The year was 1953 and she was cast as Princess Ann in “Roman Holiday”. Finally! She had gotten the break she had been waiting for her whole life. The role brought Audrey her first Acadamy Award.
Funnily enough, the plot of Roman Holiday tells the story of a princess who relinquishes her title. Little did Audrey know, in years to come she would too put her title and crown aside, leave Hollywood and dedicate her life to more meaningful matters.
Introduction to the Big Screen
In 1951 Audrey starred on the big screen for the first time. These were her first steps in Hollywood, and what a long walk it was. Although it was uncredited, "One Wild Oat" gave her a taste of the future that was just around the corner. Audrey was young, she was stunning, and she belonged in front of the camera. That much was clear.
That same year, she was seen by a French producer who offered her a role in the Broadway stage show "Gigi". That show soon turned into a movie carrying the same name. She was 22 and she experienced her first taste of success in the limelight and had no intentions of going a different way.
The Gigi Girl
Based on a novel by Anita Loos, the movie "Gigi" tells the story of a Parisian girl (Audrey), taking her first footsteps in the adult-only world intended to entertain rich men. This was a throw-into-the-deep-water for Audrey, coated with a thick layer of glam.
She was introduced to the industry, and although "Gigi" wasn't considered a great hit, her abilities and natural talent were revealed. This new path would change the course of her entire life and make her a star.
The Tylor Intention
The role in "Roman Holiday" was not handed to her on a silver platter. Things were going for her, but they weren't going easy. Two screen producers corresponded over the casting for the movie as the initial intention was for Elizabeth Tayor to play the role. They wanted a big name and Audrey's name wasn't big enough.
After seeing Audrey's screen test, William Wyler had no doubt that Hepburn was the one. Hepburn began seeing life through rose-colored glasses and things were starting to look up for her.
A Shakespearean Touch
Her next significant role was the title role in "Ondine" in 1954. This was a Shakspearian production that escalated Hepburn way up high. She gave an astonishing performance.
This was her last Broadway production which led to another new surprise. While "Ondine" tells the tragic story of two lovers, in reality, Audrey was about to develop strong feelings for her co-star Mel Ferrer.