Touching Stories of Audrey Hepburn's 'Fearless' Work with UNICEF Detailed in New Book: See the Photos

The actress made trips around the world with the humanitarian agency up until just months before her death in 1993

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"I wanted to show the real person, not the pretty princess," says author Robert Matzen of Audrey Hepburn, whom he writes about in Warrior, an in-depth look at the star's final years and her work on behalf of the world's children with UNICEF.

"She wasn't fragile, she was fearless," notes Matzen, who learned from Hepburn's close friends, UNICEF staff, fellow humanitarian workers and military officers who witnessed her courage in war zones, that her missions were much more dangerous than previously known — and how she was driven at the end of her life to use her name and voice for all it was worth. As she told a reporter after her first trip, to Ethiopia (seen here in 1988), "I'm not interested in promoting Audrey Hepburn these days. I'm interested in telling the world how they can help Ethiopia."

Matzen also uncovered never-before-seen photos of the famous star beloved for her roles in Breakfast at Tiffany's and Roman Holiday. As her son, Luca Dotti notes, "This is the full story."

For more, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

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Pavel Rahman/AP/Shutterstock

"For years former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger referred to Bangladesh as 'a lost cause,' which prompted Audrey [here, giving a polio vaccine in 1989] to go there on a mission and prove him wrong," says Matzen.

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John Isaac

At the airport in Bangladesh in 1989 with photographer John Isaac.

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Peter Charlesworth/LightRocket/Getty

Here, Hepburn leads children on a walk in Vietnam in 1990.

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Peter5 Charlesworth/Lightrocket/Getty

Hepburn (trying out a new water pump in a village near Hanoi) never lost her sense of humor. After being named UNICEF's Goodwill Ambassador, she told her son Luca, "We can park anywhere we want! I have diplomatic immunity."

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Nigel Parkhurst

With Capt. Nigel Parkhurst on the USS Tarawa on her visit to Somalia — her final trip with UNICEF — in 1992.

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Nigel Parkhurst

When Hepburn visited the USS Tarawa in 1992, the service members on board quickly raised $4,000 for her to give to the children of Somalia, the Los Angeles Times reported at the time.

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Riding on a helicopter to the USS Tarawa with UNICEF team members Ian MacLeod and Mark Stirling in 1992.

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"She asked if she could say hello to each soldier and thank them for being there," Matzen says of Hepburn's arrival at the Mogadishu airport in Somalia in 1992.

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Nigel Parkhurst Collection

"I came to Somalia determined not to cry," Hepburn reportedly said to the troops gathered to meet her on the USS Tarawa, per the Los Angeles Times.

"Nobody should ever tell me again about compassion fatigue ... I am so touched by this gesture of compassion for the children of Somalia. You young Americans are giving from your hearts."

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