Audrey Hepburn (1929 – 1993) was one the great movie and style icons of the post WWII periode. Hepburn was born in Ixelles; Belgium spent her childhood mainly in Holland. She lived in the outskirts of Arnhem in 1944, and survived the fierce fighting between Allied paratroopers and German forces. The Allied were trying to take the Germans by a surprising large scale airborne attack in Operation Market Garden, where British, Polish and American paratroopers landed behind enemy lines to secure strategic important places and bridges. The operating was a failure, and Hepburn carried the memories from this combat with her in life. Civilian losses and the difficult time afterwards for the Arnhem population, was probably important for her humanitarian engagement she showed in later years.
Hepburn was a huge star in the 50s and 60s, with movies like Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Ariane. She did a few come backs in the 70’ and 80’s, but she devoted more of her time and effort on humanitarian projects – and she was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador of UNICEF. She travelled a lot in her last years, and used her famous name and person to help many troubled areas getting attention and help from the world community. After her WWII experiences, she could easily understand the many needs and problems around the world.
Audrey Hepburn died on January 20, 1993 in her sleep at her home in Switzerland of appendiceal cancer – 64 years old.