Icons of the Century

A revelation when she burst on to the Hollywood scene in 1932 with her inimitably patrician voice and impeccable bone structure, Katharine Hepburn personified the independent American woman.

Combining a tomboy spirit, fierce beauty and no-nonsense intelligence, she managed to be funny, touching and a lady — and made it work through seven decades and 12 Oscar nominations, four of which she won.

Sporty, trouser-wearing, unmarried and never a mother, she held her own against leading men onscreen and off-, most famously in her 27-year affair with Spencer Tracy, her co-star in nine movies, including 1967’s “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.”

The screwball comedies in which she starred opposite Cary Grant, “The Philadelphia Story” and “Bringing up Baby,” are still the standard for their timing, wit and movie star chemistry.

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