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This is my first Woman of Inspiration piece but I am planning on incorporating one a month to keep me strong and determined to strive for excellence. Also I’ll use this as a tool to remind me of all the amazing women that have been able to achieve that dream of “having it all” while also living life to the fullest.
If you were to ask me to choose one woman who I think encompasses all the qualities it takes to be a “perfect” woman I’d chose Audrey Hepburn. She has ALWAYS been my idol & my role model. She has all the class, elegance, intelligence, spunk and vivaciousness it takes to be a strong, influential yet ladylike woman who can make a positive difference in the world around her. She always gave more than she took, thought for herself, lead by example, stood up for the underdog and all the while looked gorgeous doing it! In fact she defined “style” and became a legend while making movies, performing in theater, fighting for both human rights and ending world hunger, she created many children based foundations and still made the time to be an excellent wife & mother…my kind of woman! With all that being said, I naturally had to give Audrey the top spot & dedicate this first Woman of Inspiration to her. Thank you Audrey for blessing us with all your grace, and for being so much more than just a “pretty face”.
Many of us know Audrey to be a beautiful timeless actress, from the height of the true “Old Hollywood Glam Era”. Its well deserved that she’s recognized for all her Cinematic & Theatrical Art contributions, there were many (list below). She contributed greatly to so many films success, that she was one of the first actresses to earn top billing. She along with a few other greats; paved the way for many young actresses and entertainers to be seen as equals in not only Hollywood, but the box office. Now, women are top earners! She has so much recognition for her contributions to the Arts, that many of her other accomplishments go unnoticed. What most people know about her it doesn’t even scratch the surface of what an amazingly loving and compassionate, highly intelligent and charitable woman she was.
Some tidbits…Did you know she was fluent in five languages? (English, Dutch, French, Spanish, & Italian…Whoa, told ya she was smart!) Betcha it’s news to you, she was a renowned ballerina. Did you know she was also one of the first female Goodwill Ambassadors? Or that she worked extensively with UNICEF to help children all over the world get food, medical care and an education? Were you aware she spent most of her time in her last decades travelling from one impoverished, malnourished country to the next, bringing food, healthcare, running water and most importantly hope to the needy. She took the time to raise not only funds, but spirits and let the natives know there are people who care and are willing to dedicate their time to help and also learn about their culture. She literally could’ve been spending all her time in the lap of luxury like most of us would choose to do, but she didn’t. She spread her fortune, positive attitude and compassion with those that needed it most, in some of the most under developed parts of the world.
What I think I adore most about Mrs. Hepburn is her overall outlook on life that you can see in any of her numerous insightful quotes. My absolute fav quote from Audrey?
Smart lady! some other excerpts of her brilliance:
Audrey’s list of awards and accomplishments are vast and would likely surprise most to know just how much of a difference she made throughout her life using her “Star Appeal”, compassionate heart & natural intelligence. These are some of her more overlooked but in my opinion far more impactful and therefore more fabulous accomplishments.
- Goodwill Ambassador of UNICEF
- Presidential Medal of Freedom – Awarded by George H.W. Bush
- Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
- Variety Club of New York’s Humanitarian Award
- UNICEF’s International Danny Kaye Award for Children
- Institute for Human Understanding’s International Humanitarian Award
- Washington UNICEF Council’s Children’s Champion Award
- Certificate of Merit for UNICEF Ambassadorship
- Variety Clubs International’s Humanitarian Award
- UNICEF’s Sidaci per L’infanzia” (Mayors for Children) Award
- Children’s Institute International’s Champion of Children Award
- Sigma Theta Tau International Audrey Hepburn Award named after Hepburn, given to individuals in recognition for their international work on behalf of children
- Honorary Chair and Speaker at Alan Shawn Feinstein World Hunger Awards held at Brown University
- The Pearl S. Buck Foundation’s Women’s Award
- Women’s International Center’s Living Legacy Award for “stunning contributions to humanity and enduring legacies given to humankind”
- Bronze sculpture entitled “The Spirit of Audrey”, by sculptor John Kennedy, installed at the public plaza at UNICEF headquarters in New York
- Sustainable Style Foundation inaugurated the Style & Substance Award in honor of Audrey Hepburn to recognize high-profile individuals who work to improve the quality of life for children around the world (the award was given to Hepburn posthumously and received by the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund)
She also was a style icon, which any woman with any kind of femininity would agree with.
- Hepburn was one of only two people to wear the Tiffany Diamond (the other being Sheldon Whitehouse)
- Hepburn was a member of the International Best Dressed List and was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 1961
- Audrey was listed as People Magazines “50 Most Beautiful People in the World” 1990
- Audrey also received the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Lifetime of Style Award in 1992
On top of her film awards which are impressively extensive:
- 2 Academy Awards (1 Best Actress & 1 Jean Hersholt) and 4 nominations (Best Actress)
- 4 British Academy of Film & Television Awards (3 Best Actress wins & 1 Lifetime Achievement) and 2 nominations (Best Actress)
- 1 Emmy Award (Outstanding Individual Achievement)
- 3 Golden Globe Awards (Best Actress, Film Favorite & Cecil B. Demille) & 8 nominations
- 1 Grammy Award (Best Spoken Word Album for Children)
- 2 Tony Awards (Best Actress & Special Tony)
- 2 New York Film Critics’ Awards (Best Actress) & 4 nominations
- 1 Screen Actors Guild Award (Life Achievement)
- 3 David di Donatello Awards (Best Foreign Actress)
- 1 Golden Laurel Award (Best Comedy Performance) and 17 nominations
- 1 Theatre World Award (Promising Personality)
- Hollywood Walk of Fame Star @ 1652 Vine Street
- Key to 5 American cities (Chicago, Indianapolis, Fort Worth, Providence & of course San Francisco!)
- She was awarded with 2 “Audrey Hepburn Days” – February 28, 1991 in Fort Worth, TX and April 10, 1992 in Providence RI
- US Postal Service issued a stamp honoring her as a Hollywood Legend & Humanitarian – Only a handful of Non Americans were honored.
Audrey is truly phenomenal, an inspiration to all of us women to be strong, use our intelligence and most importantly, live selflessly & to make a positive impact on the world around us.
Hope your day is filled with sparkle & heart!