Audrey Hepburn As Holly Golightly In 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'

Icons | January 8, 2018

1961: Belgian-born actor Audrey Hepburn (1929 - 1993) lowers her sunglasses in a still from director Blake Edwards' film, 'Breakfast at Tiffany's.' (Photo by Paramount Pictures/Fotos International/Getty Images)

As Holly Golightly in Breakfast At Tiffany's, Audrey Hepburn created not just a memorable character but also a style that has endured even moreso than the movie. The big hat, the oversized sunglasses, the tiara, the gloves, the hairdo, the pearls, and most of all the little black dress -- for decades, stylish women have been trying to capture that Audrey-Hepburn chic.

Hepburn Was A Well Established Actress

British actress Audrey Hepburn (Audrey Kathleen Ruston) putting make-up on while the American actor George Peppard looks at her in the film Breakfast at Tiffany's. New York, 1961 (Photo by Mondadori via Getty Images)

Hepburn was born in Belgium and grew up in Belgium the Netherlands and the UK. She won the Academy Award in 1954 for Roman Holiday, and is ranked as a female screen legend by the American Film Institute. She was also inducted into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame for her stunning fashion sense. Being both a film and fashion icon, Hepburn was well regarded as a popular public figure of her time. Her popularity and fame quickly elicited an onslaught of Audrey Hepburn “wannabes”.

Audrey Hepburn Was A Different Kind Of Actress

Audrey Hepburn was a stunning breath of fresh air during her heyday. Prior to World War II, most actresses, although beautiful enough, were a bit more conservative. She was beautiful, playful and unassuming. Hepburn took Hollywood by storm with her charm and talent in films. Breakfast at Tiffany’s was no exception. She portrayed Holly Golightly in the film released in 1961, and she did not disappoint.

Holly Golightly Was A Character Inventing Herself

Breakfast at Tiffany's was a romantic comedy film starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard. Hepburn portrayed Holly Golightly, an eccentric socialite who was a little naïve to the ways of the world; albeit fun loving and willing to play along. Her character was all too willing to go with the flow and explore new experiences. Holly was portrayed as a fan of the fashionable Tiffany’s jewelry brand and enjoyed seeking out the finer things in life. As the story played out, it was revealed that Holly was the product of a somewhat colorful upbringing that she was running away from.

Audrey Hepburn Was Not Holly Golightly

In real life, Hepburn was reportedly a very private and introverted person. That is quite a stark difference from the character she portrayed in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Holly Golightly was a very outgoing and extroverted character, which only adds validation to the extent of Hepburn’s talent.

Holly Golightly Was An Opportunist, And An Optimist

Holly was desperately in search of a man who could provide her a better life that she had longed for. The hope was that her Prince Charming would sweep her off her feet and keep her in the lap of luxury. Along the way, she kissed many a toad but never got discouraged.

Holly Falls In Love With A Friend

When she ran into Paul, Holly had met her match. He was the complete opposite of what she thought she wanted or needed in a man. Eventually, Paul proposed marriage to Holly with a toy ring out of a Cracker Jack box, which was in stark contrast to her expensive taste in jewelry. At that point, she finally found what she had been looking for and it had come without a price tag. They then sealed the deal with a passionate kiss.

'Moon River, Wider Than A Mile'

Audrey Hepburn sang Henry Mancini’s famed song, Moon River, in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Following the successful film, the song won an Academy Award for Best Original Song, and a Grammy for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. Obviously, all eyes were on Hepburn.

It is no secret that Audrey Hepburn was a trailblazer in redefining the essence of the female film actor. She was very mindful of the fact that women looked up to her. She was a tough act to follow right up until the end. Hepburn appeared in other famous roles before and after Breakfast At Tiffany's -- including Roman Holiday (1953), War and Peace (1956), Charade (1963), and My Fair Lady (1964) -- but it is as Holly Golightly that she will always be remembered.

Tags: Audrey Hepburn | Breakfast At Tiffanys | Career-Defining Moments | Cast Lists From Popular Movies | Fashion In The 1960s | Ladies

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Rebeka Knott


Rebeka grew up in the 1960’s & 1970’s and has always subscribed to the theory that a positive attitude will take you far! She is a wife and mother of 3 with a fun-loving spirit, believing that family and relationships are invaluable.