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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: July ::
Katherine Hepburn
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1350  Wednesday, 2 July 2003

From:           Nancy Charlton <
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Date:           Tuesday, 01 Jul 2003 09:19:09 -0700
Subject:        Katherine Hepburn

Of the ten films I'd watch any time, four of them are Hepburn's. She was
of my parents' generation but I've always thought of her as a
contemporary, for she epitomized the aspirations of those of us who came
up in the fifties with aspirations to do something other than marry a
nice doctor and play golf the rest of our life. (Not, in retrospect,
that that would been so dreadful!)

Of course the papers are full of encomiums and retrospects, and rightly
so: she was a great actress and a great woman. (Can't quite bring myself
to say "lady.")  What came as a surprise to me is that she did a fair
amount of Shakespeare According to the Telegraph:

     In 1955 she toured Australia with the Old Vic company, playing
     Portia in The Merchant of Venice, Beatrice in Much Ado About
     Nothing, Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew and Isabella in
     Measure for Measure.

     Two years later she returned to Shakespeare, again appearing as
     Portia and Beatrice, this time at Stratford, Connecticut, where
     she also performed in 1960 as Viola in Twelfth Night, and then as
     Cleopatra.

Earlier on she had played Rosalind in a Broadway production of As You
Like It.  Imagine! Playing both Rosalind and Beatrice in your late 40s
and early 50s.

I'll miss the Hepburn of African Queen, Philadelphia Story, Lion in
Winter, Adam's Rib. Perhaps if some of her films bombed, it might have
been that writers did not give her the swift repartee that was her
forte. But I'm eternally grateful to those who did!

Nancy Charlton

Oh -- the URL for the Telegraph story: http://tinyurl.com/fqgl

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