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The Religious Affiliation of Actress
About the filming of The Nun's Story, from Fred Zinnemann, Fred Zinnemann: An Autobiography: A Life in the Movies, Charles Scribner's Sons: New York, NYC (1992), page 163:
...I preferred not to use Roman Catholics in creative situations. It seemed important to keep an objective approach to the work, without the emotional involvement a faithful believer would bring to it, as this would create a private sentimental quality I wanted to avoid at all costs. Our writer, the playwright Robert Anderson, was a Protestant. Edith Evans and Audrey Hepburn were Christian Scientists...
From "Audrey Hepburn Biography" by Jenna Actaboski, 2001 (http://www.100megsfree3.com/ahepburn/printable.html):
Edda Hepburn van Heemstra, born in Belgium on May 4, 1929, the daughter of Dutch Baroness Ella van Heemstra... and John Hepburn Ruston... a wealthy English banker. Audrey once said, that if she were to ever write a book about herself, it would start out like this, "I was born on May 4, 1929, and I died three weeks later." True, for at 21 days old, Audrey contracted a horrible case of whooping cough, and her heart stopped. Ella, being the strict Christian Scientist that she was refused to call a doctor and revived her daughter by spanking her. Audrey's son Sean Ferrer later related that this "had an effect on her whole life, as if she'd been given a second chance."
From: "Did You Know" page on "Audrey Hepburn: The Fairest First Lady" website (URL: http://www.thefairestlady.com/audrey/didyouknow.html; alternative URL: http://www.100megsfree3.com/ahepburn/didyouknow.html; viewed 24 May 2005):
...While at a party in 1954, Audrey is introduced to a fellow actor, Mel Ferrer... During this time, Hepburn and Ferrer began a blossoming romance, one that lead to Ferrer proposing marriage later on... "Ondine" closed July 3, 1954 after 157 showings. Shortly after, Mel Ferrer flew to Switzerland and proposed to Audrey, who accepted over her mother Ella's objection. They were married in a civil ceremony on September 24, 1954 and repeated their vows at a religious ceremony in a Protestant chapel a day later, presided over by Pastor Maurice Eindigver.
...on January 17, 1960... Audrey gives birth to the first of her greatest achievements, Sean Hepburn Ferrer. Sean, meaning "Gift of God", was born at Lucerne's Municipal Maternity Clinic at nine and a half pounds... The same Pastor baptized Sean at the same chapel who had married Audrey and Mel some years before.
...on January 20, 1993, Audrey Hepburn passes away... Four days later, her funeral takes place... UNICEF's Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan delivered a eulogy and Maurice Eindiguer, the very same pastor who had married Audrey and Mel Ferrer some 30 years earlier presided over her funeral.
As for personal and religious beliefs, I've read that her Mom was a Christian Scientist, though Audrey herself wasn't. Walker mentions in his bio that she was Calvinist... or at least raised like one. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but think Paris in his bio said she was Episcopalian. Whichever, she was a Protestant Christian.
From: Frank Sanello, Spielberg: The Man, the Movies, the Mythology, Taylor Publishing Company: Dallas, Texas (1996), pages 201-202:
And she also said something in Paris' bio that she had no religion except a belief in nature. A belief that if you walk outside on a clear cool day among the flowers and let nature's beauty reach your heart, that you could put everything into perspective.
Audrey believed in God. She was very spiritual. There were also rumors after "The Nun's Story" that she was going to become Catholic to which she responded that she was staying Protestant. She also had her children baptized... she obviously had a religious base (at least back then) besides just a belief in nature. She may have walked away from it later in life or just didn't want to talk about it. Walker in his bio says she was more about conscience than dogma... sounds kind of like Sister Luke to me.
Always may be most memorable because it gave fans one last on-screen look at Audrey Hepburn before her untimely death just a few years later.
About the filming of The Nun's Story, from Fred Zinnemann: An Autobiography, page 155:
Spielberg originally had wanted to Sean Connery to play the role of God [in his movie Always] since their working relationship on Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade had been so fruitful. But Connery had other film commitments, so in a burst of inspiration, Spielberg decided to recast God as a woman!
In once scene, Hepburn [as God] appears in a burned-out forest. The script called for her to be dressed all in white. In order not to smudge her costume, Hepburn literally had to be carried on a stretcher to the middle of the forest by six burley members of the crew.
...Audrey Hepburn and I did find ourselves making a film together a couple of years later. It came about in this way. During the mid-1950s, Kathryn Hulme's novel The Nun's Story, based on the true story of a missionary nun who after seventeen years had left her order, caused quite a stir. Miss Hulme had been the chief of a UNRRA camp for displaced persons in post-war Germany and the ex-nun had wound up as a nurse in the same place. They became close friends and Kathryn eventually wrote the bestselling book about her. The theme was stated by Hillel two thousand years ago: 'If I am not myself, who will be for me? And if I am for myself alone, what am I? And if not now, when?'
Audrey Hepburn said ("Audrey Hepburn Quotes" page on "Audrey Hepburn - L'Ange des Enfants" website; http://www.audrey1.com/quotes/; viewed 19 July 2005):
The book had been sent to me by Gary Cooper who thought that I might find it interesting. He was right. I became engrossed in the idea of dramatizing this woman's enormous problem of conscience. Unhappily, my enthusiasm was not shared by any of the studios. The official word was 'Who wants to see a documentary about how to become a nun?' That summed it up; but when Audrey Hepburn said she wanted to do it the studios suddenly became intensely interested.
With the exception of Ingrid Bergman there was at that time no star as incandescent as Audrey.
"[I have] enormous faith, but it's not attached to any one in particular religion.... My mother was one thing, my father another. In Holland they were all Calvinists. That has no importance at all to me."
Webpage created 24 June 2005. Last modified 28 July 2005.
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