Audrey Hepburn is undoubtedly one of the most iconic leading ladies of classic Hollywood; only Marilyn Monroe enjoys a more visible presence on posters, art images, and in the public imagination, as a casual trip through any home decor or calendar department will easily prove. There you'll almost always find Hepburn in her signature role in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (1961), but the Belgian born actress starred in many successful films. She won her first and only Oscar for Best Actress for "Roman Holiday" (1953), but she went on to be nominated for the award four more times, a testament to her enduring talent and appeal. Here are ten of Audrey Hepburn's best pictures, where you can see the graceful, charming star in some of her finest onscreen performances.
1) "Roman Holiday" (1953) - Hepburn shines as a runaway princess touring Rome with Gregory Peck and Eddie Albert in this bittersweet romance.
2) "Sabrina" (1954) - As the title character, the daughter of a wealthy family's chauffeur, Hepburn attracts the attention of both William Holden and Humphrey Bogart in this romance from director Billy Wilder.
3) "Funny Face" (1957) - Stanley Donen directs Hepburn's foray into musical territory with Fred Astaire playing her much older romantic interest. Musical highlights include "Think Pink!" and "How Long Has This Been Going On?" Kay Thompson also stars.
4) "The Nun's Story" (1959) - This religious drama from director Fred Zinnemann earned eight Oscar nominations, including a Best Actress nod for Hepburn, but it took home nothing. Hepburn stars as a young, upper-class woman who becomes a nun and endures many hardships and difficulties over the course of her life. Peter Finch, Edith Evans, Peggy Ashcroft, and Dean Jagger also star.
5) "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (1961) - Hepburn makes an indelible impression as Holly Golightly in director Blake Edwards' adaptation of the novel by Truman Capote. Hepburn's signature song, "Moon River," won the Oscar for Best Original Song, and Henry Mancini also won for Best Musical Score. In addition to the Oscar-nominated Hepburn, memorable stars of the picture include George Peppard, Buddy Ebsen, Patricia Neal, and Mickey Rooney.
6) "The Children's Hour" (1961) - This William Wyler drama puts Hepburn into different territory as a teacher accused of being a lesbian by her gossipy and malicious students. Shirley MacLaine stars as the other teacher caught up in the accusations, and James Garner, Miriam Hopkins, and Fay Bainter also have prominent roles. The film earned five Oscar nominations but won nothing.
7) "Charade" (1963) - Stanley Donen directs this light-hearted thriller with Hepburn as the widow of a man whose murder makes her question everything and everyone around her, especially the mysterious but attractive Cary Grant. Walter Matthau, James Coburn, and George Kennedy also star in this fast-paced fan favorite.
8) "My Fair Lady" (1964) - Hepburn replaced original Broadway star Julie Andrews in the big screen version of this blockbuster musical, but Andrews went on to a Best Actress win for "Mary Poppins" (1964). "My Fair Lady" won eight Oscars of its own, including Best Picture. Hepburn stars as the Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle, with Rex Harrison as the abrasive professor Henry Higgins. Marni Nixon, who dubbed many of Hollywood's leading ladies for musical numbers, provides the singing voice of Eliza, but Hepburn brings plenty of charm to the rest of the performance.
9) "Wait Until Dark" (1967) - Hepburn tackles a darker thriller as a blind woman terrorized by dangerous criminals in this adaptation of the stage play by Frederick Knott. Alan Arkin is chilling as the leader of the thieves, while Richard Crenna and Jack Weston straddle a line between good and evil in their reaction to their victim's plight.
10) "Robin and Marian" (1976) - Hepburn plays Maid Marian to Sean Connery's aging Robin Hood in this nostalgic story of middle-aged romance, which sees the character reunited many years after their original adventures. Robert Shaw, Richard Harris, Ian Holm, and Nicol Williamson also star.
Learn more about Audrey Hepburn by watching the video at the top of this article. For even more films, try "War and Peace" (1956), "Love in the Afternoon" (1957), and "How to Steal a Million" (1966).
Jennifer Garlen writes as the Huntsville and National Classic Movies Examiner. Her book, "Beyond Casablanca: 100 Classic Movies Worth Watching," is available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.