US film and stage actress. Her characteristic voice and dazzling personality have been a feature of show business for over fifty years.
Hepburn was born in Hartford, Connecticut, into a well-to-do family; after graduating from Bryn Mawr in 1928 she secured a small part in a local theatrical production of Czarina. This was followed by a successful, but somewhat stormy, Broadway career and her screen debut in A Bill of Divorcement (1932).
The recipient of four Oscars for Morning Glory (1933), Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968), and On Golden Pond (1981), Hepburn has been nominated for no fewer than eight other Academy Awards during her long and distinguished career. These were for Alice Adams (1935), The Philadelphia Story (1940), Woman of the Year (1942), The African Queen (1951), Summertime (1955), The Rainmaker (1956), Suddenly Last Summer (1959), and Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962). Woman of the Year (1942) was the first of many films with Spencer Tracy, with whom she was to have a long relationship that ended with his death shortly after their last film, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967). Their romance, which has become a Hollywood legend, was the subject of the best-selling book Tracy and Hepburn: An Intimate Affair (1971) by Garson Kanin.
As well as films, Hepburn continued to appear on Broadway and in television films, such as The Corn is Green (1979). In 1987 she published the autobiographical The Making of The African Queen.