A new book, Always Audrey, gives a rare glimpse at the life of Audrey Hepburn before her breakthrough role in 1953's Roman Holiday

By Liz McNeil
October 23, 2019 09:00 AM
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They met when she was just 22 years old. No one knew who Audrey Hepburn was. Then an unknown actress, Hepburn had just arrived in New York to star in Gigi on Broadway. And photographer Milton H. Greene, then 29, had been asked by Life Magazine to introduce her to America.

Over six decades later, those pictures of Hepburn, including some never before seen photos, have been collected in a new coffee table book Always Audrey.

The book, highlighted in this week’s issue of PEOPLE, contains the work of six legendary photographers including Greene, Norman Parkinson, Terry O’Neill, Douglas Kirkland, Eva Sereny and Lawrence Fried.

Fried spent a few days photographing Hepburn in Manhattan, stopping at a coffee shop and traveling by taxi when no one knew who she was. Only a few of his photos of the star were ever published.

Credit: Norman Parkinson/Iconic Images
Audrey Hepburn
| Credit: The Lawrence Fried Photography Archive
Credit: Lawrence Fried Photos/Iconic Images
Credit: Norman Parkinson/Iconic Images

His daughters, Tish Fried and Lauren Wendle, only found his collection of Audrey photos in 2012 almost three decades after his death in 1983.

“We inherited all of these boxes,” says Lauren of their father’s archives which were stored in the dusty basement of their childhood home in Tarrytown, New York. “We knew he worked with other actors but we did not know much about his time with Audrey. Those photos were mixed in with other negatives.”

Adds Tish: “There were no contact sheets for Audrey, so it wasn’t until I finally saw the negatives on the lightbox that I realized ‘Oh my god, here they are.'”

Audrey Hepburn
| Credit: Milton H. Greene © Joshua Greene
Credit: Milton H. Greene © Joshua Greene
Credit: Milton H. Greene © Joshua Greene

Encouraged by Terence Pepper, former head of photography of London’s National Portrait Gallery, who curated a show on Hepburn in 2015, Fried’s daughters did further research and came across the amazing trove of never before seen pictures.

“Some of these rolls of film have never seen the light of day,” says Pepper, who is also the curator of the Norman Parkinson archives. “To see her when she is so young and just an ordinary person before she became a star overnight in Roman Holiday. To see the transformation is an astonishing discovery.”

Always Audrey is now in stores and online available for purchase from ACC Art Books.