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Were Audrey and Katherine Hepburn related?

Were Audrey and Katherine Hepburn related?

Were Audrey and Katherine Hepburn related?

Audrey Hepburn and Katharine Hepburn were not biologically related; they were not sisters or direct family members. Audrey Hepburn, born Audrey Kathleen Ruston on May 4, 1929, in Brussels, Belgium, was a British actress and humanitarian.

Katharine Hepburn, born Katharine Houghton Hepburn on May 12, 1907, in Hartford, Connecticut, USA, was an iconic American actress. Both women had distinguished careers in Hollywood and are considered legends in the film industry. While they were not family members, it’s worth noting that their last names were spelled differently.

Audrey Hepburn’s last name was “Hepburn,” and Katharine Hepburn’s last name was “Hepburn.” They also had distinct backgrounds, nationalities, and life stories. Audrey Hepburn was British and Belgian, while Katharine Hepburn was American.

Despite the lack of a biological relationship, Audrey Hepburn and Katharine Hepburn are often remembered together in discussions about classic Hollywood and the Golden Age of cinema, each having left an indelible mark on the film world in her own right.

No, Audrey Hepburn and Katherine Hepburn were not related. Despite sharing the same last name, they were not closely related. Audrey Hepburn was a British actress and humanitarian, while Katherine Hepburn was an American actress known for her independent and unconventional roles.

No, they are not. However, not everyone knew that when Audrey first came on the scene. There’s a charming story about the fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy. In 1955, he received a call that Ms. Hepburn would be arriving for an appointment. 

Givenchy was delighted! He loved working with Katharine; they had created many outstanding looks together. At the appointed time, a petite woman arrived and explained she was there for her dress design. Givenchy had no idea who this Hepburn imposter was, so he sent her to the rack and told her to find something for herself. 

Meanwhile, he called the studio to get to the bottom of this and was told it was not Katharine who had an appointment — it was Audrey. He learned she would star with William Holden and Humphrey Bogart in Sabrina, and she required a stunning ball gown.

Is the movie site GoMovies illegal?

Now Givenchy was on board, and together, they collaborated for the first time and created this:

Were Audrey and Katherine Hepburn related?

A common misconception that these actresses are somehow related has persisted since Audrey’s prominence in the ’50s. Katharine was the daughter of blue-blooded Americans, while Audrey was the daughter of Dutch nobility. Their family lines do not intersect. It means they are not related.

Audrey Hepburn and Katherine Hepburn were not related; however, they were mistaken to be. Katerine was known to refer to Audrey as her “little daughter” affectionately.” However, there is evidence of Katherine and Audrey’s friendship through a letter from Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy to Audrey and George Cukor, congratulating them on My Fair Lady.

Regarding iconic Hollywood names, Audrey Hepburn and Katharine Hepburn stand tall as two of the most revered actresses in cinematic history. While their shared last name and undeniable talent might make you wonder if they were related, the truth behind their connection is a fascinating tale of coincidence, artistry, and Hollywood’s intertwining paths.

Unveiling the Genealogical Connection between Audrey Hepburn and Katherine Hepburn

While conclusive evidence is elusive, the interplay between Audrey Hepburn’s aristocratic Dutch lineage and Katherine Hepburn’s shared surname suggests a captivating possibility of a genealogical connection.

The world of Hollywood often hides intricate narratives beneath its glamorous façade, and the potential linkage between these two legends adds yet another layer of fascination to their stories.

No, for despite the accidental similarity in their surnames, neither Audrey nor Katharine shared a common ancestor or any genetic relations with the other.

This is because, in Audrey’s case, she was born to a mother who was the daughter of a Dutch nobleman and a father of Bohemian ancestry, which is starkly different from that of Katharine’s parents, who were mostly of American background and generally had no relations to Audrey’s European ancestors.

Audrey is a Ruston; Hepburn was taken on as Audrey’s father. Joseph Ruston thought he was of descent from James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell.

Josephs’s grandfather, Joseph John Ruston, was a shipwright in 1809. He was married twice; 1st wife was Isabella Hepburn, 2nd wife was Barbara Bella. He had no children with Isabella, and she passed away after just one year of marriage. However, he claims to be a descendant of James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell.

What is an unknown fact about Audrey Hepburn?

Audrey Hepburn is one of the most beautiful actresses of all time, a fashion icon, and a legend in her own right. Her real-life story was as fascinating; born into a well-to-do, aristocratic, and privileged family, she lived through the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands during WW2 and assisted the Dutch resistance.

She was born Audrey Kathleen Ruston on May 4, 1929, in Brussels, in an aristocratic family. Her maternal grandfather, Aarnoud van Heemstra, was the mayor of Arnhem and also served as Governor of Dutch Guyana. 

Her father, Joseph Ruston, was an Honorary British Consul in Semarang, then part of the Dutch East Indies, and was earlier married to Cornelia Bisschop, a Dutch heiress. She grew up in a relatively privileged and sheltered background, with her father working for a multinational firm. 

Incidentally, her parents were both Fascist supporters; her mother wrote admiringly about Hitler, while her father left the family and was deeply involved in British Fascist party activities.

“Had we known that we were going to be occupied for five years, we might have all shot ourselves. We thought it might be over next week… six months… next year… that’s how we got through.”

When WW2 broke out in 1939, her mother moved her back to Arnhem, as she felt that the Netherlands, then a neutral party, would not be attacked. However, the Nazis invaded the Netherlands in 1940, and she changed her name to Edda van Heemstra, as an English-sounding name then sounded dangerous. 

Her uncle Otto Van Limburg Stirum was executed by the Nazis in 1942 as retaliation for an act of sabotage by the Dutch resistance; though he was not involved, it was meant to be a warning. Her half-brother Ian was deported to a labor camp, while another half-brother, Alex, went into hiding.

“We saw young men put against the wall and shot, and they’d close the street and then open it, and you could pass by again… Don’t discount anything awful you hear or read about the Nazis. It’s worse than you could ever imagine.”

All these caused her mother to change her views on Fascism. Her uncle’s death caused the family to move to Velp to live with her maternal grandfather. She performed silent ballet performances to raise funds for the Dutch resistance. 

She delivered the underground newspaper, took messages and food to downed Allied pilots, and also volunteered at a hospital that was the center of resistance activities. She also witnessed Jews being transported to concentration camps in front of her eyes.

“More than once I was at the station seeing trainloads of Jews being transported, seeing all these faces over the top of the wagon. I remember, very sharply, one little boy standing with his parents on the platform, very pale, very blond, wearing a coat that was much too big for him, and he stepped on the train. I was a child observing a child.”

When the Nazis imposed a food blockade on the Netherlands, creating the Dutch famine of 1944–45, her family had to resort to making flour out of tulip bulbs. She suffered from malnutrition and later was afflicted with jaundice and anemia after the War ended. Her once prosperous family suffered like most others, with many of their properties either damaged or destroyed during the War.

Hepburn was not just a beautiful screen diva; she was one tough lady in real life who survived some of the most harrowing phases in history, which, in a way, shaped her outlook, too.

Was Audrey Hepburn as sweet in real life as she appeared on screen?

Audrey was no pushover. She had to be tough to make it in Hollywood, especially back when it was even more of a boys’ club than it is now. She didn’t have connections, and she didn’t sleep her way to the top. There’s never been any dirt dug up on her about that, and in Hollywood, you know people love to talk.

When Audrey landed her big break in “Roman Holiday,” she held her own among a crowd of seasoned actors and directors. Some of these guys, like Humphrey Bogart, were pretty damn intimidating, but Audrey didn’t let them get to her. She even had to deal with directors yelling at her to make her cry on set. Talk about a trial by fire.

But here’s where the sweet part comes in. Audrey was incredibly well-mannered, kind, and respectful. That was partly thanks to her aristocratic upbringing and because she genuinely cared about others. People who met her were usually charmed out of their socks. She was also big on charity work, probably because she knew what it was like to go hungry during tough times.

So, was Audrey Hepburn as sweet as she seemed on screen? In a way, yes. She was kind and respectful, but she also had a backbone of steel. She wasn’t just a pretty face on a movie poster; she was a strong, independent woman who knew how to stand up for herself. And that, my friends, is the real Audrey Hepburn – a class act through and through.

What made Audrey Hepburn different from other actresses during the Golden Age of Hollywood?

Originally Answered: What do you think of Audrey Hepburn?

I had the great pleasure of spending about 30 minutes alone with Audrey when making her last movie… “Always” is a Spielberg film about forest firefighters. 

I worked on the special effects crew, and we were rigging artificial trees plumed with pipe and powered by propane to produce some of the massive fires in the film. I was working with some 20 ft lengths of pipe when my work partner slipped and dropped his end of the pipe. 

When it hit the ground, it whiplashed out of my hands and snapped down on the top of my foot’s arch, and I heard it crack even before I felt the terrible pain.

We were about 60 miles from the nearest town…( Eureka, Montana) and had no van to take me to a doctor. I was told I’d have to wait until one was free, so I walked down to a quiet area to sit and wait. Tears were running down my face from the pain, and I heard someone ask.

“What’s wrong…are you OK?”. I turned and saw her…. impossible not to recognize, and she was sitting in a grassy area… rehearsing her lines and waiting to walk up to set. I knew she played a part in the film but had not seen her on the seat. She stood and walked towards me as I told her what had happened. 

She sat down next to me and took my hand. To this day, I don’t recall all that she said to me while she was consoling me, but while she was, an assistant director…(3rd or 4th AD) came down and said, “ Ms Hepburn… Mr Spielberg is ready for you now”. 

She looked at him and said, “ Tell Steven I can’t come right now.” He took off running and, in less than 10 minutes, was back again with the same request. She again replied…” Tell Steven I am with an injured crew member who has no ride to a hospital… I’ll be up when I can”.

As I’m sure you can imagine, a van was there within 2 minutes to take me to a medical center. She wished me to feel better soon, and then I was gone. 

I still don’t remember many of the things she said to console me…and the ones I do remember, I’ll always keep personal. Still, in the almost 40 years of doing special effects, it was undoubtedly one of the highlights of my entire career…(and there have been many great moments). 

It was her final film appearance. She was still a lovely lady, and her voice sounded more calming to me than any drug or medication could ever have been.

Who was the most versatile Hollywood actress in their day, Katharine Hepburn or Audrey Hepburn?

Neither actresses in those days had a screen image, like Mary Pickford’s ingenues, Rita Hayworth’s femme fatales, Jean Harlow’s blonde bombshells, Marilyn Monroe’s dumb blondes, Joan Crawford’s working girls, Greta Garbo’s melancholic romantic woman, Bette Davis’ bitches.

Audrey was an innocent, funny girl, whereas Katharine Hepburn was an independent woman.

Katharine Hepburn and Audrey Hepburn were incredibly talented actresses who left an indelible mark on Hollywood, but their performances had different styles and strengths.

Katharine Hepburn:

  • Versatility: Katharine Hepburn was known for her versatility and ability to portray various characters. She excelled in comedic and dramatic roles and was celebrated for her strong, independent, and often unconventional on-screen personas.
  • Career Achievements: With several decades of career, Katharine Hepburn won four Academy Awards for Best Actress, a record that still stands today. Her roles in films like “The Philadelphia Story,” “Bringing Up Baby,” and “On Golden Pond” showcase her versatility.

Audrey Hepburn:

  • Versatility: While not as known for an extensive range of character types, Audrey Hepburn was highly versatile in her own right. She effortlessly transitioned from playing elegant and sophisticated characters to more vulnerable and emotionally complex roles.
  • Career Achievements: Audrey Hepburn won an Academy Award for her lead role in “Roman Holiday” and delivered iconic performances in films like “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “Sabrina,” and “My Fair Lady.”


  • Personal Style: Katharine Hepburn had a more assertive and strong-willed screen presence, often portraying characters with independence and confidence. In contrast, Audrey Hepburn was known for her grace, elegance, and vulnerability, which added depth to her characters.
  • Periods: While Katharine Hepburn’s career spanned from the 1930s to the 1990s, Audrey Hepburn rose to fame in the 1950s and continued her successful career into the 1960s and 1970s.

Determining who was the most versatile is subjective and can depend on personal preferences. Both actresses made significant contributions to Hollywood, each leaving an enduring legacy. Katharine Hepburn’s boldness and resilience, combined with Audrey Hepburn’s grace and charm, contribute to their status as timeless icons in the history of cinema.

What is an unknown fact about Audrey Hepburn?

Here is an unknown fact about Audrey Hepburn:

During World War II, Hepburn was a member of the Dutch Resistance. Hepburn was born in Brussels, Belgium, in 1929. Her parents were divorced when she was young, and she spent much of her childhood living with her mother in the Netherlands. When the Netherlands was invaded by Germany in 1940, Hepburn was 11 years old.

During the war, Hepburn and her mother helped to smuggle food and messages to people who were hiding from the Nazis. Hepburn also used her dancing skills to entertain Allied soldiers.

After the war, Hepburn moved to London to pursue a career in acting. She starred in many classic films, including Roman Holiday, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and My Fair Lady.

Hepburn never forgot her experiences during World War II. She was a strong advocate for peace and human rights. In 1988, she was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF.

This fact about Hepburn is often overlooked but is an integral part of her story. It shows that she was a courageous and compassionate woman willing to stand up for what she believed in.

Who were the parents of Audrey Hepburn?

Audrey Hepburn’s mother, Baroness Ella van Heemstra (1900 – 1984), was a Dutch noblewoman. Ella was the daughter of Baron Aarnoud van Heemstra, who served as mayor of Arnhem in The Netherlands from 1910 to 1920, and as governor of Dutch Suriname from 1921 to 1928, and Baroness Elbrig Willemine Henriette van Asbeck (1873–1939).

Hepburn’s father, Joseph Victor Anthony Ruston (1889 – 1980), was a British subject born in Auschwitz, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary.

Audrey Kathleen Ruston (later, Hepburn-Ruston) was born on 4 May 1929 in Brussels, Belgium. She was known to her family as Adriaantje.

Who was the most versatile Hollywood actress in their day, Katharine Hepburn or Audrey Hepburn?

Neither was the MOST versatile actress of her day. They both had a well-defined onscreen presence. Audrey typically played the doe-eyed ingenue, innocent, charming, and lovable. Katharine usually played an independent woman whom the rules of society wouldn’t hold back.

Most classic Hollywood actresses had a specific role they usually played, and they didn’t deviate from it very often. Movie viewers expected Lana Turner to be glamorous; they expected Joan Blondell to be a fun-loving party girl.

They expected Greer Garson to be the perfect mother and Esther Williams to be a swimmer. I could go on and on. And when actresses did diverge from their typical roles, the movies were often not popular. So, versatility was a less highly regarded characteristic than it might be today.

Did Audrey and Katharine Hepburn ever meet, and what did they think of each other?

Currently voted the best answer:

“Ever wondered what Kate thought of the other stellar Hepburn? Berg doesn’t leave you guessing. When Kate received a letter informing her she had won a fashion award, he asked, “Are you sure they didn’t mean Audrey?” Kate’s response was to shove an ice-cream cone in his face.”

Here’s another answer:

“That’s more an assessment of what she thought of him, not what she thought of Audrey Hepburn, to whom she wrote a letter of consolation when the latter lost the Oscar for “My Fair Lady” by telling her that the awards don’t mean much, and someday she (Audrey, that is) would probably win for a role that wasn’t as significant. 

Ironically, a few years later, when Audrey Hepburn was nominated for one of her most challenging roles, Susy Hendrix in “Wait Until Dark,” she lost to Katharine Hepburn in probably the most forgettable role of her career since she had become an established star, that of Christina Drayton in “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’.”

Is Katherine Ross related to Katherine Hepburn?

You may be thinking of Katharine Houghton, who, I believe, was Katherine Hepburn’s niece. Katharine Ross (the actress), who appeared in “The Graduate” and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and is married to Sam Elliott (her 4th, I think), is not related to Katharine Ross, and Katharine Hepburn spells her name as I have just spelled it.

Katharine Ross and Katharine Hepburn are not directly related. They do not share a familial relationship. Katharine Ross is an American actress born on January 29, 1940, known for her roles in films such as “The Graduate” and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” On the other hand, Katharine Hepburn was an iconic American actress born May 12, 1907. She was known for her legendary career and roles in classic films like “The Philadelphia Story” and “Bringing Up Baby.”

The similarity in their first names’ spelling may confuse them, but they are distinct individuals with no familial connection. Katharine Ross and Katharine Hepburn were from different generations and had separate careers in the film industry.

No, Katherine Ross is not related to Katharine Hepburn. Despite the similarity in their first names and their shared profession as actresses, they are not biologically related. 

Katherine Ross is an American actress known for her roles in films such as “The Graduate” and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” At the same time, Katharine Hepburn is an iconic American actress known for her legendary career spanning several decades in classic Hollywood.

What made Audrey Hepburn different from other actresses during the Golden Age of Hollywood?

Originally Answered: What do you think of Audrey Hepburn? Have you ever checked out a biography of Audrey Hepburn? She was a BADASS.

It started early too, when she was still a child living in Holland, under Nazi occupation. She actively both gave money to and ran letters and other documents for the Dutch Resistance – you read that right – Audrey Hepburn started by fighting Nazis. How many Hollywood actresses hold that claim to fame?

Although this is a picture of Dutch Resistance fighters, it unfortunately is not one of Audrey Hepburn.

Her attitude towards relationships is just as fascinating – moving past the rumors that she once dated JFK, she seemed to be a woman who knew what she wanted and how to get it. Even with her husband Ferrer, who people thought was too controlling, William Holden said: “I think Audrey allows Mel to think he influences her.”

As an actor, she is one of only 14 people to have received the title EGOT (having gotten an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony), which speaks volumes about how talented and brilliant she was. Part of the Breakfast at Tiffany’s role had to be rewritten for her, simply because they first planned on using a ditzy actress like Marilyn Monroe – and that just didn’t fit Audrey’s awesomeness.

And if that wasn’t enough, the humanitarian side clinches it for me. As a Goodwill Ambassador for Unicef, she traveled to some of the most distressed locations (Ethiopia, Vietnam, Somalia, Sudan, Bangladesh…), gathering international sympathy and awareness for these places. And this wasn’t just a publicity act. As photographer John Isaac said:

“Often, the kids would have flies all over them, but she would just hug them. I had never seen that. Other people had a certain amount of hesitation, but she would just grab them. Children would just come up to hold her hand, touch her – she was like the Pied Piper.”

Audrey Hepburn was a badass and an incredible human being. She was beautiful, but that is the lesser of her qualities.

Did Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe know each other?

They shared an apartment in Sausalito for six years when Audrey first came to America. They were lovers, and Marilyn got Audrey into the movie business. Before that, she was an inspector of dairy cattle on a ranch just outside the city. 

In those days, Sausalito was the dairy capital of the United States. Cows from all over the country were sent there to feast on the abundant grass and brambles that gave their milk a peanut-buttery consistency and a beefy flavor that reminded consumers of barbecued yams, an increasingly popular tuber at that time.

One day, Audrey came home very upset that she’d been sprayed with milk by an angry farmer who didn’t like the rating she’d given his cows. Marilyn was so impressed with the way Audrey expressed her anger, spewing curses and calling the man every kind of evil name, all in her cute made-up British accent (Audrey was actually from Poughkeepsie), that she called the producers of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and got her an audition.

Marilyn accompanied her to the audition, secretly carrying a spray bottle filled with fresh, raw milk. When things seemed to be at their worst, Marilyn sprayed her with the natural, warm milk and started calling her a terrible dairy inspector. Audrey burst into curses, killing the audition and impressing the producers and the director with her rage-filled tirade.

She was initially going to play the part of Mr. Yunioshi, the uber-politically-incorrect character immortalized by Mickey Rooney. Still, when Mickey Rooney announced he was available to do his remarkable rendition of the orthodontically-challenged Caucasian-Japanese photographer who kept calling the price, Audrey was back to the dairy farm the next day, crestfallen and increasingly frustrated with her job.

Finally, Marilyn did the most selfless thing in her career, giving the part of Holly Golightly to Audrey, which was to be Marilyn’s significant breakout role, and the rest is cinematic history.

Who was the most versatile Hollywood actress in their day, Katharine Hepburn or Audrey Hepburn?

I recommend Katharine Hepburn. She was primarily known for her considerable dramatic chops over a very long career in movies such as “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” The Lion in Winter” and “On Golden Pond,” and many, many others. But she could also handle light comedy in pictures such as “The Philadelphia Story,” “Bringing Up Baby,” and her many turns with Spencer Tracy.

Audrey Hepburn was a bit more limited. She could act in dramas, as she showed in “The Nun’s Story.” But she truly shined in romantic comedies such as “Roman Holiday,” “Sabrina,” and “Charade.”

Katharine Hepburn and Audrey Hepburn were highly versatile actresses but had different styles and career trajectories.

Katharine Hepburn, known for her independent and strong-willed character, had a career spanned several decades. She was known for her ability to play various roles, from comedies to dramas. Her versatility was evident in films like “The Philadelphia Story,” “Bringing Up Baby,” and “The African Queen.”

On the other hand, Audrey Hepburn was renowned for her elegance, grace, and charm. While she may not have portrayed as broad a range of character types as Katharine Hepburn, her versatility was evident in her ability to excel in various genres, including romantic comedies like “Roman Holiday,” musicals like “My Fair Lady,” and dramatic roles like “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

Ultimately, assessing who was the most versatile depends on personal preferences and the criteria used to define versatility. Both actresses contributed significantly to Hollywood and left a lasting impact on the film industry.


No. Audrey was an English actress (born in Belgium), while Katherine was American. While Katherine’s family name was Hepburn, Audrey was born Audrey Kathleen van Heemstra Ruston. Her father later changed the family name to Hepburn-Ruston as double-barrelled names were held to be more aristocratic.

He borrowed the Hepburn from James Hepburn, the 3rd husband of Mary, Queen of Scots, believing himself to be descended from the royal consort, but as it turned out, there was no connection. Audrey’s mother was of the aristocratic class from Holland.

Are Audrey and Katherine Hepburn related?

No, there’s no link. Audrey Hepburn’s surname was not Hepburn – she was born Audrey Ruston. Her mother was a Dutch noblewoman and, to appear more aristocratic, her father, Joseph Ruston, decided to change the family surname to the double-barrelled Hepburn-Ruston, as he believed, apparently in error, that he was a distant descendant of James Hepburn, husband of Mary, Queen of Scots.

In 1935, Joseph Hepburn-Ruston walked out on his family, moving to London, where he became heavily involved in the Fascist movement. Audrey was six years old at the time and described it as the most traumatic event of her life. As a result, when she began to find work as a model in the late 1940s, she chose to drop the Ruston part of her surname, leaving her with the name we all know her as.

Were Audrey and Katherine Hepburn related?

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