Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #38 -- Regarding Miss Hepburn


One of The Gal Herself's Favorite People Ever …


I just adore her. She’s been gone for more than four years now, but her work remains as vibrant and timeless as ever. So today I celebrate her life, spirit and career with 13 thoughts about The Great Kate.

1. She has more Best Actress Oscar nominations (12) than anyone else. (Meryl Streep has 14 overall nominations, but three of hers were for Best Supporting Actress.)

2. She also holds the record for most Best Actress Oscars with 4. (If you haven’t seen Morning Glory, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, The Lion in Winter and On Golden Pond, get thee to Netflix right now.) In a way, she received a 5th Oscar, because Cate Blanchette won an Academy Award for portraying Hepburn in The Aviator.

3. Despite all her acclaim, she was fired once – from Travels with My Aunt in 1972. Legend has it she demanded too many script changes. I have fired people and trust me, they don’t take it well. I cannot imagine the guts it would take to face The Great Kate and tell her she was being replaced by Maggie Smith. I’d probably have chickened out and done it over the phone. From an undisclosed remote location.

4. Her career spanned more than 50 years, so naturally she made some flops. So many that, in the late 1930s, an influential theater owners group named her “Box Office Poison.” With characteristic determination, she set out to rebuild her career, heading to Broadway to star in The Philadelphia Story.

5. Among those flops are two of my all-time favorite Hepburn movies, Holiday and Bringing Up Baby.

6. She lived by her own code of personal conduct – which demanded dignity and integrity but did not preclude passionate love affairs with fascinating men. Howard Hughes and Leland Hayward both gave her expensive jewelry. She didn’t wear it often in public, but she did keep it. After her death, her diamond, emerald and ruby pieces were among the personal effects auctioned by Sotheby’s.

7. Her great love was Spencer Tracy. Their romance lasted more than 25 years, and their professional partnership included 9 films. She was with him when she died, but didn’t attend his funeral. He never divorced his wife, Louise, and Hepburn respected that Louise was his widow.

8. A good tennis player and golfer, she was proud to do her own sports in the Tracy-Hepburn classic, Pat and Mike.

9. She based her wonderful performance as Rose Sawyer in The African Queen on Eleanor Roosevelt.

10. Her Bryn Mawr accent and cadence so impressed young Anthony Hopkins (he played her son in The Lion in Winter back in 1968) that it was his inspiration for Hannibal Lector’s speech pattern in Silence of the Lambs.

11. I’m in heaven when I watch the early version of Little Women. It’s my favorite actress portraying Jo March, one of my all-time favorite heroines.

12. She never shied away from controversial material. Though it seems dated and corny today, the subject of interracial marriage addressed in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? raised eyebrows in the 1960s. Suddenly, Last Summer, with its heady mix of homosexuality, insanity, incest and cannibalism, was downright shocking in the 1950s. Without the prestige Hepburn brought to that project, the film may not have been made.

13. In closing, here she is, in her own words:

“Life is supposed to be hard. After all, it kills you.”

“If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.”

“To keep your character, do not stoop to filthy acts. It makes it easier to stoop the next time.”

“I don’t care what’s said about me so long as it isn’t true.”

And my favorite …
“Love has nothing to do with what you expect to get – only what you expect to give – which is everything.”

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1.Works for Mom shares 13 comical quotes (I'm stealing #9 for myself)

2. Chelle Y. lists 13 unforgettable children's songs

3. Country Dawn warns us AGAINST visiting a Haunted House

4. Sandee takes a closer look at Murphy's Lesser Known Laws

5. Ellen b. uncovers 13 very funny town names

6. Malcolm gives us some deliciously quotable "Grease" trivia

7. Nicholas has another one of his inimitable book lists.

8. Susan Helene Gottfried has a TT "ripped from today's headlines"

9. Irene's imaginative TT combines the green with the Greek

10. Jenn has 13 FAMILY-FRIENDLY Halloween jokes

11. Janet gives funny and ever-so useful Halloween wisdom

12. Wylie has a great list of rewatchable movies

13. Yen takes on a subject she's an expert on

14. Buck Naked Politics fantasizes about the best publicly funded shopping spree of all time!

15. Lori offers up unbeatable ways to beat stress

16. Greatfullivin takes us traveling

17. Jenny McB takes us through her busy day (wear your track shoes if you want to keep up)

18. Yellow Rose has a movie TT, and you know how this Gal loves those!

19. Joyismygoal takes us for a hike

20. Bermudabluez makes some vacation recommendations

21. Carrie Lofty's TT is a tribute to special 5-year-old on her birthday

22. I'm in heaven! Patti gives us another movie TT to check out!

23. Maribeth gives us the derivation of some enduring superstitions

24. Ann Anguirre has a thought provoking TT

25. Xakara shares insights about a topic she's an expert on

26. Adelle has a very porcine TT

27. Claudia posted some funny, some truly NOT funny photos of unwise plastic surgery

28. Harlekwin (who created my fabulous banner) gives us 13 ways to tell if it will be a good day

29. JLynne answers any questions you may have about Halloween superstitions

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


  1. Oh I LOVE Katharine Hepburn. She is the classic of ALL classics! Great list!!

  2. She was an amazing actress. I used to get her confused with Audrey. Actually, they both were great!

  3. Little Women was one of my fav's to!

  4. Just wonderful. I so loved her too. Spencer Tracy as well. Very well done. Have a great TT. :)

  5. Anonymous5:48 PM

    She's a legend! Happy TT

  6. One of the things that I like about KH is her fierce independence and non-conformist attitude (both on screen and off). My favorite Katherine Hepburn moment is from "The African Queen" when she (Rose) poured all of Bogie's (Charlie Allnut) booze into the river.

    Charlie Allnut: But miss you don't know what you're doing. I'll perish without a little hair of the dog.

  7. She and Frances Dee were best friends. I became very good friends with Mrs. McCrea during the last years of her life and heard wonderful stories about her friend "Kate".

    SJ Reidhead
    The Pink Flamingo

  8. Anonymous6:25 PM

    The African Queen and The Lion in Winter are 2 of my all time faves!

  9. I did not know that she'd been classified as Box Office Poison. Interesting. There's a lesson in there I could use tonight, that's for sure...

    Happy TT!

  10. What a lady!And how wonderfully remembered! Thank you. Happy TT!

  11. Interesting list. Happy TT!

  12. about #10...I didn't know that!

    and she was PERFECT as Jo :-)

  13. A great tribute to an amazing woman. Well done!

  14. Anonymous7:43 PM

    Yup, I love her too:) And I love this lines..“Love has nothing to do with what you expect to get – only what you expect to give – which is everything.”

    Mine is up here;
    Thursday Thirteen!
    Happy TT!

  15. Anonymous8:03 PM

    I didn't know #10, but now that you say it, it makes sense: Hopkins does sound sort of like Hepburn.

  16. She was so beautiful...the perfect woman. Great tribute:) Happy TT my friend.

  17. Anonymous8:50 PM

    Oh My Gosh....I Love Kate! I really enjoyed your tribute. Happy T13!

  18. She didn't grant a lot of interviews, did she?

    Loved on Golden Pond and I am sure that I saw many of her other films back when I was a lot younger and had a memory.

    I like the detail that you put into the TT 13, always entertaining and I usually learn something. Have a great weekend watching some baseball!

  19. She's a class act, and one of the greats! I have always loved this quote of hers that you mentioned:

    “If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.”

    Happy TT!

  20. I was about to say that I didn't think i've ever seen any of her movies (I don't get a chance to watch very many, especially classics)...but I used to have Little Women on VHS. I love that movie and Jo is my favorite character.

  21. oh yes she is so grand

  22. What a Classic! I *heart* her!!! Always have...

  23. What an absolutely great list. She was one grand dame.


  24. Didn't know that about Silence of the Lambs, but now it makes perfect sense!

  25. Great list! I like the quotes! Happy TT!

  26. Anonymous8:03 AM

    I remember On Golden Pond when I was a little girl. I would love to watch it as an adult.
    Nice tribute

  27. I've always found her to be a fascinating woman, right up there with Anais Nin.

  28. Anonymous9:31 AM

    I loved Bringing Up Baby. I guess being so young when I saw it, I didn't get why it wouldn't be liked by everyone.

    I'm very glad I got to see this list. I watched a biography on her too long ago and needed a little refresher course.

    It's odd, I'm very specific in the way I feel about affairs but a select few like Katharine and Spencer seemed more a product of their time, rather than a desire to be deceptive and hurtful. That left it easy not to judge and to take is at part and parcel of what made The Great Kate who she was.

    Happy TT


  29. Some of my favorite quotes ar from Katherine and Eleanor Roosevelt. What a wonderful tribute to her life. Happy T13!

    Mine's up

  30. I love her too. She is such an inspiration to be truly female - strong like a lion, beautiful, and powerful. Hard to do. I'm grateful to have had her as a role model!

    Happy TT.

  31. You've featured one of my favorite Katharine Hepburn quotes... I get to see it every time I open my page. Another one I really adore::

    "I never lose sight of the fact that just being is fun!"

    What an amazing woman she was and how fortunate that we have her films to watch.

  32. it's so strange. my mom and i were discussing her last night!! i had read somewhere that she was in the closet so to speak, but my mom assured me that spencer was her one true love

  33. Great woman! I loved her quotes!

  34. Such a great lady!

  35. What a great tribute. I'm not much of a movie person, but I've seen more than a few of hers.

    Happy TT!

  36. What a cool TT !!!! Love it!!!!

  37. Any Katherine Hepburn/Spencer Tracy movie is a must watch. Even if its some sort of Public Service announcement, its a must watch

  38. She's one of my favorites too. A real star. If only Hollywood were still like that today...