A style icon and Hollywood legend, there's not much to say about Audrey Hepburn that hasn't already been said — but we'll say it again anyway. She's worth it.

Born in Brussels, for much of her youth Audrey was unlucky enough to live in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands, where she and her family suffered considerable privations. At war's end, she headed to London, quickly latching on to performance and dance. A natural, she won her first Broadway role at the age of 22 in "Gigi," and became an overnight phenomenon two years later when she made her starring film debut in "Roman Holiday."  

She'd go on to shine in film after film throughout the '60s. After that heady decade, she decided to scale back somewhat and spend more time as a mother to her two sons. Later still, Hepburn became a U.N. goodwill ambassador, championing the cause of hunger in developing countries.

While she was always known for her innate grace and elegance, we think these more candid images of her provide a glimpse of Audrey the woman — warm, playful, and full of joy. In her own words: "Happiest girls are the prettiest."  



Cooling down with some friends and a block of ice on the roof of the Cambridge Theater in London, in 1949. Ah, the days before air-conditioning.



Once a dancer, always a dancer.  1950.



Finally — her name in lights!   1950.



A water sprite in "Ondine" — for which she won a Tony.  1953.  



Pre-Academy Awards preparations... she was up for her role in "Roman Holiday."  1954.



Post-Academy Awards serenity (and maybe a bit of shock). 



Learning the gavotte for her role in "War and Peace."  1955.



A study in contrasts.



Anyone need a pixie cut?



Sharing some laughs with new husband, Mel Ferrer.  Married in 1954.



Mel, you've got something (special) in your coat.



Audrey: “Let's face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; it does for me.” But with her, it never showed!



Two cuties: Audrey with her pet deer, Pippin. 



A candid moment with her first son, Sean. Bonus — James Garner in the background!



Shooting those immortal publicity stills for "Breakfast at Tiffany's."  1961.



Just because you're the epitome of class and sophistication doesn't mean you can't get a little goofy once in a while.



She always wore it well.  In Givenchy, 1964.



Even in heavy '60s makeup, Audrey is sublime! 



Amused by a soaking wet Albert Finney on the set of "Two for the Road," (1967).



New York state of mind.  1967.



Gorgeous at any age. 1988.


More:  Audrey's Big Break and Gregory Peck's Uncanny Premonition

Scotch on the Rocks:  Drunken Paranoia on the Set of "Sabrina"