Katharine Hepburn in Alice Adams (George Stevens, 1935)
Katharine Hepburn on the set of Alice Adams (1935)
Kate’s performance as Mary Tyrone was extraordinary, among the most formidable virtuoso displays of her career. It was a part against her nature: she moved toward sunlight; the character of Mary Tyrone moved toward the dark night of the soul. Kate personified clean, shining, positive efficiency, all warmth and quick, stabbing intelligence; Mary was filled with self-pity, desperate, hopeless, dragged down constantly into death. What Kate had to do in acting the role was strip away her natural buoyancy, her confidence, her arrogance, and meet her own suffering head on. The pain of life was a fire she quenched with showers of common sense. In playing Mary, she had to let the fire consume her. It was a case of inspired miscasting. Her innate nervousness— the fluttering of the hands, smiles tremulous through tears, words rushing forward in a torrent or decelerating into a painfully squeezed out, monotonous slowness— was marvelous for comedy; here the gestures proved equally perfect for tragedy. She reached the apex of her art in the scenes in which Mary’s drug addiction is disclosed; she becomes a gaunt, famished figure with long grey hair, spinning on the carpet of the Tyrone house like a Kabuki lion. Here all of Kate’s early struggles, her pain over Tracy, her suffering over the death of her mother and of several friends, emerged with a force so intense that it was almost unbearable to watch. Like a student observing a brilliant operation, one was forced by her to see.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATHARINE HEPBURN | May 12, 1907 - June 29, 2003
With me, it’s up every day at five. Big breakfast. I get it myself. Fruit, eggs, bacon, chicken livers, toast, marmalade, coffee. On a tray. Carry it back to bed. Lovely the silence of the early hours. Do all my studying and thinking as I eat and drink. The sun rises. You seldom see it. But light comes. Misty. Slowly clearing. Light rains. Heavenly climate for a freckled skin. Then a cold bath or shower. A bike ride if I’m read early—before the car gets there. Go to work around seven.
Katharine Hepburn in “A Woman Rebels”, 1936.
Katharine Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby (1938)
Katharine Hepburn, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and Marlene Dietrich attending a private screening at the home of Paramount executive Jesse L. Lasky, 1933
Katharine Hepburn playing tennis at the Merion Cricket Club near Philadelphia, March 1940.
Katharine Hepburn, right, on her way to visit her mother in Connecticut, Feb. 7, 1947.
Katharine Hepburn at the King’s Theatre, Glasgow, May 1952
Katharine Hepburn’s star qualities according to the book 501 Movie Stars.
A Hollywood superstar; tall, athletic actress who did her own stunts; highly intelligent, natural redhead with an alluring yet feisty charm.