Katharine Hepburn sported a stylized personality and headstrong independence that announced a new kind of female presence in Hollywood’s heyday. She was an instant screen success, winning the first of her record four Best Actress Oscars in 1933 for Morning Glory and making such popular films as Little Women (1933). But subsequent choices were poorly received by critics and audiences, and by 1938 she was labeled “box-office poison.”
The Philadelphia Story (1940) revived her career, and she never again faltered. She co-starred with Humphrey Bogart in The African Queen (1951) and partnered in nine films with Spencer Tracy, winning an Oscar for Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967). She also won for The Lion in Winter (1968) and On Golden Pond (1981). Her receipt of four Best Actress Oscars is a feat that remains unequaled today. This portrait by her friend Everett Raymond Kinstler was said to be her favorite.
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