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A new, in-depth biography of the iconic actress by critically-acclaimed biographer Donald Spoto

About the Author

Donald Spoto was born near New York City in 1941 and received his PhD degree from Fordham University in 1970. He is the author of 27 books, including internationally bestselling biographies of Alfred Hitchcock, Tennessee Williams, Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe and Ingrid Bergman. He is married to the Danish school administrator and artist Ole Flemming Larsen. They live in a quiet village an hour's drive from Copenhagen.

Reviews

Celebrity biographer Spoto (The Art of Alfred Hitchcock) offers a sparkling, fawning life of the European gamine whom America took to instantly with her 1953 debut in Roman Holiday. Hepburn (1929-1993) held the irresistible charm of a childlike star na?vely unaware of her appeal, from her first big break at age 22 when selected by Colette herself to play the Broadway version of Gigi. Born to a Dutch baroness and an English ne'er-do-well (and fascist sympathizer) who separated when she was six, Hepburn and her mother underwent horrendous deprivations during the Nazi occupation of Holland during WWII; her early ambition to become a ballet dancer was undermined by inadequate nutrition and training. Her early film successes flowed astonishingly, however, from Sabrina, Funny Face, Love in the Afternoon, Breakfast at Tiffany's and My Fair Lady to attempts at roles with more gravitas, as in The Nun's Story and Wait Until Dark. Often paired with older, avuncular leads, Hepburn was viewed as unerotic, yet Spoto tracks her steamy relationships with playboys and co-stars, and marriage to American actor-director Mel Ferrer, who often acted as her Pygmalion. Her later work with UNICEF is sketched too briefly. Spoto's previous Hollywood biographies allow the author authoritative access to Hepburn. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Spoto has a Hollywood knack of spinning a good yarn ... What he delivers, with great vim and verbal rhythm, is a portrait of a cherished actress who led a seemingly blameless life * The Times *
Immensely readable ... Donald Spoto captures the spirit of this enigmatic woman through her life and loves * Daily Express *
The enchantment survives, unalloyed * Literary Review *
Spoto's elegant prose is a perfect match for a subject who has always been a byword for elegance * Sunday Times *
Spoto's sympathetic but frank biography leaves her less of an enigma but her magic remains untarnished * Sunday Tribune *

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