely talented and beautiful, but also an amazing person with shining personality. Audrey Hepburn is not only an inspiration because of how she does her makeup or styles her hair, but also because she's a great example to others on how to live their lives. Such a lovely read, I barely put it down.
-Yulya Roesdy-
There was so much I didn't know about Audrey Hepburn before reading this biography. There are some contested aspects Paris's rendition of Hepburn's life, including his discussion of her weight, but overall, I felt the image to be fairly even-handed. It is neither over-critical, nor does it devolve into idolatry.
Sep 04, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Had this book for years and finally picked it up for an assignment I had to do on Audrey. This way a great book to learn all about the wonderful and beautiful nature of one of Hollywood's most endearing legacies. Highly recommend this if you want to learn more of Audrey and her remarkable life. If I can live my life with even an ounce of the grace, poise and integrity she did, I will be happy!
James Lew
Jan 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My uncle once mockingly asked "Why do you want to read about her?". I said that I learned so much about this beautiful woman, her love for people and peace, and I think I am a better and more caring person as a result of this.

People do not necessarily have to read about current affairs or significant historical figures to be knowledgeable. Any form of experiences can contribute to learning.
Hiba Tarabishi
I love Audrey Hepburn and I found this book really interesting at first. Her childhood and the start of fame was very interesting, but I started losing interest as there were so many details I wasn't interested in. I didn't actually finish reading the biography because I know I'll only read it healf-heartedly
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, digital
This was a very well-documented and detailed book, with a good structure and easy to read. I loved the fact that it was not sensational, like many biographies of celebrities are. However, I found that sometimes it read like a thesis - to academic, if that makes any sense.
Maybe I am influenced by my eternal love for Audrey Hepburn, but I think any book about her should have more "soul".
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Quite good. Carefully touched on a subject that is often debated and/or ignored as impossible by many (whether reader who gathers it or not is another thing....), came with a lot of details and comments by Audrey herself, pulled from much of her family's members and friends. So it was interesting. Easy read, too.
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