Many actresses have graced Hollywood sets but not all have been as fortunate as Katharine Hepburn. Hepburn, who was born on May 12, 1907, in Hartford, Connecticut, enjoyed a fulfilling acting career for over six decades. She received four awards for Best Actress and twelve nominations at the Oscars.
Her Early Career
Growing up in a liberal-minded family, Hepburn was allowed to be expressive and explore her world. Through these opportunities, her passion for acting began. After Hepburn completed her degree in history at Bryn Mawr College in 1928, she began acting in plays in New York and appeared in Broadway productions.
Thanks to RKO Radio Pictures, Hepburn got her big break in screen acting. She auditioned for a role in the 1932 film A Bill of Divorcement and because of its success, RKO invited her to continue working with them. Just one year later, she won her first Oscar award for her role in Morning Glory (1933).
Hepburn also had a few flops during her career. To avoid total failure, she ended her RKO contract and returned to Broadway. She appeared in The Philadelphia Story, which she later took to the big screen. This move earned her multiple nominations.
Hepburn acted in nine films with her lover Spencer Tracy. Their most acclaimed film, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), resulted in her second Oscar award. She subsequently received two more awards for The Lion in Winter (1968) and On Golden Pond (1981).
Hepburn’s strong personality accelerated her success as a female in the industry. In fact, she surpassed leading male actors during her time. Hepburn also displayed her ‘strength’ by refusing to wear makeup, participate in interviews or receive media attention. As she would often say:
“If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.”