On May 4, we celebrate Audrey’s birthday. Born in Ixelles near Brussels in 1929, from a British father, Joseph Ruston and a Dutch mother, Ella Baroness van Heemstra, she would have been 90 had she lived. Although she died tragically from an intestinal disease in 1993, only 63 years old, she still has many fans. Turner Classic Movies repeats her movies regularly. My favorites are Roman Holiday, My Fair Lady, Wait Until Dark, The Nun’s Story, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Charade. If I am pushed to the wall, I would rate The Nun’s Story her best because I know that world and loved the scenes in Africa’s Congo which I visited later while working for the World Bank. But Roman Holiday was the movie that rocked us in the family as Audrey had suddenly turned into a film star. At school, everybody was jealous that I knew her.
The above pictures are ‘pre-fame’ Audrey when she was modeling in London in the early fifties. The first is a copyrighted picture of the Audrey Hepburn family archive given to me by her second son Luca Dotti. The second is a rare photograph by Noel Mayne, a London photographer of Baron Studios, which Audrey’s mother left me.
Audrey (then 13) and I (then 7) played together in Holland in 1943 during World War II. I wrote about it in my paperback, entitled ‘Audrey – a Cherished Memory,’ which also includes some ‘pre-fame’ pictures, some given to me by her mother, and others by Audrey’s second son, Luca Dotti, from the family archive. The paperback contains two short stories, the first on how Audrey (then still Audrey Ruston) and I met at the house of my grandparents, not far from where Audrey lived with her mother and grandfather, and the second how we met again later in life in Geneva, Switzerland. You can read it in one sitting, with a cup of coffee or tea, a scotch or a glass of wine. For Audrey lovers, it is a nice souvenir. I am sending the sales proceeds to the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund. I have lowered the price to US$5.25 or equivalent, to encourage more sales, which yields $1 in royalty. So, the more booklets sold, the merrier for the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund (www.audreyhepburn.org). The paperback is featured below:
The booklet is sold by Amazon.com with the following links, in the various locations of the USA, Canada, UK (Europe), France, Italy and elsewhere. as listed below:
USA and Canada:
For the cookerers among you, Luca Dotti produced a wonderful cookbook with Audrey’s recipes, including Dutch recipes, entitled Audrey at Home: Memories of My Mother’s Kitchen – http://amzn.to/2AqVPF1
Those who already purchased my Audrey booklet or want to donate directly to the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund, please do so by clicking on http://www.audreyhepburn.org
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