The fawn-like beauty, Audrey Hepburn, was one of the most popular actresses of the 1950s and 1960s. Born in 1929 in Brussels, Belgium, Hepburn grew up in Kent, England. She is lauded as both a film and fashion icon and was ranked the third-greatest female screen legend by the American Film Institute. The star was also inducted into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame.
Hepburn rose to fame in the 1953 film “Roman Holiday” which made her the first actress to win an Oscar, a Golden Globe Award and a BAFTA Award for the same performance. Also in 1953, Hepburn won the Tony Award for best leading actress in a play for her role in “Ondine.” She is one of only 16 people to have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.
Outside of her legendary career, Hepburn was also known for her many Hollywood love stories. She went through a number of fairytale-like romances that would have fit into any of her films. This timeline is a closer look at the star’s many love affairs.
1952: James Hanson
Audrey Hepburn, James Hanson (1952), (Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images)
Hepburn was engaged to James Hanson, a businessman and industrialist, in 1952 after knowing the man for many years. At the time, Hepburn said it was love at first sight, and even had her wedding dress fitted before deciding to call off the wedding. She said that the marriage would not work because the pair were both too dedicated to their careers and didn’t spend enough time together. This all happened as Hepburn’s career was about to take off, and her iconic film “Roman Holiday” would be released a year after the canceled engagement.
Audrey Hepburn (1952), (Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images)
1954: Mel Ferrer
Audrey Hepburn, Mel Ferrer (1954), (Ernst Haas/Ernst Haas/Getty Images)
At the British opening of “Roman Holiday,” Hepburn met actor and stage and film director, Mel Ferrer. The pair began seeing one another despite a 12 year age difference, and the fact that Ferrer was a twice-divorced father of four. They were married in Bürgenstock, Switzerland in 1954.
Vanity Fair reports that Hepburn wrote about her plans for the wedding in a letter. She wrote: “How dearly we would love you to be with us on our wedding day. We will have the car take you up to our mountain peak, Friday, for a gathering in our chalet of our nearest and dearest! . . . Saturday will be the wedding . . . We want to keep it a dark secret in order to have it without the ‘press.’”
Audrey Hepburn, Mel Ferrer (1956), (Sunset Boulevard/Corbis/Getty Images)
In Lucerne, Switzerland, on June 17, 1960, Hepburn gave birth to her first child, Sean Hepburn Ferrer. Unfortunately, the relationship began to degrade after alleged infidelities from both partners. They were divorced in November of 1968.
Audrey Hepburn, Mel Ferrer, Sean (1960), (Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images)
1954: William Holden
Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, William Holden (1954), (Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
While married to Ferrer, Hepburn had an affair with her co-star from Billy Wilder’s “Sabrina,” William Holden. The pair had a secret romance while filming the movie. However, the relationship did not last as Hepburn was already married and wanted to start a family.
Audrey Hepburn, William Holden (1953), (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
1969: Andrea Dotti
Audrey Hepburn, Andrea Dotti (1969), (Getty Images/press release)
A year after her divorce from Ferrer, Hepburn married Italian psychiatrist and neurologist Andrea Dotti. The couple had met on a cruise and fell into a whirlwind romance. They moved to Rome where Hepburn’s son, Sean, attended bilingual school. In 1970, at the age of 40, Hepburn gave birth to her second child, Luca Dotti.
Sadly, Hepburn’s husband had a series of public affairs with young women and their relationship took a tumultuous turn. In 1982, Dotti and Hepburn were officially divorced.
1979: Ben Gazzara
Omar Sharif, Irene Papas, James Mason, Audrey Hepburn, Ben Gazzara, Romy Schneider, Maurice Ronet (1979), (Bavaria Filmstudios/Paramount Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis/Getty Images)
After an almost 10-year-long hiatus from performing, Hepburn starred in the film “Bloodline” with Ben Gazzara. The two stars began seeing each other romantically while filming. They were reportedly both feeling trapped in their marriages and found respite in one another. According to Express, Gazzara said, “Audrey was unhappy in her marriage and hurting. I was unhappy in my marriage and hurting, and we gave solace to each other and we fell in love.” But when shooting ended, they each returned to their unhappy marriages.
1980: Robert Wolders
Robert Wolders, Audrey Hepburn (1988), (Rose Hartman/Getty Images)
While separated from Dotti, Hepburn met Robert Wolders, a Dutch businessman, at a party. The couple fell madly in love and were together from 1980 until the time of Hepburn’s death from appendiceal cancer in 1993.
“We were ready for each other,” Wolders said about their almost instant chemistry. “At the time in our lives that we met, we had both made our mistakes. If chance would have had it that we would have met at an earlier stage, we might not have had the discoveries together that we did have and found those things in life together that were valuable to us at a later point in life when we were both more mature.”
When PEOPLE asked Wolders why the couple never married he said:
“I felt she had two unhappy marriages, it was wonderful the way it was. When Audrey would be asked, she’d also say, ‘Why mess with a good thing?’ I remember her saying to one interviewer it’s more romantic this way because it’s not another piece of paper, but out of loyalty to each other that binds us together.”