Had iconic beauty Audrey Hepburn not died an untimely death from colon cancer in 1993, she would have celebrated a birthday today. She would have been 78 years old. I imagine that Audrey would look lovely at any age, including 78.
Most people probably remember her for her sweetness in Breakfast at Tiffany's, and her rather heartbreaking rendition of Moon River; but being a mystery lover, I connect her most with the rather mysterious movies that she made. First, I remember being a little tike and watching her in re-runs of Wait Until Dark, which first came out when I was three. Audrey held me spellbound as the blind woman terrorized by bad guys. Of course I have no memory of the plot exactly (although a quick search tells me that "a trio of thugs searches for heroin hidden in a doll they believe to be in her apartment"), but I remember the raw emotion, the fear and helplessness that she conveyed in this tense drama. My mom was a sucker for movies like that, so naturally I grew up to be one, too.
Another of my favorites is Charade, in which a young, lovely Audrey falls for an older, rather grouchy Cary Grant. I must say, though, that even though my father has long despised Cary Grant for unknown reasons, I find him charming in every CG movie I've watched, and I fully understand his popularity. Even in his fifties he was leading man material, and a perfect foil for Audrey's youthful energy. In the Mary Stewart spirit (and she was certainly a contemporary of these actors), the movie contains romance amidst the tension of a difficult plot, and the knowledge that no one is entirely trustworthy.
Hepburn was undoubtedly lovely and fashionable, and I dare anyone to find an unflattering photograph of her. What I remember her for, though, is her innate sweetness; perhaps it was this that prompted her to become a UNICEF spokesperson in her later years, and it was UNICEF and her work there that was on her mind in the final years, and even weeks, of her life.
I suppose the greatest tribute to Audrey Hepburn that we could give her is the fact that she is still a household name, a permanent icon of beauty and fashion, and a sure influence of future generations.