Arnold Schwarzenegger was not the first, nor will he be
When you mention Katharine Hepburn, you immediately think of Hollywood royalty, the heyday of the studio system, and a defiant and powerful female figure who changed perception in the industry. Aside form her string of classic films, Hepburn was a game changer in Hollywood, and here are 9 things about her you may not have known…
1. Hepburn was famous for being the first actress to wear pants instead of dresses and skirts. She once walked around the studio in her underwear in the early 1930s when the costume department stole her slacks from her dressing room. She refused to put anything else on until they were returned.
2. She dated notorious recluse Howard Hughes for a while, but her most famous relationship was with Spencer Tracy, whom she had a relationship with from 1943 to 1967.
3. While may suspected she had Parkinson’s in her later years, she set the record straight: “Now to squash a rumor. No, I don’t have Parkinson’s. I inherited my shaking head from my grandfather Hepburn. I discovered that whiskey helps stop the shaking. Problem is, if you’re not careful, it stops the rest of you too. My head just shakes, but I promise you, it ain’t gonna fall off!”
4. Her maternal grandfather; her father’s brother, Charlie; and her older brother, Tom, all committed suicide. These tragedies were never talked about in her family. Ms. Hepburn said of her parents, “There was nothing to be done about these matters and [my parents] simply did not believe in moaning about anything.”
5. When Cate Blanchett won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for The Aviator in 2004, Hepburn became the first previous Oscar winner to become an Oscar-winning movie role.
6. Became very fond of Christopher Reeve, both as an actor and as a person, when he made his Broadway debut opposite her in the 1978 production of A Matter of Gravity. She became so fond of him that she used to tease him that she wanted him to take care of her when she retired. Ironically, his reply was “Miss Hepburn, I don’t think I’ll live that long.”
7. Hepburn always did all her own stunts because, according to her, the stunt doubles never stood up straight enough.
8. She was nominated for 12 Academy Awards, a record held until Meryl Streep received her 13th in 2000 for Adaptation.
9. She was with Spencer Tracy the night he died. According to her, he had gotten up in the middle of the night to get a glass of milk. She followed the sickly Tracy to the kitchen but before she got there she heard a glass shatter and then a loud thud. She found Tracy dead on the floor; he had suffered a massive heart attack.