Hepburn, Katherine

(1907-2003)
   Born in Hartford, Connecticut, and educated at Bryn Mawr College, Katherine Hepburn began her acting career in 1928 and made her debut on Broadway in 1932 in The Warrior’s Husband. Not particularly successful in theater, she made her first film, A Bill of Divorcement (1932), and was an immediate hit. In 1933, she won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Morning Glory. She also starred in Little Women (1933) and Alice Adams (1935). After a decline in popularity due to her high-handed attitude, Hepburn returned to Broadway in 1939 in The Philadelphia Story. Both her regal bearing and strong personality came through in roles that portrayed strong, independent women.
   In the 1940s, Hepburn starred in a number of films with her longtime lover, Spencer Tracy, most notably the comedies Woman of the Year (1942) and Pat and Mike (1952). She also appeared again on Broadway in As You Like It (1950) and The Millionairess (1952). One of her most successful films was The African Queen (1951), in which she costarred with Humphrey Bogart. Hepburn went on to win three Oscars for Best Female Actor in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967) (Tracy’s last film), The Lion in Winter (1968), and On Golden Pond (1981), with Henry Fonda. Throughout her career, Hepburn received 12 Academy nominations, making her one of the most successful female stars.
   See also Cinema.

Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . . 2015.

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