Like many I first came to know of Audrey Hepburn through her roles in iconic movies such as ’My Fair Lady’ and ’Breakfast at Tiffany’s’, it wasn’t until later that I learned about her remarkable life and inspirational humanitarian work for UNICEF. The following is a collection of some of the most inspirational Audrey Hepburn quotes that show she was not only a talented actress and timeless beauty, but that she was also a kind and humble person who walked her talk.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ’I’m possible’.”
And no one knew this better than Audrey Hepburn. Born on 4 May 1929 in Belgium to parents John Victor Hepburn-Ruston and Baroness Ella van Heemstra, her formative years were anything but easy. Her parents split up when she was relatively young and following the divorce Audrey and her mother found themselves living in Arnhem in the Netherlands during the brutal Nazi occupation.
During the harsh winter of 1944 due to the confiscated food supply, many people in the Netherlands either starved or froze to death on the streets. Audrey herself suffered from malnutrition and developed several health problems. It was her experiences during these tough times which would go on to shape her life and values for the future.
I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.”
This embodies everything about Audrey Hepburn, what she is staying is yes, she is soft on the outside, she loves laughing and loving, she is a girl at heart. But on the inside is a strength as strong as steel. Hepburn knew that it is hope that sees us through the tough times.
Audrey was right to believe in miracles too.
After the war, Audrey and her mother moved to London, and it was here that she landed the role of lead character in the Broadway play Gigi. Following this success Audrey was offered a starring role opposite Gregory Peck in the movie Roman Holiday which was to make her famous.
There is more to sex appeal than just measurements. I don’t need a bedroom to prove my womanliness. I can convey just as much sex appeal, picking apples off a tree or standing in the rain.”
Hepburn knew that she didn’t need to don sexy underwear to portray her sex appeal. She knew how to be appealing in whatever she did. It’s not about how you look, it’s how you feel, and how you project that feeling across a room or street or wherever you are. Allure and sex appeal are about what’s on the inside, not necessarily what you can see on the outside.
You can even say that I hated myself at certain periods. I was too fat, or maybe too tall, or maybe just plain too ugly … you can say my definiteness stems from underlying feelings of insecurity and inferiority. I couldn’t conquer these feelings by acting indecisive. I found the only way to get the better of them was by adopting a forceful, concentrated drive.”
The ultimate ’just do it’ attitude. Hepburn knew, just like Susan Jeffers, that in life you have to feel the fear and do it anyway. Although Hepburn was a beautiful movie star, she too suffered from self-doubt like the rest of us, the difference was that she did not let her self-doubt and fear get in her way. In order to vanquish your fears and self-doubt you just have to accept what is and get on with it.
You have to look at yourself objectively. Analyze yourself like an instrument. You have to be absolutely frank with yourself. Face your handicaps, don’t try to hide them. Instead, develop something else.”
It’s not about being hyper critical or hard on yourself but instead it’s about acknowledging what you are good (and not so good) at and developing and working on it from there. If you are not good at something, then focus on what you are good at; play to your strengths.
I decided, very early on, just to accept life unconditionally; I never expected it to do anything special for me, yet I seemed to accomplish far more than I had ever hoped. Most of the time it just happened to me without my ever seeking it.”
Audrey became one of Hollywood’s most popular box-office attractions and during her career co-starred with acting greats such as Fred Astaire, Humphrey Bogart, Gary Cooper, George Peppard, Cary Grant, Rex Harrison, Peter O’Toole and Sean Connery. If that’s what accepting life unconditionally can do for you, then it’s clearly not a bad attitude to develop.
I heard a definition once: Happiness is health and a short memory! I wish I’d invented it, because it is very true.”
A great observation on how important it is to live in the now and not dwell on the past. As for maintaining good health, without it we are very poor indeed. So happiness is about being in good health and leaving the burdens of the past behind.
I never think of myself as an icon. What is in other people’s minds is not in my mind. I just do my thing.”
A great bit of advice for ‘doing your thing’ and not worrying about what other people think. The fear of what others might think along with a fear of failure makes people not even start things in the first place. Worrying about what other people may or may not be thinking can actually paralyze us.
If my world were to cave in tomorrow, I would look back on all the pleasures, excitements and worthwhileness’s I have been lucky enough to have had. Not the sadness, not my miscarriages or my father leaving home, but the joy of everything else. It will have been enough.”
Hepburn knew the value of life and how important it is not to let the past determine our future, or let worry or regret to rob us of the beauty of today. Despite being a movie star with all the trappings of fame and fortune, Hepburn did not have an easy life and gave back much more than what was bestowed upon her.
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it’s at the end of your arm, as you get older, remember you have another hand: The first is to help yourself, the second is to help others.”
Happiness is all about helping others, because by helping others we are helping ourselves on so many levels. Our collective purpose in life is to help others.
Saved by UNICEF as a starving child herself, Audrey was later to become a goodwill ambassador for the organization that saved her. Audrey was passionate about her work with UNICEF and believed that poverty was the greatest human tragedy. She recognized that children were often the victims and by raising awareness acted as a voice for the children who could not speak for themselves.
When the chips are down, you are alone, and loneliness can be terrifying. Fortunately, I’ve always had a chum I could call. And I love to be alone. It doesn’t bother me one bit. I’m my own company.”
This is an interesting quote and reflects on something that many of us fear; loneliness. But if we can learn to be happy in our own company, then this is of great benefit, because at the end of the day, we are our greatest friends.
The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It’s the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows and the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years.”
What a wonderful quote and one that beautifully embodies the spirit, love and determination of Audrey Hepburn, the woman who opened the doorway to her own heart.
Following her untimely death from cancer in 1993 at the age of 63, it was Gregory Peck, her great friend and actor from Roman Holiday, the film which made her famous who tearfully recited her favorite poem on camera.
You can watch him recite “Unending Love.” by Rabindranath Tagore here.
Cover photo: http://jestherent.blogspot.com/