SAG to honor Hepburn with Achievement nod

Audrey Hepburn will receive the Screen Actors Guild Achievement Award, the union’s highest honor.

Hepburn, who is recovering from her recent surgery–doctors removed a cancerous tumor from her colon Nov. 1–is the 28th recipient of the award. Past honorees include Bob Hope, Barbara Stanwyck, James Stewart, Gregory Peck, Frank Sinatra, Rosalind Russell and Katharine Hepburn. Last year’s honoree was Burt Lancaster.

The award, given for “fostering the finest ideals of the acting profession,” will be given Jan. 10 at the Sheraton Universal Hotel during SAG’s annual membership meeting. SAG officials said Hepburn is hoping to attend.

Born in Belgium, Hepburn started her acting career in 1949 when she won the role of a chorus girl in the stage tuner “High Button Shoes,” an American musical that was playing in England.

She was then cast in a minor role in a French film, which led the film’s author, Colette, to invite her to star in the original Broadway production of “Gigi.”

She made her U.S. film debut in 1953, starring in “Roman Holiday,” and subsequently took home an Oscar for best actress.

That same year she was starring on Broadway as the romantic water sprite in “Ondine,” for which she won a Tony.

In ensuing years, she received Oscar nominations for her work in “Sabrina, “”The Nun’s Story,””Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “Wait Until Dark.”

She also starred in “Funny Face,””Love in the Afternoon,””Charade,””My Fair Lady,””Two for the Road” and “Robin and Marion,” among other pix. Her most recent film appearance was playing an angel in the 1989 film “Always.”

In recent years, Hepburn’s been donating her time to raise funds and awareness for the United Nations Children’s Fund. In 1988, she became the official spokeswoman for UNICEF.

Hepburn, who couldn’t be reached, sent a message through her agent’s office saying, “I’m fine, I’m A-OK, I’m at home.”

She resides in Switzerland.

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