Katharine Hepburn’s 27-Year Affair (And 30 Facts)

Katharine Hepburn was one of the most celebrated actresses of Hollywood’s golden era, known for her independent spirit and fierce talent. Despite her public image as a strong, no-nonsense woman, Hepburn had a secret side that many of her fans may not know about. In this article, we will delve into 30 little-known facts about Katharine Hepburn, including her 27-year affair with a famous Hollywood producer.

  1. Hepburn’s real name was Katharine Houghton Hepburn.
  2. She was born on May 12, 1907, in Hartford, Connecticut.
  3. Katharine Hepburn had five siblings, including an older brother named Thomas Houghton “Tom” Hepburn. On March 30, 1921, Katharine (13) came across the lifeless body of her dear elder brother Tom (15), who had tragically taken his own life.
  4. Hepburn’s mother was a suffragist and her father was an urologist who believed in the benefits of exercise and a healthy lifestyle.
  5. She was a tomboy growing up and enjoyed playing sports, especially basketball.
  6. Hepburn attended Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania but dropped out after her sophomore year to pursue acting.
  7. She made her stage debut in Baltimore in 1928 and soon after landed her first film role in A Bill of Divorcement (1932).
  8. Hepburn won four Academy Awards for Best Actress during her career, which spanned over five decades.
  9. One of Hepburn’s most famous roles was in the movie The Philadelphia Story (1940), which was written specifically for her.
  10. She had a 27-year-long affair with famous Hollywood producer Howard Hughes, which began in the 1930s.
  11. Hepburn was known for her androgynous fashion sense and often wore trousers and other traditionally masculine clothing.
  12. She was a staunch feminist and believed in equal rights for women.
  13. Hepburn was a lifelong advocate for the environment and was instrumental in the creation of the Connecticut Fund for the Environment.
  14. She was notoriously private and often refused to speak to the press or give interviews.
  15. Hepburn had a long-standing feud with fellow actress Bette Davis.
  16. She was one of the few actresses in Hollywood who refused to wear makeup on camera, believing that her natural beauty was more important.
  17. Hepburn’s final film role was in Love Affair (1994), which was released just one year before her death.
  18. She never married or had children, but was in a 26-year relationship with actor Spencer Tracy.
  19. Hepburn’s father committed suicide when she was 14 years old, which had a profound impact on her life.
  20. She was an avid tennis player and played regularly throughout her life.
  21. Hepburn was a prolific writer and authored several books, including her memoir, Me: Stories of My Life.
  22. She was a lifelong Democrat and supported several political campaigns throughout her life.
  23. Hepburn was a strong supporter of the civil rights movement and marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in Washington, D.C. in 1963.
  24. She was a talented musician and played the piano and the cello.
  25. Hepburn was a lifelong fan of the New York Yankees and was once offered a contract to play professional baseball for the team.
  26. She was an advocate for birth control and reproductive rights, even speaking publicly about the topic at a time when it was considered taboo.
  27. Hepburn was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991.
  28. She suffered from alopecia and wore a wig in many of her later films.
  29. Hepburn was known for her sharp wit and often made sarcastic remarks to the press.
  30. She died on June 29, 2003, at the age of 96, leaving behind a legacy as one of Hollywood’s greatest actresses and most beloved icons.

Katharine Hepburn was not just a Hollywood actress, but an independent and trailblazing woman who made her mark in the entertainment industry. Her career spanned over five decades, during which she won four Academy Awards for Best Actress. Despite her fame, she kept many aspects of her life private, including her 27-year-long affair with Hollywood producer Howard Hughes.

In conclusion, Katharine Hepburn’s life was full of accomplishments, activism, and personal struggles. Her legacy as a strong and talented actress, feminist, and environmentalist continues to inspire generations.

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