This day in history: Katharine Hepburn was born

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Katharine Hepburn - Mini Biography


Katharine Hepburn was an icon onscreen and an inspiration in real life. Known for her fierce independence and quick wit, the stage and screen actress was an unconventional movie star who won a record-breaking four Best Actress Academy Awards.

Katharine Hepburn was an extreme liberal. She was pro-abortion, openly atheistic, and she didn't keep her views quiet. Her choice of roles were often affected by her views.

The star was born in Hartford, Connecticut on May 12th, 1907. She acted on and off Broadway before landing a role in the 1932 film "A Bill of Divorcement," opposite John Barrymore.

Hepburn followed her first film with a string of hits including "Morning Glory," for which she won an Academy Award.

By the late 1930s, Hepburn suffered a series of film flops and was dubbed "box office poison."

After buying out her RKO contract, Hepburn bought the rights to "The Philadelphia Story" and had a major comeback starring alongside Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart. The movie became one of the biggest hits of 1940 and gave Hepburn her third Academy Award nomination.

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This day in history: Katharine Hepburn was born
103936 03: Katharine Hepburn Sits In A Plane In USA. Actress Hepburn Won Four Of Twelve Oscar Nominations For Best Actress And Starred In Such Classic Films As 'The African Queen' And 'On Golden Pond.' (Photo By Getty Images)
103936 01: Katharine Hepburn Appears With Actor Cary Grant In The Film 'Bringing Up Baby' In USA. Actress Hepburn Won Four Of Twelve Oscar Nominations For Best Actress And Starred In Such Classic Films As 'The African Queen' And 'On Golden Pond.' (Photo By Getty Images)
383122 05: Actress Katharine Hepburn Sits In USA. Hepburn Received Four Oscars For Best Actress In The Span Of A Sixty Year Career. (Photo By Getty Images)
383122 04: Actress Katharine Hepburn Sits In USA. Hepburn Received Four Oscars For Best Actress In The Span Of A Sixty Year Career. (Photo By Getty Images)
circa 1930: American film star Katharine Hepburn (1907 - 2003). (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
circa 1932: Hollywood film star Katharine Hepburn (1907 - 2003) relaxes on the beach with American actor Joel McCrea. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
1934: Actress Katharine Hepburn (1907 - 2003) plays a misunderstood loner in the RKO star vehicle 'Spitfire', alongside Sara Haden (1897-1981). (Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)
1934: Actress Katharine Hepburn (1907 - 2003) plays a misunderstood loner who is mistaken for a witch in the RKO star vehicle 'Spitfire', alongside Ralph Bellamy (1904-1991) (left) and Sidney Toler (1874-1947) (second from left). (Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)
circa 1935: American actress Katharine Hepburn (1907 - 2003). (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
circa 1935: American actress Katharine Hepburn (1907 - 2003). (Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)
(FILES): This 1940 file photo shows US actress Katharine Hepburn (1907 - 2003), who died Sunday, 29 June 2003, at the age of 96 surrounded by her family and friends at her home in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. A Hollywood icon, Hepburn's career spanned six decades during which she became one of the most-acclaimed actresses of all time. She was outspoken and her longstanding affair with US actor Spencer Tracy brought drama and controversy to her life. But no woman has matched the four Academy Awards she won and the American Film Institute counted her among the greatest film icons, alongside Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant and Bette Davis. AFP PHOTO/FILES (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
ENGLAND: Photo of the American actress Katharine Hepburn riding a bicycle between scenes of the classic American movie 'The African Queen' by John Huston in England in 1952. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
VENICE, ITALY: Actresses Katharine Hepburn (L) and Isa Miranda play a scene in a movie 'Summertime' (1955), David Lean's lushly photographed classic about an old maid (Hepburn) who falls in love for the first time while visiting Venice. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE: Photo of the American actress Katharine Hepburn taken in September 1971. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 12: This 12 May 1992 file photo shows US actress Katharine Hepburn arriving at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. Hepburn will be 90 years old 12 May. (Photo credit should read MARK PHILIPS/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, : Photo dated 02DEC90 shows actress Katharine Hepburn at a White House reception with jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie. (Photo credit should read KEVIN LARKIN/AFP/Getty Images)
A woam places flowers on the Katharine Hepburn star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, CA, 30 June 2003. In fading health for several years, Hepburn died at her home 29 June 2003 in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, surrounded by family and friends. During Hepburn's career she became one of the most acclaimed actresses of all time. She was outspoken and her longstanding affair with actor Spencer Tracy brought drama and controversy to her life. AFP PHOTO / HECTOR MATA (Photo credit should read HECTOR MATA/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - JUNE 30: The star of actress Katharine Hepburn is seen on the Hollywood Walk of Fame surrounded by flowers and candles June 30, 2003 in Hollywood, California. The four-time Oscar winner died June 29 at age 96. (Photo by Robert Mora/Getty Images)
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