Thursday, January 6, 2011

Katharine Hepburn

I adore Katharine Hepburn. I think I always have. Can't remember a time when I didn't know who she was, and boy what a woman she was. She jumped into Hollywood with a look that was at the time considered unusual...certainly not conventionally beautiful. She had a confidence that was usually reserved for men, definitely not women. She wore pants more than skirts, was very athletic and was never afraid to speak her mind. What a great role model for women then and still today.

I own a copy of the book "Kate Remembered" by A. Scott Berg. It is one of the few books I've read more than once. Although I wish there was a little more of her in it, and a little less of him, I can still read passages and hear her voice in my head. I can picture the look on her face when she fusses at the author for something silly or brushes off a comment about her legend. And a legend she was.

I recently picked up two other books about Hepburn from the local library, and I have to say, the one I am looking forward to reading the most was written by the lady herself, "Me: Stories of My Life." It was written in 1991 and is so full of wonderful pictures. I was just sitting here looking through the photographs and as I flipped to the end, I found a section where she wrote a letter to Spencer Tracy. Yes, I went ahead  and read it, and yes I will read it again when I read the book. And yes, it will probably again bring tears to my eyes.

(My favorite picture of Tracy and Hepburn.)

Tracy and Hepburn had a relationship that you would think in that day and age would have been a big scandal, what with him being married with children and moving in with her where he remained until his death. Maybe it's a testament to how much everyone respected them that it wasn't. Or maybe it says a lot about what good people they really were. Even Tracy's wife knew about it (of course) and was called by Hepburn when he died. All I know is, there was something about those two when they were on the screen together. (My husband and I love the movie "Desk Set" and the way they played off each other in that one. Pure joy to watch.)

I have to say that my absolute favorite Tracy-Hepburn movie is "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner." They were so good in this one. All those years together really showed, and it's even  more poignant when you realize that Tracy was ill at the time and would not even live to see the finished movie released in the theater. Sidney Poitier was terrific as always and really seemed to have a genuine respect for the couple. Katharine Houghton, who played the daughter and is Katharine Hepburn's niece, also radiated a type of love for them both. A great movie and a fitting way to say goodbye to a man Hepburn often said was "the greatest movie actor."

Katharine Hepburn died in 2003 at the age of 96, and the world is a better place for having known her.


Vicki Lane said...

I loved her in A LION IN WINTER

Susan M. Bell said...

That's one of hers I haven't seen. It's on my list of must sees though.

Angie, Catladyland/Katt Food said...

She really, really was a cool lady with a lot of class. They don't make many like that anymore!