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Audrey: Her Real Story Paperback – December 15, 1997


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

British film critic and film-star biographer Walker (Fatal Charm: The Life of Rex Harrison) here offers a comprehensive, if somewhat superficial, life of Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993), the actress who "redefined a feminine ideal" with her gamine looks and winsome charm. Walker's prose is lifeless as he recounts his subject's childhood in war-torn Europe and her early stage and film career. But Hepburn's fans will find it worthwhile to stick with him: both the narrative and the writing itself become more lively as he discusses the heyday of her career, her sometimes turbulent love life and her work with Third World children for UNICEF. While Hepburn, who was always reluctant to reveal herself to the press, remains a curiously elusive figure, Walker's critical skills and extensive knowledge of the film industry serve him well as he charts the development of her acting career and assesses her place in cinematic history. An affectionate tribute to a screen legend, this biography nevertheless reveals more about Hepburn the star than it does about Hepburn the woman. Photos.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Informed, candid...what the lady deserved. (New York Daily News)

Walker has all the facts...A meticulous account. (Entertainment Weekly)

Walker is a much better write than most Audrey biographers, and he distills the subtle image/reality of the Audrey Hepburn complex. (Cups)

No book on her life better expresses the nature of her grace and attraction than this one. (Kirkus Reviews)

A loving biography of a legend...splendid and wonderful to read. (Sullivan County Democrat)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (December 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312180462
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312180461
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,774 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
I saw this book at my aunt's house, and spent the rest of my visit pouring over the beautiful pictures of Audrey Hepburn. She gave me the book and I then read about Ms. Hepburn, and learned about this wonderful woman, who not only starred in over 20 films, but also was a representative for UNICEF in her later years. This book is a MUST for anyone the least bit interested in Audrey Hepburn, and it's definetely one to add to your collection.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Frank on April 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you want to find a book about the happy life of Audrey Hepburn and wanna see pictures of all the styles she wore then don't buy this book. This book by Alexendar Walker is the real truth, the author goes from Califronia to New York to Europe to research books, articles, and people who knew Audrey Hepburn and her parents and husbands. This book tells about her miscarrgies, divorces, lonely and hard times for her. This book gave me a better understanding of how she felt, and now I have a deeper love and respect for her.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By turtley on July 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
Another well written biography by Alexander Walker. Not only handles the mechanics of her films, but also gets into her personal life the ups and downs (mostly downs). This is not a coffee table - pretty picture book (Although there are gorgeous pictures of her, as any and all pictures of Audrey are). This book is a serious read. If you are a new found fan of Audrey Hepburn, this may not be the best book for you to start with, she was a very wonderful - but lonely lady. It is a sad story, a complete chronicle of her very private life including her work with UNICEF. A life very much meant to be cherished and remembered. This is my 3rd biography by Alexander Walker - I also recommend Vivien Leigh and Bette Davis. Vivien Leigh was the first A.W. biography I read and I have been hooked ever since.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lostinbooks on March 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author seems to have done scrupulous research, particularly with regard to Hepburn's early years. However, this bio contains more conjecture and fewer direct quotes from Hepburn "insiders" than the Barry Paris book. It also goes into more detail about her early career, her parent's fascist connections, and her relationships with her costars and husbands. Curiously, her adult relationship with her mother is largely ignored by the author.

It's entirely possible that Walker had less cooperation from Hepburn's friends, family and associates, because this book is somewhat less flattering than the Barry Paris bio. For example, Walker makes no bones (bad pun) about her alleged off and on battle with anorexia, while Paris blows the rumors off.

The author makes one egregious ommission; he fails to note Hepburn's last work, the superb Gardens of the World series for PBS. He notes only a "coffee table book" by that title for which he says Hepburn wrote the text. As she did not write the script for the series, it's unlikely that she would have written the text for any companion book. Gardens of the World does not even appear in the book's index! For credibility's sake, Walker really should correct this error in any future editions.

Nevertheless, all in all this is a satisfying read for any fan of Audrey Hepburn.

I'd recommend reading both books to get a more balanced view of this great lady.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 24, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This was a wonderful book. I have always been a great fan of her but had no idea that behind that sunny smile and realistic portrait of Holly Golightly, Eliza Doolittle, and many others, hid a lifetime of pain, sorrow, love,sickness, triumph and letdowns, a life far more realistic than any movie.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 13, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Walker has done a wonderful job, showing us the true side of Miss Hepburn. A fan myself, I only grew to love her more as I read "Audrey : Her Real Story". Her kindess, elegance, and strength are excellent role models for anyone to follow. Her high standard of morals was evident, and she was loved for it.

Yes, Mr. Walker has indeed shared with us the joy of learning about one of the most beautiful and wonderful people that has ever lived.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Laura OBrien on June 8, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is tedious. I wanted a book that told about Audrey Hepburn's personal life; instead I got a very mechanical description of the productions she was involved in. On top of that, the author's language is extremely contorted and not easy to read at all. If you're interested in learning about Audrey's movies and you're a film producer, you would probably like this book. However, if you wanted a personal story about Audrey Hepburn the person, you may well be disappointed.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Aariel Portera on November 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
From Audrey's facinating childhood and tragic war experience and her sad rejection in dance, to her fabulous movie career and multiple marriages, we find that stars always confuse us with the images that they portray on the screen. Not that Audrey was a bad person, just different from what you would think her as. Whatever she may have been, she had a wonderful and strong personality and a dear, giving heart. A wonderful telling of her life which I recommend for biography readers everywhere.
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