Read facts you never knew about Katharine Hepburn:
Katharine was a natural red head.
As a child, Katharine cut her hair off, wore boys’ clothes and made people call her Jimmy.
When Katharine was growing up, it was normal in the Hepburn household to take ice-cold baths or showers daily. She continued to do this for the rest of her life and would give it as health advice to people.
She graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a degree in history and philosophy.
She admitted to posing for nude photos in her twenties, but the pictures were lost.
When she started working in Hollywood, the studio wanted Katharine to wear a skirt instead of her usual slacks. When the costume department took them from her dressing room, she walked around the studio in her underwear and refused to put anything on until they were returned.
She was a big fan of John Gilbert and Greta Garbo.
She desperately wanted to play Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With The Wind. She was a contender for the role, but it eventually went to Vivien Leigh. There were no hard feelings though: Katherine served as Maid of Honor at Vivien Leigh’s and Laurence Olivier’s wedding a few years later.
Katharine was a direct descendant of King John of Engeland, through one of his illegitimate children. She played King John’s mother Eleanor in The Lion in Winter.
Katharine did all of her own stunts, because she never liked the work of the stunt women and always felt that she could do a better job.
She was a survivor of the Great New England Hurricane of September 21, 1938. She was staying at her family home, when the hurricane hit. Katharine, her family and the servants had just fled the house, when it was washed away. One of the many items lost was her Oscar for Morning Glory, which was later found. Katharine rebuilt the beloved family home a year later and was locally known for running people of ‘her’ beach, which was actually public, in her later years.
The only tie in history for the Oscar for Best Actress was between Barbra Streisand for Funny Girl and Katharine Hepburn for The Lion in Winter. She also holds the record for most Oscars for Best Actress.
She became very close to actor Christopher Reeve during his Broadway debut opposite her in A Matter of Gravity. Although rumors spread that they were having an affair, Christopher later stated that he was more like a son or a grandchild to her. She would tease him by saying that she wanted him to take care of her when she retired, ironically he would reply that he couldn’t wait that long.
She never watched Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, because it was Spencer Tracy’s last film and she found it too hard.
She loved to paint and sculpt and in 2004 100 of her paintings, sculptures, drawings and sketchbooks were auctioned off.
Read more about Katharine Hepburn’s life.