While many will no doubt remember Audrey Hepburn as a beloved actress with a gentle but captivating film presence, off-screen, Hepburn gave of herself even more. A philanthropist and humanitarian, Hepburn emphatically prioritized service, helping others, and working hard to make the world a better place.
In Robert Matzen’s Warrior Audrey Hepburn, Matzen devotes this entire book to Hepburns efforts as a humanitarian. Following his initial biography about Hepburn entitled Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II, Matzen takes on the next phase of Hepburn’s life. Published by GoodKnight Books and coupled with a foreword from one of Hepburn’s children (Luca Dotti), Matzen’s book offers a fascinating portrayal of Hepburn’s selfless nature.
Though Hepburn’s on-screen characters were poised, confident, and sometimes carefree, Hepburn’s early life was filled with challenges. She was a World War II survivor and dedicated herself to working for peace. In addition, she was an activist for refugees, advocate for people in need, and a passionate environmentalist. Working towards any one of these challenges is a massive undertaking in and of itself, but Hepburn worked tirelessly on so many fronts, feeling a sense of purpose in these endeavors.
Matzen’s book beautifully depicts Hepburn in this exceptional exploration of her humanitarian work. While supplemented by gorgeous color photos, Matzen’s narrative wonderfully captures a side of Hepburn that commercial films could not.
Warrior Audrey Hepburn is available for purchase via GoodKnight Books.
It was the thrill of a lifetime when I was able to travel to Philadelphia in 1990 to attend “The Concert for Life”, featuring Audrey Hepburn and The New World Symphony, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas. The concert was one in a series of fundraisers for UNICEF. Miss Hepburn read from “The Diary of Anne Frank”, while accompanied by the orchestra. She was electrifying and the orchestra was magnificent. Sadly, it was less than three years later that this grand lady died. I think that she truly gave her life in the pursuit of alerting the world to the plight of starving children, especially those in Sudan, Somalia, and Ethiopia. She was a giant and I can think of no one, despite their best efforts and intentions, who has ever filled her shoes when it comes to the role of Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF.