A Remarkable Woman Summary
by Anne Edwards

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A Remarkable Woman

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

A REMARKABLE WOMAN is the latest work by Anne Edwards, whose previous biographical subjects have included Judy Garland, Vivien Leigh, and Margaret Mitchell.

Katharine Hepburn was the second of six children born to remarkable parents--Dr. Thomas Hepburn and Katharine “Kit” Houghton Hepburn. Throughout the years, Katharine Hepburn would return to her family in Connecticut and would always remain close to her parents, brothers, and sisters.

While at Bryn Mawr College, Hepburn decided to become an actress and soon began appearing in stock companies and Broadway productions. Hepburn was discovered by Hollywood producers in the play THE WARRIOR’S HUSBAND. After appearing in her first film, A BILL OF DIVORCEMENT, Hepburn starred in a succession of films, including MORNING GLORY (for which she won her first Academy Award for Best Actress), LITTLE WOMEN, ALICE ADAMS, SYLVIA SCARLETT, BRINGING UP BABY, STAGE DOOR, and HOLIDAY.

A turning point in her career came in 1938. After being labeled “box office poison", Hepburn bought out her RKO motion-picture contract and returned to Connecticut. Subsequently, playwright Philip Barry offered her the leading role in his play THE PHILADELPHIA STORY. Hepburn won critical acclaim in both the stage and screen versions of the play.

Among Hepburn’s most memorable films are those in which she appeared with Spencer Tracy. Their first film, WOMAN OF THE YEAR (1942), marked the beginning of a professional and personal relationship that lasted twenty-five years. Other Tracy-Hepburn films include: STATE OF THE UNION, ADAM’S RIB, PAT AND MIKE, and GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER (for which she won her second Academy Award for Best Actress).

Hepburn’s later films include: THE LION IN WINTER (1968), ON GOLDEN POND (1981), both of which brought her Best Actress Academy Awards. Returning to the stage, Hepburn appeared in COCO (1969), A MATTER OF GRAVITY (1976), and WEST SIDE WALTZ (1981). On television during the 1970’s, Hepburn starred in THE GLASS MENAGERIE (1973), LOVE AMONG THE RUINS (1975), and THE CORN IS GREEN (1979).

As a reference guide, Edwards’ book includes a bibliography and chronologies of Hepburn’s films, plays, and radio and television appearances. An index and numerous illustrations are also included.

Anne Edwards’ book is an important addition to the literature on Katharine Hepburn. This inspirational biography is highly recommended.