CBC Digital Archives

Audrey Hepburn on My Fair Lady

They are some of the brightest stars in old Hollywood, leading ladies who lit up the silver screen with their beauty, wit and talent. From Canada's Mary Pickford, the biggest star of the 1920s, to 1960s favourite Audrey Hepburn, CBC Digital Archives presents interviews with the best-loved actresses of the golden age of movies.

It's not Audrey Hepburn's voice you hear singing the songs in the 1964 movie musical My Fair Lady, but the Cockney accent in the dialogue is all hers. A day before the film opens in Toronto, CBC Radio's Elwood Glover talks with its star, actress Audrey Hepburn, about how she prepared for the role of the working-class flower girl Eliza Doolittle. In this clip, Hepburn says she developed the Cockney accent - which was too strong at first - all on her own.
• Audrey Hepburn was born in Belgium to a British father and Dutch mother in 1929. Her first major exposure was in the title role of Gigi on Broadway in 1951, and in 1953 she starred in Roman Holiday, which won her an Academy Award.
  • Actress and singer Julie Andrews was well known for her portrayal of Eliza Doolittle on Broadway and was heavily favoured to win the movie role. Instead, it went to Hepburn, who had a proven track record in Hollywood after the successes of 1961's Breakfast at Tiffany's and Charade in 1963.

• In the 1964 movie My Fair Lady, the voice heard singing the songs is not Hepburn's but that of Marni Nixon, who is also heard in film versions of The King and I and West Side Story

• Audrey Hepburn largely retreated from movies in the late 1960s but emerged in 1988 as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund. She died in 1993.

Medium: Radio
Program: Assignment
Broadcast Date: Oct. 27, 1964
Guest(s): Audrey Hepburn
Host: Bill McNeil
Interviewer: Elwood Glover
Duration: 5:47

Last updated: October 24, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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