Audrey Hepburn’s real name was Audrey Kathleen Ruston. She was born in Belgium in 1929 and lived in German-occupied Arnhem during the Second World War.
Her stage name ‘Hepburn’ was taken from her father’s name. He was born Ruston, but later double-barrelled the surname to the more “aristocratic” Hepburn-Ruston, mistakenly believing himself descended from James Hepburn, third husband of Mary, Queen of Scots.
Audrey Hepburn spoke fluent English, Dutch, French, Spanish and Italian.
She was trained as a ballerina, and during the war she secretly danced for groups of people to collect money for the Dutch resistance.
Before she was signed up by a film studio Hepburn worked as a London chorus girl in the late 1940s because it paid more than ballet dancing and she needed the money.
She turned down the role of playing Anne Frank in both the Broadway and film adaptations of Frank’s life. She turned down the role saying she was “emotionally incapable” of the task.