Rare photos of legendary actress Audrey Hepburn have been unveiled for the first time – depicting her as an innocent child and teenager before the worldwide spotlight fell upon her.
The unique snaps come from the personal albums of her sons – Sean Hepburn Ferrer and Luca, Hepburn’s son from her second marriage to the Italian psychiatrist Andrea Dotti.
Never exhibited in the UK before, they will form part of the exhibition, Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon, at the National Gallery, from next month.
The fascinating images document the Breakfast at Tiffany’s star’s childhood in the Netherlands, following her birth in Belgium, her work as a dancer and chorus girl in London’s West End, and Academy Award film actress starring in classics like Roman Holiday and My Fair Lady.
The earliest picture handed to the collection was taken when the actress was nine, while the most recent is from her last major photo shoot in 1991.
Among the unique photos is a teenage Hepburn smiling while holding a bunch of flowers after the liberation of Holland during the Second Worւԁ Wаr and performing arabesques in a ballet class in 1944, alongside two friends.
Also featured is the fashion icon in Africa while filming The Nun’s Story and a behind-the-scenes picture of Hepburn in costume during a fitting for her title role in Sabrina.
The exhibition has been welcomed by Hepburn’s sons, who have praised the photos for demonstrating their mum’s generosity and warmth of spirit, developed, they say, during her difficult childhood abroad.
Others show the UNICEF humanitarian, often regarded as the most naturally beautiful woman of all time, in her dressing room on Broadway for Gigi, in Italy, while filming Wаr and Peace and also her covers for Life Magazine.
Along with ‘before-she-was-famous’ pictures, Hepburn, who ԁıеԁ from cancer in 1993, aged 63, will be shown in some of her most famous portraits by Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, Angus McBean, Irving Penn and Norman Parkinson.
The exhibition will be held near the site of one of her earliest showbusiness shows, in revues at the London nightclub Ciro’s, which occupied the building that now houses the National Portrait Gallery’s public archive.
The exhibition runs from July 2 to October 18.