Katharine Hepburn

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Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Houghton Hepburn
BirthplaceHartford, Connecticut, USA

Hepburn, Katharine,

1907–2003, American actress, b. Hartford, Conn. She made periodic stage appearances from 1928 on and debuted in the first of her 43 films in 1932; in her early roles she was usually cast as rather brittle, one-dimensional characters. With the classic romantic comedy The Philadelphia Story (1940), she softened her image and began playing more interesting women who were also more evenly matched to their romantic partners. Hepburn also established her lifelong image as a high-spirited, intelligent, witty, idiosyncratic, and sophisticated woman, a persona mirrored in her private life. In Woman of the Year (1942) she found her ideal leading man (and life partner) in Spencer TracyTracy, Spencer,
1900–1967, American film actor, b. Milwaukee, Wis. He began his career as an actor in summer stock and went into film work in 1930. His fine character portrayals won him Academy Awards for Captains Courageous (1937) and Boys Town (1938).
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, whose solidity balanced her sophistication in a total of nine comedies spanning 25 years. Their other films include State of the Union (1948), Adam's Rib (1949), and Pat and Mike (1952).

Hepburn won four Academy Awards, for Morning Glory (1933), Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968), and On Golden Pond (1981). Among her other outstanding films are Little Women (1933), Alice Adams (1935), Stage Door (1937), Bringing Up Baby (1938), The African Queen (1951), The Rainmaker (1956), Long Day's Journey into Night (1962), and The Trojan Women (1970). For television she did Love among the Ruins (1975), in which she costarred with Laurence OlivierOlivier, Laurence Kerr, Baron Olivier of Brighton
, 1907–89, English actor, director, and producer. He made his stage debut at Stratford-upon-Avon in 1922 and soon achieved renown through his work with the Old Vic company.
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, and several other productions. Later stage appearences include Coco (1969) and The West Side Waltz (1981).


See her autobiographical writings, The Making of The African Queen (1987) and Me (1991); A. Edwards, A Remarkable Woman (1985); G. Kanin, Tracy and Hepburn (1988); B. Leaming, Katharine Hepburn (1995); A. S. Berg, Kate Remembered (2003); W. J. Mann, Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn (2006); Katharine Hepburn: All about Me (television documentary, 1993).

Hepburn, Katharine


Born Nov. 8, 1909, in Hartford, Conn. American stage and film actress.

Hepburn began her stage career in 1928 and her movie career in 1932. During the 1930’s and 1940’s she played in various New York theaters, including the Theatre Guild; she made her London debut in 1952. Her roles included Katia in Turgenev’s A Month in the Country, Tracy Lord in P. Barry’s The Philadelphia Story, the title role in Shaw’s The Millionairess, and Katherine, Portia, and Cleopatra in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, The Merchant of Venice, and Antony and Cleopatra.

Hepburn was awarded Oscars for her appearances in the films Morning Glory, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, and The Lion in Winter.


Carey, G. Katharine Hepburn. New York, 1975.

Hepburn, Katharine (Houghton)

(1909–  ) film actress; born in Hartford, Conn. Strong-willed and outspoken, she began her career on Broadway, but came to Hollywood in 1932. She won Academy Awards for Morning Glory (1933), Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968), and On Golden Pond (1981). Her 27-year off-screen romance with Spencer Tracy lasted until his death.