The legacy of a film star and philanthropist: Audrey Hepburn and her memorabilia
Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's

Today, May 4, back in 1929 saw the introduction to the world of one of the immortals of Hollywood, Audrey Hepburn.

Still remembered as one of the most famous film stars of all time, Hepburn is regarded as a film and fashion icon of the twentieth century. She is ranked by the American Film Institute as the third greatest female screen legend in the history of American cinema thanks to her memorable roles in movies such as Breakfast at Tiffany's and Funny Face.

Hepburn dedicated the remaining years of her life to UNICEF, leaving a humanitarian legacy too.

Hepburn's dress from How to Steal a Million, 1966 (£60k
Hepburn's dress from How to Steal a Million, 1966 (£60k)

Certainly her influence is still felt on the collectibles markets. In a sale at Kerry Taylor Auctions in London at the close of 2009, a collection of her dresses brought £268,000, including one from How to Steal a Million (1966) which achieved £60,000 ($99,300).

Indeed Hepburn's black Givenchy cocktail dress from Breakfast at Tiffany's made a top 10 list of celebrity memorabilia when it sold at Christie's for $928,167 in 2006.

The most unusual collectible however was the set of stamps printed in 2001 to celebrate Hepburn's memory. Unfortunately, the design for the stamp did not impress her son, Sean Hepburn Ferrer.

Sheet of rare Audrey Hepburn stamps
Sheet of rare Audrey Hepburn stamps
(Click to enlarge)

A photo of Hepburn with the arm of a set of sunglasses dangling from her mouth had been adapted an appeared to show her clenching a cigarette-holder between her teeth. Production had already started before he saw the design and refused permission, and most stamps were pulped.

However, in October 2010, a sheet of them was discovered and put on sale in Germany, where they sold for a stunning €403,000 ($597,000).

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