When Audrey Hepburn Met Marlon Brando

How did Brando really feel about the legendary actress?

Portrait of actress Audrey Hepburn

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In Audrey Hepburn’s first and only meeting with the macho actor Marlon Brando, early in her career at Paramount, the two were seated next to each other at an Actor’s Guild luncheon. As they sat down, Audrey said a shy hello. Brando said not a single word to her during the entire dinner. For 40 years, Audrey’s son says, his mother believed that Brando had shunned her.

But in the hospital near the end of her life, she received a letter from the famous actor. A mutual friend must have told him of Hepburn’s feelings, and he wrote to set the record straight. Although she might have been shy of him at that luncheon, he recalled that he had been so much in awe of her that he was speechless. He couldn’t think of a single thing to say.

—“Audrey Hepburn: A Son’s Reflection” by Ted Kreiter, May 2004

First page of the article, "Audrey Hepburn: A Son's Reflections"
Read “Audrey Hepburn: A Son’s Reflections” by Ted Kreiter from the May 2004, issue of the Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.

This article is featured in the May/June 2020 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.

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  1. This is a good lesson for everyone to learn. The fact these were two famous movie stars is essentially irrelevant. A decades-long misunderstanding occurred because one was shy, but managed to get out a ‘hello’. The other, nothing. Had Marlon at least smiled and (or) made positive eye contact, it would have made all the difference. It probably would have led to an awkward laugh at first, yes, but then an introduction (preferably initiated by him) with maybe a 2nd mutual laugh, likely followed by some light, sparkling conversation with all awkwardness and any misconceptions gone; just like that.

    I wasn’t there, and cannot judge. He was star stuck (frozen) by Ms. Hepburn at that moment. It’s a shame the mutual party couldn’t of conveyed that to her early on. Maybe they didn’t know either until decades later. That’s it.

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