The elegant Audrey Hepburn is one of the most iconic film stars to have ever graced our screens. Even after her death, the Breakfast at Tiffany's actress' work and life are still a topic of conversation.
Just like every Hollywood actress, Hepburn's overall look, including her style and noticeably slim figure, have also been much talked about throughout her career. Now, nearly 25 years after her death, her family has spoken out to address the rumors.
In this month's People magazine, those closest to the British star are sharing some new details about her private life and struggles that fans never knew about.
Hepburn was 5-foot-7 and weighed no more than 110 lbs. her entire adult life, but contrary to popular belief, the actress was not anorexic.
“People think because she was skinny that she had an eating disorder, but it’s not true,” says Hepburn's son, Luca Dotti. “She loved Italian food and pasta. She ate a lot of grains, not a lot of meat, and a little bit of everything.”
Robert Wolders, her partner from 1980 until her death, backs up Dotti's comments.
"She didn’t diet. We had brown bread with jam for breakfast, lunch would be chicken or veal or pasta, often with vegetables from the garden, and for dinner we often had soup with chicken and vegetables," recalls Wolders. "She had chocolate after dinner, baking chocolate. She had a finger or two of Scotch at night.”
So how did the Belgian-born icon maintain her thin frame?
See, Hepburn was only 11 years old during World War II and when Holland became occupied by the Germans, she and her family struggled to survive. Food was scarce and by the end of the war, Hepburn was starved and "very close to death."
“She survived by eating nettles and tulip bulbs and drinking water to fill her stomach. She was almost 5‘6” and weighed 88 lbs. She had jaundice and edema," Dotti explains.
Dotti says that as a result of this period of malnutrition, his mother suffered from anemia for the rest of her life, which contributed to her lack of weight gain.
Despite boasting a slim figure, Hepburn did indeed try to remain as active as possible throughout her 63 years, but did it in moderation.
"We'd walk for miles. She could outwalk me," Wolders tells People. "She had a healthy metabolism, but she was not excessive. She never said, 'I have to do five miles today.'"
Not only did the war took a toll on Hepburn's physical health, it also affected her emotionally, especially when she thought about Anne Frank.
"She was the same age as Anne Frank and (later) said: “That was the girl who didn’t make it and I did,” says Dotti. "Her voice would crack, and her eyes would fill with tears.”
Asides from sharing some personal insights about Hepburn, her family has plans to host the first-ever auction of some of her memorabilia, dresses and more. Christie's auction house is making all the items available for public viewing in L.A between September 12-14. The online auction will run from September 19 to October 3, 2017.