Audrey Hepburn (born Audrey Kathleen Ruston; 4 May 1929 – 20 January 1993) was a British actress and humanitarian. Recognised as both a film and fashion icon, she was ranked by the American Film Institute as the third-greatest female screen legend from the Classical Hollywood cinema and was inducted into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame.
- I am more than ever awed and overwhelmed by the monumental talents it was my great, great privilege to work for and with. There is therefore no way I can thank you for this beautiful award without thanking all of them, because it is they who helped and honed, triggered and taught, pushed and pulled, dressed and photographed — and with endless patience and kindness and gentleness, guided and nurtured a totally unknown, insecure, inexperienced, skinny broad into a marketable commodity. I am proud to have been in a business that gives pleasure, creates beauty, and awakens our conscience, arouses compassion, and perhaps most importantly, gives millions a respite from our so violent world. Thank you, Screen Actors Guild and friends, for this huge honor — and for giving me this unique opportunity to express my deepest gratitude and love to all of those who have given me a career that has brought me nothing but happiness.
- Statement accepting the Screen Actors Guild Achievement Award, read by Julia Roberts, because of Hepburn's failing health. (January 1993)
- I myself was born with an enormous need for affection and a terrible need to give it
- As quoted in The New York Times interview "25 Years Later, Honor for Audrey Hepburn" (1991) 
- Living is like tearing through a museum. Not until later do you really start absorbing what you saw, thinking about it, looking it up in a book, and remembering — because you can't take it all in at once.
- As quoted in Audrey Hepburn : A Bio-bibliography (1994) by David Hofstede
- I can testify to what UNICEF means to children, because I was among those who received food and medical relief right after World War II, I have a long-lasting gratitude and trust for what UNICEF does.
- As quoted at UNICEF.org
- Success is like reaching an important birthday and finding you're exactly the same.
- As quoted in Audrey Hepburn : A Life in Pictures (2007) by Yann-Brice Dherbier and Pierre-Henri Verlhac
- Nothing is more important than empathy for another human being’s suffering. Nothing — not a career, not wealth, not intelligence, certainly not status. We have to feel for one another if we’re going to survive with dignity.
Audrey Hepburn (2002)
- Quotes of Hepburn from Audrey Hepburn (2002) by Barry Paris
- I'm half-Irish, half-Dutch, and I was born in Belgium. If I was a dog, I'd be in a hell of a mess!
- p. 46
- You have to look at yourself objectively. Analyze yourself like an instrument. You have to be absolutely frank with yourself. Face your handicaps, don't try to hide them. Instead, develop something else.
- p. 108
- I can take long walks, as I understand Greta Garbo does, and no one interferes with my thoughts and tranquility. Come to think of it, the other day I was on Fifth Avenue in New York and I saw a woman who could very well have been Garbo; I was a bit tempted to go up to her, but then I thought, "My God, practice what you preach! If it is her, you'll be intruding — just the thing you don't like yourself."
- p. 305
How to be Lovely (2005)
- Quotes of Hepburn from How to be Lovely (2005) by Melissa Hellstern
- As a child, I was taught that it was bad manners to bring attention to yourself, and to never, ever make a spectacle of yourself … All of which I've earned a living doing.
- p. 8
- I never think of myself as an icon. What is in other people's minds is not in my mind. I just do my thing.
- p. 143
- People associate me with a time when movies were pleasant, when women wore pretty dresses in films and you heard beautiful music. I always love it when people write me and say "I was having a rotten time, and I walked into a cinema and saw one of your movies, and it made such a difference."
- I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it's the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It's probably the most important thing in a person.
Quotes about Hepburn
- I was determined to wipe Audrey out of my mind by screwing a woman in every country I visited. My plan succeeded, though sometimes with difficulty. When I was in Bangkok, I was with a Thai girl in a boat in one of the klongs. I guess we got too animated, because the boat tipped over and I fell into the filthy water. Back at the hotel I poured alcohol in my ears because I was afraid I'd become infected with the plague. When I got back to Hollywood, I went to Audrey's dressing-room and told her what I had done. You know what she said? "Oh, Bill!" That's all. "Oh, Bill!". Just as though I were some naughty boy. … She was the love of my life.
- William Holden, as quoted in Audrey Hepburn (2002) by Barry Paris, p. 92 - 93
- Audrey was meek, gentle and ethereal, understated both in her life and in her work. She walked among us with a light pace, as if she didn't want to be noticed. [I regret losing her] as a friend, as a role model, and as a companion to my youthful dreams.
- Sophia Loren, as quoted in Getting Along Famously : A Celebration of Friendship (2008) by Melissa Hellstern, p. 29
- She is like a portrait by Modigliani where the various distortions are not only interesting in themselves but make a completely satisfying composite.
- Think about it. She was the first woman – with Elizabeth Taylor – to make a million dollars, at a time when women couldn’t open a bank account without their husbands. She could fight her corner. That was thanks to the war, the ballet, her mother.
- Sean Hepburn Ferrer—on his mother’s ability to survive in cutthroat Hollywood in “'My mother was like a steel fist in a velvet glove': the real Audrey Hepburn” in The Guardian (19 November 2020)
- It gave her a steely determination, a respect for what it takes to do it. I’ve heard her described as a steel fist in a velvet glove.
- Sean Hepburn Ferrer—on how his mother’s wartime experiences gave her a steely resolve in “'My mother was like a steel fist in a velvet glove': the real Audrey Hepburn” in The Guardian (19 November 2020)