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Last Updated: Monday, 30 June, 2003, 08:17 GMT 09:17 UK
Film star Katharine Hepburn dies
Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart in The African Queen
Hepburn made her mark in The African Queen
Hollywood legend Katharine Hepburn has died at the age of 96.

Hepburn, who lived in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, had suffered various health problems in recent years, including Parkinson's disease.

Her career in Hollywood spanned six decades, during which she starred alongside other Hollywood greats, including James Stewart, Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart and long-time love Spencer Tracy.

She won an unequalled four Oscars for Best Actress for her roles in Morning Glory (1933), Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968) and On Golden Pond (1981).

Morning Glory (1933)
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)
The Lion in Winter (1968)
On Golden Pond (1981)

President George Bush led tributes to her.

"Katharine Hepburn delighted audiences with her unique talent for more than six decades," he said.

"She was known for her intelligence and wit and will be remembered as one of the nation's artistic treasures."

Elizabeth Taylor, her co-star in 1959's Suddenly, Last Summer, paid tribute, saying: "I think every actress in the world looked up to her with a kind of reverence and a sense of, 'Oh boy, if only I could be like her'."

She was a double-act with Spencer Tracy on and off the screen
Dozens of admirers gathered near Hepburn's home on Monday and fans piled up tributes on her star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

One fan left a card that read: "A real lady, a true star, you will be missed."

Another read: "They simply don't make 'em like this anymore."

Sheridan Morley, who wrote a biography of the star, told BBC Breakfast: "She was an actress of enormous distinction and courage; an extraordinarily powerful actress.

Hepburn on her life, love and work

"She was very much an outsider - and did not fit into the studio system. She was her own woman."

The executor of her estate, Cynthia McFadden, said Hepburn died on Sunday at 1450 local time (1850 GMT).

As a mark of respect, the lights will be dimmed along Broadway in New York on Tuesday, said a spokeswoman for the League of American Theaters and Producers.

Hepburn was born in Connecticut in 1907, one of six children.

Katharine Hepburn
Hepburn's Oscar feat has not yet been matched
Educated by tutors and at private school, Hepburn's first job was at a stock company in Baltimore.

Love for Tracy

She made her stage debut in New York in 1928 in the play These Days, and married socialite Ludlow Ogden in the same year.

The couple divorced in 1934.

Hepburn later remarked: "I don't believe in marriage. It's bloody impractical to love, honour and obey."

In her private life, Hepburn was romantically linked to millionaire Howard Hughes, with whom she had a four-year affair.

But the love of her life was Tracy, with whom she spent 27 years and made nine films.

Their relationship only ended with his death in 1967.

I was totally unaware that we were the second-rate sex
Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then
Acting is the most minor of gifts and not a very high-class way to earn a living. After all, Shirley Temple could do it at the age of four
I'm a personality as well as an actress. Show me an actress who isn't a personality and you'll show me a woman who isn't a star

Hepburn made her first film in Hollywood - A Bill of Divorcement - in 1932.

She won her first Oscar for her third movie, Morning Glory, the following year.

In all, she appeared in more than 50 films, but it was her role in The African Queen, in which she starred opposite Humphrey Bogart, which brought her iconic status.

Her first book - The Making of The African Queen: Or, How I Went to Africa With Bogart, Bacall and Huston and Almost Lost My Mind - made her a best-selling author at the age of 77.

She appeared in her last film, This Can't Be Love, in 1994.

In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked her the greatest actress of all time.

Of her advanced years and declining health, Hepburn said in 1990: "I'm what is known as gradually disintegrating.

"I think people are beginning to think I'm not going to be around much longer. "

"And do you know, they'll miss me, like an old monument. Like the Flatiron Building."


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