You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Katharine Hepburn

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.

More Scene

  • Lena Waithe Halle Berry

    Lena Waithe Wants 'Boomerang' Adaptation 'to Change the Face of BET'

    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 […]

  • Jane Rosenthal and Robin RobertsThrough Her

    Tribeca's 2018 Through Her Lens Program Kicks Off on Political Note

    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 […]

  • Ellen Pompeo poses at the 25th

    Ellen Pompeo's Advice to Young Women in Hollywood: 'Don't Take Any S---'

    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 […]

  • Lady GagaElle Women in Hollywood, Arrivals,

    Inside Elle's Women of Hollywood With Lady Gaga, Anita Hill and Mia Farrow

    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 […]

  • Diane English (Creator, Writer) and Candice

    Why the New 'Murphy Brown' Includes a Dreamer

    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 […]

  • Melissa McCarthyNew York Premiere of 'Can

    Melissa McCarthy Discusses Playing Author Lee Israel in 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?'

    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 […]

  • Cheyenne JacksonPoint Foundation Gala, Inside, Los

    'American Horror Story' Star Cheyenne Jackson on Jessica Lange's Return: 'She's the Queen'

    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 […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content