Two legendary icons who’s legacy will endure long after their deaths. Both Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe went into history as two of the most celebrated and enduring icons. They still influence today’s fashion and inspire today’s entertainment industry artists. Marilyn Monroe who’s famous for being a sex symbol and Audrey Hepburn remembered as a lady of style and class. In this essay I will research the differences between these two Icons. I will research how their image was shaped and how the involvement of the media helped form their star personas.
As Marilyn once said “I've never fooled anyone. I've let people fool themselves. They didn't bother to find out who and what I was. Instead they would invent a character for me. I wouldn't argue with them. They were obviously loving somebody I wasn't. ” Marilyn Monroe I will also explore present day celebrities who were influenced by the two icons and how Marilyn’s and Audrey’s image still inspire today.
Short Biography Marilyn Monroe “Marilyn Monroe was born on June 1st 1926 in the charity ward at the Los Angeles County Hospital Marilyn Monroe, born as Norma Jeane Mortenson had a volatile childhood, as she was passed from family members to family friends and frequently stayed in orphanages as a result of her mother’s mental health. To avoid another orphanage stay a family friend orchestrated a marriage proposal when she was sixteen years old. When her husband was sent to the Pacific with the merchant marine, Norma Jeane began working on an assembly line at an aeronautical plant.
In 1945 a photographer took a snapshot of Monroe while at the factory and within months she became a successful model securing dozens of magazine covers and a screen test with 20th Century Fox. Studio executives, directors and photographers immediately recognized her ability to capture and hold the attention of anyone on the opposite end of a camera lens. By the end of 1946 her hair had become a platinum shade of blonde and her name was changed to Marilyn Monroe. Over a little more than a decade Monroe captivated audiences through a multitude of comedic and dramatic roles.
Audiences loved her breathy, blonde bombshell appeal combined with her light comedic approach in How To Marry A Millionaire, (1953, Jean Negulesco, USA) Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, (1953, Howard Hawks, USA), The Seven-Year Itch (1955, Billy Wilder, USA )and Some Like It Hot (1959, Billy Wilder, USA). She worked closely with Lee Strasberg at The Actor’s Studio who referred to her as one of the two students out of “hundreds and hundreds” that stood out above the rest. The other was Marlon Brando.
In 1956 the New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther reported on her breakthrough role, “HOLD onto your chairs, everybody, and get set for a rattling surprise. Marilyn Monroe has finally proved herself an actress in Bus Stop (1956, Joshua Logan, USA). She and the picture are swell! ” Although it didn’t get good reviews The Misfits is one of Monroe’s most staggering and indelible performances. She received a Golden Globe award for her performance in Some Like It Hot and a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in Bus Stop.
In 1962 Marilyn Monroe bought her first home in Brentwood and began decorating it with purchases from a trip she had made to Mexico. She died that same year in her new home under controversial circumstances. Regardless, Marilyn Monroe’s personal history, achievements and contributions have made her one of the world’s greatest icons. She inspired musicians, writers and artists like Madonna, Elton John, Lady Gaga, Joyce Carol Oates and Andy Warhol to name just a few with her timeless glamour and extraordinary character.
More relevant today than ever Marilyn Monroe lived a life and left a legacy that continues to excite fans all over the world. ” http://www. marilynmonroe. com/ Short biography Audrey Kathleen Hepburn “Audrey Hepburn was born on May 4, 1929 in Brussels, Belgium. At age five, Audrey was sent to boarding school in England. Her mother Ella arranged for Audrey to spend time in the English countryside and for her to begin ballet lessons. For Audrey, this ignited a passion for music and dance. When England declared war on Germany in 1939, Ella sent for Audrey to return to Holland, a neutral country.
Joseph her father, was in England and put Audrey on one of the last planes out. On May 10, 1940 Germany invaded Holland and Audrey's childhood changed forever. By the fall of 1944, the import of all food into Holland was halted and the notorious “Hunger Winter” set in. Audrey, too weak to dance, waited out the endless days. Liberation came knocking on Audrey’s grandfather’s door on May 4, 1945. It was also Audrey’s sixteenth birthday. Despite the fact that she emerged from the war in a weakened condition suffering from anaemia, asthma and malnutrition, the experience served to refocus her dreams.
With a recommendation from her dance teacher, Winja Maranova, mother and daughter set off for Amsterdam where Audrey was accepted as a student of Sonia Gaskell and the The Balletstudio 45. Audrey studied ballet, modern jazz and avant-garde choreography for three years until the studio closed in 1948. Audrey was then given a partial scholarship to study with the preeminent London ballet teacher, Marie Rambert, who had coached the world’s best dancers. Eventually Audrey was told that she could not become a prima ballerina because of the physical deprivation she’d suffered during the war and the limitations of her height.
Audrey was deeply disappointed but became determined to find a way to put her training and skills to good use. At the end of 1948, Audrey found that opportunity when she was cast in a Jerome Robbins choreographed cabaret show called, High Button Shoes. Audrey was offered a small role in a film being shot in both English and French called Monte Carlo Baby (1952, Jean Boyer, UK). With the double joy of going on location and wearing Christian Dior gowns, Audrey jumped at the opportunity.
Audrey was cast for the Broadway musical Gigi and on November 24, 1951. After the opening eviews were in Audrey’s name was hoisted above the title of the play on the theatre marquee. After the smashing success of Gigi on Broadway, Audrey stepped into her first starring role in a Hollywood film and into the hearts of an adoring public. As Princess Anne in Roman Holiday (1953, William Wyler, USA), Audrey was immediately catapulted into the limelight and won the 1954 Oscar for Best Actress in her first American motion picture. After that she made classics like: Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961, Blake Edwards, USA), Funny face (1957, Stanley Donen, USA) and My fair Lady (1962, George Cukor, USA).
Toward the end of 1992, after Audrey's last mission for UNICEF, she felt progressively more and more ill and, at the time, physicians were not able to pinpoint the origin and thus cause of her worsening state of health. Near year's end, Audrey underwent exploratory surgery and was diagnosed with inoperable colon cancer. On January 20, 1993 Audrey Kathleen Hepburn passed away. ” http://www. audreyhepburn. com/ Blond VS Brunette Two Icons born in the same decade, one blonde and one brunette. Both very famous yet they lived two completely different lives. It was much easier to find articles about Marilyn than Audrey.
Not because one is more popular than the other, but because Marilyn lived more in the spotlight then Audrey did. As star is not just born, it’s made. As Richard dyer has argued, the star phenomenon consists of everything that is publicly available about stars. A film stars image is not just his or her films, but the promotion of those films and of the stars through pin-up, public appearances studio hand-outs and so on, as well as interviews, biographies and coverage in the press of the star’s doings and “private life”.
Further, a stars image is also what people say or write about him or her. 2004: 3-4) Marilyn wasn’t born to be a sex symbol. She was made into one. The way the studios portrait her and the roles that she was offered were often offered to her because of her stunning body and sexual appeal and not because of her acting skills. As Richard Dyer says his essay: White, Marilyn is a male fantasy. (1997: 64). That is just the way she’s portraid. For Audrey it was very different. “I decided, very early on, just to accept life unconditionally; I never expected it to do anything special for me, yet I seemed to accomplish far more than I had ever hoped.
Most of the time it just happened to me without my ever seeking it. ” ? Audrey Hepburn She thought that she couldn’t act yet when she had a little push in the right direction she became one of the most famous actresses. She was taken much more serious than Marilyn ever was because Audrey wasn’t seen as a sex symbol but as a classy lady. Audrey and Marilyn in present day Even though the two Icons have passed away for decades, Audrey and Marilyn still inspire today’s fashion. They have set solid images of themselves who are often still celebrated by today’s stars.
It was very easy to find celebrities dressed up like the two icons or dressed inspired by the icons. The following images are just a few selected out of several. This is an image of Lindsay Lohan’s playboy spread which she did in 2011. All her pictures were based on pictures of Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn was playboy’s first playmate and this is what Hugh Hefner had to say about the spread. 'The pictorial and the concept for the pictorial came from me,' Hefner boasted. 'She had done semi-nudes before. I wanted to do something that would be memorable.
'What is more natural, since she is a huge fan of Marilyn Monroe, than do something that is a tribute to the red-velvet Tom Kelley photo shot of Marilyn Monroe that was our very first Playmate? ' In 2010 Scarlett Johanssen did a campaign for Dolce & Gabbana. The image on the left is D&G’s ad for red lipstick. It is clearly visible that her hair, make-up and clothing were inspired by Marilyn Monroe. Long after her dead her iconic image still remains an inspiration. This is an image still of Jennifer Love Hewitt portraying Audrey Hepburn in the movie The Audrey Hepburn Story, 2000, Steven Robman, USA.
Nathalie Portman and Anne Hathaway are often compared to Audrey Hepbrun. This is because of their petite physique and their big brown deer eyes. Characteristics that are often used to discribe Audrey. Conclusion When researching about both Audrey and Marilyn it became very clear that both these woman are still very much loved and celebrated. They have left a legacy that will never be forgotten and whose image still keeps inspiring those who weren’t even alive when they lived. There style and fashion became timeless.