By Lara Gabrielle Fowler
Today, May 12, would have been the 106th birthday of the great Katharine Hepburn.
I often struggle trying to describe Katharine Hepburn, as mere adjectives don’t seem to suffice, and empty superlatives would have bored her. To say she was a woman ahead of her time would be stating the painfully obvious, and to say she was the best American actress of all time is something that has been stated again and again since her official inclusion on the American Film Institute’s “100 Years, 100 Stars” list, filling the #1 spot. I will not rehash any of that here, as it has all already been said.
People adore her, bow down to her, and put her on a cinematic pedestal as a standard to which we should all strive. I fear that if idolized to the point of mythology, the Katharine Hepburn who prided herself on being a real, grounded, salt-of-the-earth woman will cease to be. Hence, instead of tripping over myself trying to celebrate Katharine Hepburn in words, I will let her clips speak for her.
Happy birthday, Kate.
This is perhaps my favorite scene in any of Katharine Hepburn’s movies.
Despite winning a record 4 Academy Awards, this is Katharine Hepburn’s only appearance at the Oscars.
And here is one of Hepburn’s interviews, of which she had only a handful. Note in the first video that Hepburn is essentially overhauling the entire set, but no one complains. They are putty in the hands of a legend. I am hard pressed to think of someone today who could command this type of complete deference.