I Know Where Im Going: A Personal Biography of Katharine Hepburn by Charlotte ChandlerDrawing on a series of recordings made over many years, beginning in the mid-1970s, acclaimed biographer Charlotte Chandler has written the most intimate and personal biography ever published of Hollywood legend Katharine Hepburn.
Introduced by George Cukor, who directed Hepburn in such classic films as Little Women, The Philadelphia Story, and Adams Rib, Chandler socialized with Hepburn at the Cukor estate, where the star was then living in a cottage on the grounds. Hepburn agreed to allow Chandler to tape their conversations, during which she spoke candidly about her personal and professional lives. She described finding the body of her adored older brother, an apparent suicide at fifteen, and assuming his birthday as her own. She told Chandler intimate details of her marriage and divorce from Ludlow Ogden Smith, Luddy, who remained a friend, and of her affair with pilot Howard Hughes. She said that she enjoyed diving nude off the wings of his seaplane when they went swimming together. Her warmest recollections were of her twenty-seven-year affair with Spencer Tracy.
Chandler also interviewed others who knew and worked with Hepburn during her long career, from Cukor to Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Cary Grant, Christopher Reeve, and many others. All of them described an actress who was supremely talented, professional, and confident, who always knew where she was going.
By the time she retired, Hepburn had won a record four Best Actress Academy Awards and had been nominated twelve times. Her acting career spanned six decades, and she was universally acknowledged as one of the finest -- if not the finest -- actors in film history. Her range was enormous: She acted in serious drama and in screwball comedies with equal skill. As she revealed to Chandler in their conversations, her family was a great influence on Hepburn. Her mother was a suffragette and her beloved father a doctor. She would eventually retire to the home where she grew up (although it had been rebuilt after it was destroyed in a storm), symbolically affirming the family values that shaped her personality. She was careful to distinguish her personal and professional lives, telling Chandler that she thought of herself as Kathy, a childhood name (she had called herself Jimmy for a while in childhood), but regarded the public Katharine Hepburn as the creature.
I Know Where Im Going is a fascinating, delightful, and personal book that brings readers as close as possible to the real Katharine Hepburn.
Katharine Hepburn interviewed by Clive James 1985
Why the fiercely independent Katharine Hepburn hid her 26-year affair with co-star Spencer Tracy
Her new book, Seduction , offers an insistent, clear-eyed reminder of the fact that history does not get buried or forgotten by accident, but by design, in order to burnish and elevate the reputations of powerful men, and to cut women down to size. Born in Houston in , Hughes lost both of his parents in his late teens and inherited the family business, which manufactured the drill bits needed to cut through the earth to get to oil. Before he was 20 he had strong-armed his grandfather and other relatives out of the company, gotten himself declared a legal adult, married a Houston heiress, and decamped for Hollywood, where he set himself up as a producer-director. His obsessions at the time were golf, aviation, movies, and money—eventually, women would replace the golf. For the next 30 years he occupied a unique position in American culture. He was a perennial outsider in the movie business, who undertook wildly ambitious feats of engineering, filmmaking, and flying, and was paired with all the most beautiful women in Hollywood. Cushioned by his wealth, he was eventually brought down not by his enemies but by his own inner demons.
By Caroline Howe For Dailymail. Legendary filmmaker Howard Hughes was so obsessed with sex, power and publicity that it drove him to trap, abuse and even sometimes benefit young women who dreamed of stardom. Ava Gardner also caught Hughes' eye pictured together in , with the actress saying: 'I couldn't get rid of him for the next fifteen years, no matter who I was with or who I married.
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She appeared in a range of genres, from screwball comedy to literary drama, and she received a record for either gender four Academy Awards for Lead Acting Performances , plus eight further nominations. Raised in Connecticut by wealthy, progressive parents, Hepburn began to act while studying at Bryn Mawr College. Favorable reviews of her work on Broadway brought her to the attention of Hollywood. Her early years in film were marked with success, including an Academy Award for Best Actress for her third picture, Morning Glory , but this was followed by a series of commercial failures culminating in the critically lauded but commercially unsuccessful comedy Bringing Up Baby , a pairing with Cary Grant. Hepburn masterminded her own comeback, buying out her contract with RKO Radio Pictures and acquiring the film rights to The Philadelphia Story , which she sold on the condition that she be the star. That comedy film, again co-starring Cary Grant , was a box office success and landed her a third Academy Award nomination, plus won her other co-star, James Stewart , his only Academy Award. Both movies are now are now considered among the greatest comedy films.