Afterlives of the Rich and Famous

Audrey Hepburn

The essence of grace and femininity throughout her acting career, Audrey Kathleen Ruston, the future Audrey Hepburn (only a very, very distant relative of actress Katharine Hepburn, by the way), was born on May 4, 1929, in Ixelles, Belgium, the only child of British banker Joseph Ruston and his second wife, Dutch aristocrat Baroness Ella van Heemstra. Not long after she was born, her father included his grandmother’s surname, Hepburn, so that she was raised Audrey Hepburn-Ruston. Audrey was a British citizen despite her birth in Belgium, and she was educated in England during her early childhood. Joseph Ruston, a Nazi sympathizer, left his family in 1935, an event Audrey always referred to as the most traumatic experience of her life. (She managed to locate him decades later, and while there was never a total reconciliation, she supported him financially until he died in 1980.)

In 1939, with World War II threatening, Audrey’s mother moved her and her two half brothers to her grandfather’s home in the Netherlands, believing they’d be safer from the Germans there. But the Germans soon invaded the Netherlands after all, resulting in the deaths of many of Audrey’s relatives. She and her mother struggled desperately just to stay alive, suffering from malnutrition like so many around them. Wanting to help in any way she could, Audrey, a proficient ballerina by then, performed in fund-raisers to support the Dutch war effort.

When the war finally ended, Audrey and her mother went to England, where Audrey was told that, while her ballet skills were brilliant, her above-average height (five foot six) and painfully thin body might prevent her from ever reaching the career pinnacle of prima ballerina. That assessment spurred Audrey into acting, where she could invest her performing experience in an area in which she might find unlimited potential. She successfully auditioned for uncredited theatrical and film roles and, in 1952, was spotted by the French author Colette, whose novel Gigi was being translated into a Broadway musical. Colette instantly knew that no one but Audrey should play the lead role in Gigi, and she was right. Audrey’s performance was critically acclaimed, she won a Theatre World Award, and she was quickly signed by Paramount Studios for the lead opposite Gregory Peck in
1953’s Roman Holiday, for which she won the Best Actress Academy Award at the age of twenty-four.

Next came Sabrina, directed by Billy Wilder and costarring William Holden and Humphrey Bogart. During filming, Audrey had an ill-fated affair with the already married William Holden. She then returned to Broadway to costar with Mel Ferrer in Ondine and married Ferrer a few months later. As her talent and timing would have it, in 1954 Audrey Hepburn became one of only three actresses in history to win Best Actress awards at the Golden Globes, the Academy Awards (both of those for Roman Holiday), and the Tonys (for Ondine) in the same year.

Hollywood and the American public couldn’t get enough of this graceful, reed-thin, exquisitely fashionable actress by the mid-1950s, and she was promptly cast in one film after another with the biggest names in the business. There was War and Peace with Henry Fonda in 1956, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe; Funny Face with Fred Astaire and Love in the Afternoon with Gary Cooper, both in 1957; Green Mansions with Anthony Perkins in 1959; and The Unforgiven with Burt Lancaster in 1960.

The next decade was no less prolific. To name just a few of her more memorable films and costars in the 1960s: The Children’s Hour with James Garner and Shirley MacLaine, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s with George Peppard (for which Audrey was nominated for an Academy Award), both in 1961; Charade with Cary Grant in 1963 (for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe); My Fair Lady with Rex Harrison in 1964 (for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe); and How to Steal a Million with Peter O’Toole and Two for the Road with Albert Finney in1966.

One of Audrey’s more intense and difficult films was 1967’s Wait Until Dark,a disturbing thriller produced by Audrey’s husband, Mel Ferrer, as their fourteen-year marriage was disintegrating. Their son, Sean, who was born in 1960, would say later that Audrey stayed in the marriage too long. Ferrer was rumored to have a girlfriend, and it was widely agreed that Ferrer was much too controlling of her and had a terrible temper.

Audrey Hepburn’s divorce from Mel Ferrer was final in 1968, and in 1969 she married Dr. Andrea Dotti, an Italian psychiatrist whom she met on a Greek island cruise. Audrey had decided in 1967 to slow down the nonstop pace of her career, and the wisdom of that decision was especially clear during her difficult pregnancy with her and Dotti’s son, Luca, who was born in 1970. Sadly, as much as he loved Audrey, Dotti couldn’t seem to resist the temptation of other women, and by 1976 Audrey had separated from him and gone back to work, costarring with Sean Connery in Robin and Marian. After two Ben Gazzara films and a TV movie with Robert Wagner in the 1980s, Audrey appeared in what was to be her last performance as an actress—the cameo role of an angel in Steven Spielberg’s Always. By then her divorce from Dotti had been finalized, and she’d begun living with actor Robert Wolders, who was with her for the rest of her life.

Not even at the height of her brilliant success had Audrey’s heart forgotten or recovered from the memories of her desperate, malnourished childhood in the Netherlands during the war and the other children around the world who were as trapped as she’d been in seemingly hopeless poverty. She’d worked with UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, for decades, and after Always was completed, she decided to devote herself to healing that ache in her heart as best she could. Through her appointment as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, she began traveling to the poorest areas in the poorest countries, from Africa to Central and South America to Bangladesh and Vietnam, sparing no effort to bring food, clean water, medical supplies, and some glimmer of hope wherever she went. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992 and, posthumously, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

In October 1992 Audrey was examined in Los Angeles to find the cause of abdominal pains she’d been suffering. On November 1 her doctors discovered abdominal cancer that had been growing over several years. A second surgery on December 1 led to the conclusion that the cancer had spread too far and was inoperable. She was immediately flown to Switzerland, where, on January 20, 1993, Audrey Hepburn died of cancer at the age of sixty-three.

From Francine

No one who knew Audrey on earth will be surprised to hear that she is a Mission Life Entity, a highly advanced soul who is as cherished and admired on the Other Side as she was in her forty-third and final incarnation. Her welcome Home was a massive, joyful celebration; her mother was the first to embrace her, and William Holden, who never stopped loving her, was the second. While she says her death seemed fairly sudden to those closest to her, she wasn’t surprised and had made peace with it—she’d had a chronic abdominal problem for more than a year before she was diagnosed. Loved ones from here began making regular visits to her during her second surgery, reminding her of the joy and the important work that were waiting for her, and she was already in the midst of her ecstatic “welcome Home party” by the time her body took its last breath.

Studying her life at the Scanning Machine, with total recall of her chart and her life themes of Caretaker and Builder, filled her with gratitude for the “honor” (her word) of being given two sons she adored “to the fullest depth of my soul.” (She hopes they know how proud she is of them and how happy she is that they like each other.) And she felt blessed by the career she so enjoyed and the opportunity to have relationships with such fascinating, desirable men. But nothing moved her quite so much as “the children.” Her commitment to them is stronger than ever. Her frequent visits to earth are devoted to third-world countries, where her powerful spirit lends comfort and hope to each child and to those who are continuing her hands-on work. She gathers information on every trip there and returns to advise teams of researchers and developers with whom she’s exploring a wealth of possibilities for transforming barren land into rich crop-producing soil. By 2028 in your time they hope to infuse a series of breakthroughs to your geologists, botanists, and environmental scientists that will enable every nation to be self-sufficient in its ability to generously feed its own population, no matter how infertile its land currently seems.

Audrey lives simply in a small community of artists and writers who enjoy gathering with countless other “locals” in a central screening arena to view films from your world, both current and classic. She performs occasional dance recitals at art fairs throughout the Other Side and teaches ballet to those who are gifted in that area and charting it to play an important role in upcoming incarnations.

She has also become a skilled watercolor artist who is illustrating her own book called For of Such Is the Kingdom of God, from the biblical verse Mark 10:14, which reads: “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” She has entrusted the re-creation of this book on earth to a close friend named Emile, who is reincarnating soon near Vancouver, Canada, and has charted himself to become a successful author before the age of twenty.

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