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For seven decades Katharine Hepburn played a leading role in the popular culture of the twentieth century - reigning as an admired actress, a beloved movie star, and a treasured icon of the modern American woman. She also remained one of the most private of all the public figures of her time.
In 1983 - at the age of seventy-five, her career cresting - the four-time Academy Award winner opened the door to biographer A. Scott Berg - then thirty-three - and began a special friendship, one that endured to the end of her illustrious life.
From the start, Scott Berg felt that Katharine Hepburn intended his role to be not just that of a friend but also of a chronicler, a confidant who might record for posterity her thoughts and feelings. Over the next twenty years, Kate used their many hours together to reveal all that came to mind, often reflecting on the people and episodes of her past, occasionally on the meaning of life.
Here are the stories from those countless intimate conversations, and much more. In addition to recording heretofore untold biographical details of her entire phenomenal career and her famous relationships with such men as Spencer Tracy and Howard Hughes, Kate Remembered also tells the amusing, often emotional story of one of the most touching friendships in her final years. Scott Berg provides his own memories of Katharine Hepburn offstage - quiet dinners in her town house in New York City, winter swims (she swam, he watched) in the Long Island Sound at Fenwick, her home in Connecticut, weekend visits with family members and dear friends...even some unusual appearances by the likes of Michael Jackson and Warren Beatty. Finally, Kate Remembered discusses the legendary actress's moving farewell, during which her mighty personality surrendered at last to her failing body - all the while remaining true to her courageous character.
Kate Remembered is a book about love and friendship, family and career, Hollywood and Broadway - all punctuated by unforgettable lessons from an extraordinary life.
Berg's memoir of Katharine Hepburn was written over a number of years but held back, according to Hepburn's wishes, until her death (on June 29, 2003, at the age of 96). One of the most telling passages in Berg's love letter to the four-time Oscar-winning actress has been omitted (along with the entire two-page Author's Note) from this otherwise unabridged recording. In it, Berg clarifies, "This book is, thus, not a critical study of either Katharine Hepburn's life or her career... more than my remembrances, this book intends to convey hers." This is Hepburn the way Hepburn wanted to be seen and few people will have qualms about that since, as she was famously quoted as saying, "I'm endlessly fascinating." Berg charts their growing friendship from 1983 onward, recounting personal stories of their interactions (as a producer on her final film, Love Affair, he expertly skewers Warren Beatty) and retelling familiar tales of Kate lore on and off-screen. One of the funniest incidents narrator Goldwyn nimbly reenacts is a fumbling meeting between Michael Jackson and his "favorite movie star," whose films he had obviously not seen. Listeners will enjoy Goldwyn's smooth reading of Berg's tight, evocative prose. There were few lulls in Hepburn's long life and the same can be said for this audio package, which should be a holiday gift favorite. Based on the Dutton hardcover.