Katharine Hepburnby Barbara Holland, A E Television Network Staff
Hepburn's family had a tragic history. By her eighth birthday,
With a mind and will of her own both on screen and off, Katharine Hepburn has become a role model to women worldwide. Barbara Holland's portrait of this outspoken and talented actress reveals the truth behind one of the greatest actresses of our time.
Hepburn's family had a tragic history. By her eighth birthday, three family members were dead from suicide. The death that haunted Kate the most was the suicide of her dear brother, Tommy. His memory echoed throughout her life in her inability to separate herself from self-destructive men.
Hepburn found solace on the stage before eventually making her way to Hollywood. There she starred in Morning Glory, winning the first of her four Academy Awards and launching a film career that was plagued by huge ups and downs in popularity. It was the unique interplay of her public and private personas that made Katharine Hepburn a performer unlike any other.
Holland's unsentimental yet sympathetic portrayal reveals Hepburn's fascination with men with a dark side. She was taken with John Ford's interior bleakness and mesmerized by Spencer Tracy's reclusive habits. In fact, the Hepburn-Tracy romance was not the fairy tale it has been portrayed to be. For decades, Hepburn nursed Tracy when he fell into alcoholic binges and continued to take care of him, even when he turned vicious or became despondent, until his death.
Hepburn's intelligence and iron will shattered the feminine ideal fostered by Hollywood. Here we see the woman'sstrength, in addition to the pain that lay beneath the surface.
"What you do is to move along, get on with it, and be tough."
Raised among the eccentrics and dark secrets of an old New England family, Katharine Hepburn lived above the conventions of her time. Resolutely her own woman, she made herself larger than any role she played, stronger than any man she loved, including the tormentedand tormentingSpencer Tracy. Barbara Holland explores the pro-
fessional triumphs, the personal tragedies, and the unique human spirit that have made Katharine Hepburn a hero to generations of women.
Holland is one of the many established authors to contribute to the BIOGRAPHY® book series, brought to you by A&E and Park Lane Press. This eclectic collection offers a remarkable variety of profiles, presented with depth, detail, and historical accuracy. Let BIOGRAPHY take you behind the photos and film, the rumors, myths, and legends, to truly see the men and women who made our times.
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