Movie actress, ballet dancer, model, and philanthropist Audrey Hepburn lost so much weight as a kid during the German occupation of Holland that she emerged from World War II weighing only 88 pounds, while being 5 feet 6 inches tall. Her life was marked by her extreme thinness. At age 63, she succumbed to a very unusual kind of appendix cancer.
Not only has she won three BAFTAs for Best British Actress, but she also has an Oscar, a Tony, an Emmy, and a Grammy. She is the third “Greatest Female Star of All Time,” according to the American Cinema Institute. A commemorative stamp was created by the United States Postal Service to recognize her as a humanitarian icon and Hollywood icon.
In addition to the Presidential Medal of Freedom, she received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for her work with UNICEF to improve the lives of millions of children in Africa, South America, and Asia.
Audrey Hepburn Cause Of Death
In 1989, Audrey Hepburn and her longtime companion, Dutch actor Robert Wolders, attended a meal at the White House.
Audrey Hepburn, unlike many individuals who get a devastating health prognosis, managed to keep her emotions and public persona under wraps. She pushed through to the very finish. In 1992, after returning from a trip to Somalia, she developed excruciating abdomen pains in Switzerland.
Although she did see a doctor in Switzerland at that time, it wasn’t until the following month in Los Angeles that American physicians determined what was causing her discomfort.
During a laparoscopic examination, the physicians there diagnosed her with a rare cancer of the appendix and its subsequent metastasis. Sadly, this cancer may remain for a long period before being found, making therapy challenging.
Surgery was performed, but it was already too late to save her life. According to Express, she gazed out the window and muttered, “How disheartening,” as she realized there was nothing that could be done to help her.
They told her she had three months to live, and she wanted nothing more than to go home to Switzerland to celebrate Christmas 1992. The issue was that at this point in time, she was deemed unfit for travel due to her illness.
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When And How Did Audrey Hepburn Pass Away?
In this 1991 photo from the Night of Stars event at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, we see Hubert de Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn.
Audrey Hepburn’s lifelong friend, fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy, came through for her one more time before she passed away. Besides dressing her in stunning ensembles that made her a style icon, he would be the one to bring her back to safety. People report that he gave her the use of a private plane so she could return to Switzerland while she was on life support.
On a regular flight, the rapid change in altitude and pressure would have been too much for her, but the private jet’s pilots could take their time.
The tweet below shows Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer photograph:
Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer photographed by Willy Rizzo in Rome, Italy, 1955 pic.twitter.com/UKI2LIw1bx
— Audrey Hepburn (@SoAudreyHepburn) March 16, 2023
As a result of this journey, she was able to spend her last Christmas with her loved ones, and she continued to enjoy life until January 20, 1993. She reflected, “It was the most lovely Christmas I can remember.”
She presented winter coats to her son Sean, her longtime companion Robert Wolders, and Givenchy, telling them to wear them and think of her.
Not only was she well-liked for her acting in movies, but also for the kindness and generosity she showed to people in real life. Two days before she passed away, she spoke with her longtime buddy Michael Tilson Thomas over the phone. He said that even in death, she was still concerned about him and full of grace.
He said, “She had this ability to make everyone who met her feel that she was really seeing them, and recognizing what was special about them. Even if it was just in the course of the few moments that it takes to sign an autograph and a program. There was a state of grace about her. Somebody who is seeing the best in a situation, seeing the best in people.”
While Audrey Hepburn passed away peacefully in her sleep, like so many others, she will be remembered for her strength and charisma.
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Her Little Stature Aided Her Public Career
Mostly due to her waiflike thinness, she was cast as the lead in the Broadway production of Gigi. The show’s producer suggested that she practice her lines while on a transatlantic ship from London to New York.
Because of her excessive chocolate consumption throughout the course of the 18-day trip, she returned to port 15 pounds heavier than when she had left. After hearing the producer’s extreme unhappiness with her weight increase, she made a concerted effort to get rid of it.
She smoked as much as three packs a day, which, in most people, would be enough to curb appetite and avoid weight gain. Her weight never rose over 100 pounds for the remainder of her life, and it frequently fell below that.
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