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Katharine Hepburn - All About Me

Guest Author - Amber Grey

From the beginning, Katharine was a child of strong, independent character. One story the actress tells in the documentary is about a show her and the neighborhood children wanted to put on in order to raise money to buy a Victrola for the Navajo Indians. The children believed they would sell tickets for ten cents but Katharine insisted the tickets be seventy-five cents. The childrens' parents were so offended by the ticket price, that they pulled their children from the production. But the show must go on and it went on with Katharine and her friend in their own production of "Beauty and the Beast" - with her friend as "the Beauty" and Katharine was, as she put it, "the other one." The show was a success and they were able to buy the Victrola for seventy-five dollars. This is one of the stories that displays the persona that Katharine is known for - independent, free-willed, and not accepting the word "no."

When Katharine begins to talk about her career, she reveals rare footage of her screen test and her own home movies she took while in Hollywood. She speaks fondly of her landmark roles as well as her defeats. At the time of "Bringing Up Baby" (1938), the press released an article condemning her to be "box office poison." When the article was released, Katharine bought out her contract with RKO and returned to Hartford to spend some time with her family. When she returned, Katharine's career was reborn with "The Philadelphia Story" (1940). For the picture, she was nominated for the second time out of 12 nominations she would receive in her career.

Katharine also talks about her relationship with Spencer in the documentary, revealing details that are surprisingly intimate. It was only in 198e, after the death of Spencer Tracy's wife, that Katharine officially opened up to the public about their relationship. In "All About Me", Katharine travels back to the very spot on the MGM Studios lot where she met him for the first time and was speechless when she saw him. She says that Spencer thought of her as a "peculiar thing" and in their relationship, Katharine reveals that it was the one time she ever wanted to do anything to make Spencer happy. She considered herself lucky to be loved and have fallen in love, which she insists are two different things. Also, Katharine explains that when they met, Spencer's marriage was over a long time ago but because of his wife's charity work for the blind, it was highly important that she stay Mrs. Tracy. Katharine also says that it fit into her own philosophy that she would have never been able to have a career and a marriage because it would be too hard. Spencer and Katharine would make nine pictures together. Spencer passed away only sixteen days after filming wrapped on their last picture, "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner" (1967). Understandably, Katharine has never seen it, insisting that she just can't watch it. Katharine also speaks about the last moments of Spencer's life when it ended so quickly, she did not have the chance to say goodbye.

For a long time, Katharine made her birthday the same as her bother's, November 8, but in "All About Me", Katharine revealed her real birthday is "May 12, 1907" because she believed as we get older, age doesn't matter anymore. True to her word, Katharine is shown sailing, gathering firewood, doing the laundry, biking, everything that would one would expect a lively spirit such as Katharine to do at 86 years old.

In a heartwarming monologue Hepburn says, "...In some ways I've lived my life as a man, made my own decisions. I've been as terrified as the next person, but you've got to keep a-going; you've got to dream." In the final scene, she reveals her family's motto that she believed in her entire life - "Listen to the song of life."

In 2003, exactly ten years later, Katharine would pass away at the age of 96.
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Katharine Hepburn as Box Office Poison
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Content copyright © 2014 by Amber Grey. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Amber Grey. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Eliana Isabella Radu for details.

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