Audrey Hepburn

In this photo is Audrey Hepburn with Otto Frank, Anne’s father. Audrey Hepburn was born on May 4, 1929. The actress is best known for such films as Roman Holiday and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but did you know that she turned down the role of Anne Frank? Here’s why.

What many may not know about Hepburn is that as a teenager she helped the Dutch resistance in WWII. Both Hepburn and Frank were born in 1929. The two never met but Hepburn felt close to the young diarist and lived 60 miles apart from each other. While Hepburn was not Jewish, she spent several years of the war in a cellar to use as a bomb shelter and even faced near starvation. During this time, she managed to arrange illegal dance performances to support local families who were hiding Jews.

After the war, Otto reached out to Hepburn asking if she would play the role of his daughter for the movie adaptation of the well-known diary. Hepburn felt unable to play the part, having had such a traumatic experience during the war, it would be too difficult.

She said of Frank: “It’s a little bit as if this had happened to my sister . . . in a way she was my soul sister.”

Photo: Luca Dotti