Audrey Hepburn exhibit shows star's private side

The scooter used in 1953 classic film Roman Holiday at the exhibition.
The scooter used in 1953 classic film Roman Holiday at the exhibition.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

BRUSSELS • An exhibition offering an intimate look at the life of late actress Audrey Hepburn has opened in Brussels, marking the 90th anniversary of the Hollywood star's birth in the Belgian city.

Put together by her son Sean Hepburn Ferrer, Intimate Audrey features hundreds of private and professional photos - originals and reprints - as well as some movie memorabilia, such as the scooter used in the 1953 classic Roman Holiday. The movie won Hepburn a Best Actress Oscar in 1954.

Mr Hepburn Ferrer, 58, whose father was late American actor Mel Ferrer, said he wanted to offer a more personal perspective of his mother's life. She dedicated her later years to charity work and became a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Children's Fund.

"She lived a humble life, a simple life, and maybe in there lies the key to why she is still so beloved today," he told Reuters.

Hepburn was born in 1929 in the Brussels area of Ixelles to a Dutch mother and British father. She later moved to London to pursue ballet training and eventually turned to acting, taking to the stage in New York in 1951 for Broadway play Gigi.

The British actress starred in a string of films in the 1950s and 1960s, including Breakfast At Tiffany's (1961), Charade (1963) and My Fair Lady (1964). She died in 1993 at the age of 63.

Also on display at the exhibition are her fashion drawings and humanitarian writings.

Mr Hepburn Ferrer said one of the key features of the exhibition is a replica cherry blossom tree, a tribute to the childhood home in Switzerland his parents bought in 1963. It remained Hepburn's residence until her death.

"It is an unusual exhibition because... it's the woman who is coming home, naked of the legend, of the icon," he said.

Intimate Audrey runs at Espace Vanderborght in Brussels until Aug 25.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 06, 2019, with the headline 'Audrey Hepburn exhibit shows star's private side'. Print Edition | Subscribe