Audrey Hepburn lived through the devastation of World War II in Amsterdam. As a child, she served as a courier for World War II resistance fighters in Holland. Hepburn's war-time experiences inspired her passion for humanitarianism, and she later became a most devoted activist for children's rights in Africa.
 
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Before they were famous, many truly influential men and women started by serving their country in the US military or grew up in military families.

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AUDREY HEPBURN
Academy, Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award-winning Actor

Audrey Hepburn was a Belgian-born, Dutch-raised actress of British and Dutch ancestry who became one of the brightest stars of American film. In 1999, she was ranked as the third greatest female star of all time by the American Film Institute.

But Audrey Hepburn also lived through the devastation of World War II in Amsterdam. As a child, she served as a courier for World War II resistance fighters in Holland. Though she was to become a highly successful and recognizable actress, Hepburn's war-time experiences inspired her passion for humanitarianism, and she later became a most devoted activist for children's rights in Africa.

Born in Brussels, Hepburn grew up in Arnhem in The Netherlands during the Second World War. After the Allied landing on D-Day, Arnhem was devastated by artillery fire and the Dutch famine that followed during the winter of 1944. Suffering from malnutrition, Hepburn developed acute anemia, respiratory problems, and oedema.

Drawing parallels to Anne Frank's life, Hepburn said "This spirit of survival is so strong in Anne Frank's words.She is certainly a symbol of the child in very difficult circumstances," which was how Hepburn saw herself and her own childhood during World War II.

After WWII, Hepburn moved to London where she studied drama and worked as a model. In 1951, she appeared in the Broadway play Gigi. In 1953, Hepburn played the lead role in the film Roman Holiday, winning an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for her performance. She also won a Tony Award for her performance in Ondine (1954).

From there, Audrey Hepburn went on to become one of the most successful film actresses in the world, performing with Hollywood's greatest men including Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, Henry Fonda, Gary Cooper and Fred Astaire. She won BAFTA Awards for her performances in The Nun's Story (1959) and Charade (1963), and received Academy Award nominations for Sabrina (1954), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) and Wait Until Dark (1967). She immortalized the role of Eliza Doolittle in the film version of the stage play, My Fair Lady (1964).

Hepburn had worked for UNICEF since the 1950s, but it was later in her life that she dedicated her time and energy to this charitable organization. From 1988 until 1992, she worked in some of the most disadvantaged communities of Africa, South America and Asia. In 1992, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of her work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

Hepburn was posthumously awarded The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She also received a posthumous Grammy Award for Audrey Hepburn's Enchanted Tales in 1994, and in the same year, won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement for Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn, making Audrey Hepburn one of a few people to receive an Academy, Emmy, Grammy and Tony award.



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