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Women Who Changed the World

Katharine Hepburn

Who: Katharine Houghton Hepburn (May 12, 1907 - June 29, 2003)

What she's known for: Katharine Hepburn is remembered as the greatest film actresses from the Classic Hollywood Cinema era. She was known for her independent and spirited personality and was Hollywood's leading lady for nearly six decades. She received 12 Academy Award nominations and won four of them.

Why we love her: Before moving to Hollywood, Hepburn was a stage actress on Broadway. When she was brought out to California, she demanded $1,500 pay per week, an unheard of amount for an almost unknown actress such as herself.

Throughout her career, Hepburn famously scorned the rumor mill that was generated by the press and refused to conform to the expectations of women. She was outspoken, assertive, athletic and dressed in trousers. She came to symbolize the modern woman and played a part in changing gender attitudes.

When she was nearing 40, Hepburn's career soared, while other actresses, of the same age, began to retreat. She came to embrace the role of the spinster and sought it out in plays and movies.

Hepburn changed the face of women in Hollywood and brought about an era of strong-willed women to the screen, and is remembered as an important cultural figure.

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