Katharine Hepburn would be turning 110 today, were the Oscar-winning icon still alive. Rumors about her sexuality persisted throughout Hepburn's life and, while we can't make a definitive statement, even she'd admit she had little use for gender norms.

    From her intimate friendships women to her physicality and forthrightness—even her film choices and wardrobe—Kate was a queer icon before the term was even coined. In honor of her birthday, we celebrate one of Hollywood’s gayest It girls.

    The Bryn Mawr years

    Hepburn took up acting at the all-girl's college in 1927, when she was cast in the male role of Oliver in The Truth About Blayds. To butch up for the part, she cut her hair with fingernail scissors. After receiving a review that called her “an engaging boy, roguish and merry," she put on a pair of white trousers and a blazer and took gal pal (and rumored lover) Alice Palache out on the town. The duo were caught on their way home, and warned not to not leave campus again.

    “The Warrior’s Husband”

    This 1932 play was another early gender-bending role for Hepburn, who played Amazon champion Antiope in a world where women were the fighters and men stayed home and took care of the children.

    Friends remember her loving the part—and the armor she got to wear.

    “Christopher Strong”

    In her second film, directed by out lesbian filmmaker Dorothy Arzner, Hepburn played a female aviator. Lady Cynthia Darrington has never been in love before and her on-screen romance with a man doesn’t have a happy ending—a recurring motif in Hepburn's roles.

    The ladies

    Hepburn was linked early on to socialite Laura Harding, though the American Express heiress was often referred to as her “friend” or “secretary.” It was the first of many intimate relationships with other women, including Nancy Hamilton, her understudy in The Warrior's Husband; artist Frances Rich, who sculpted a bust of Hepburn, and Phyllis Wilbourn, her "companion," of more than 30 years. (Hepburn even jokingly referred to Wilbourn as "My Alice B. Toklas."

    Whether these were lesbian relationships as we understand today is hard to pin down: "'Lesbian' was, for Hepburn, a specific term to describe a very butch woman, not her type at all," wrote Catherine Shroad in Telegraph .

    Hepburn just wasn't a huge fan of sex, with men or women. "The chasteness of almost all her relationships meant she didn't have to lie too much about them," adds Shroad.

    She was only married once, at age 21 to businessman Ludlow Ogden Smith, but split when she went to Hollywood four years later. Hepburn never remarried—insisting "I liked the idea of being my own single self"—and never had any children. "I would have been a terrible mother," she told biographer A. Scott Berg, "because I'm basically a very selfish human being."

    “Little Women”

    Jo March is one of American literature’s earliest tomboys, so when Hepburn played the role in 1933, it was inevitable she’d help make the character a lesbian icon. Who else could so convincingly deliver these lines about a short haircut: “Well it's boyish, becoming and easy to maintain... If wearing hair up means becoming a lady, I'll wear it down until I'm 100 years old.”

    “Sylvia Scarlett”

    In 1935, Hepburn convincingly crossdressed as a con artist’s daughter pretending to be a boy to escape the law in this George Cukor adventure-comedy. She even engaged in a same-sex kiss with a flirtatious maid who thinks she's an eligible bachelor. The homoeroticism continue as co-stars Brian Aherne and Cary Grant also find themselves strangely attracted to "Sylvester."

    While Sylvia Scarlett was a box office dud—Cukor and Hepburn reportedly begged producers to shelve the picture if they agreed to make their next film for free—one reviewer called Hepburn “the handsomest boy of the season.”

    She wore the pants

    Even today, someone like Ellen DeGeneres eschewing dresses garners notice. In the 1930s, when Hepburn did it, it was downright revolutionary. “I put on pants 50 years ago and declared a sort of middle road,” she told Barbara Walters in a 1981 interview. "I have not lived as a woman. I have lived as a man. I've just done what I damn well wanted."

    "She never fit into conventional womanhood," biographer William Mann told OutSmart . "And certainly because of her body, she didn’t live as a man. So she kind of did live this middle road."

    While never quiet a hard butch, Hepburn also embraced an athleticism usually reserved for men, enjoying tennis, shooting, diving and horseback riding. Golf was a particular passion: She took daily lessons and even reached the semi-finals of the Connecticut Young Women's Golf Championship.

    “Stage Door”

    Hepburn and Ginger Rogers played aspiring actresses who live together in a boarding house in this 1937 film, adapted from the play by Edna Ferber (herself something of a queer icon).

    The two quarrel incessantly and make up over and over—exhibiting a sexual tension noticeable to anyone who didn’t feel the need to ignore it.

    “The Philadelphia Story”

    Not only was this 1940 rom-com Hepburn’s big comeback after several flops, she took charge from the start—buying the rights for the stage play (which she starred in) to bring it to Hollywood. The Philadelphia Story re-paired Hepburn with gay director George Cukor and bisexual movie star Cary Grant.

    Hepburn also took the reins when it came to wardrobe: She ignored male producers' demands she wear a dress in the opening scene, opting to wear pants instead.

    Her frienship with George Cukor

    Known widely in Hollywood as a "woman's director" and a gay man, Cukor was one of Hepburn's closest friends, and helmed some of her biggest hits.

    "He was the kind of man she adored," said Mann. "He was smart. He was witty. He threw great parties. He respected the complexity of her own life without ever needing to put a definition on her. And that’s what she needed. She wasn’t like Dietrich or someone who you could throw out the word 'lesbian' and they’d love it, the camp of it. Cukor accepted who she was."

    “The Millionairess”

    Hepburn starred in the 1952 West End production of George Bernard Shaw’s play as Epifania, yet another single woman who can’t find the right man. (Go figure.)

    The lesbian Hollwyood tell-all The Sewing Circle described Hepburn in The Millionairess as “butch": "In slacks, turtlenecks, and casual jackets, [she] told chat-show audiences in clipped humorous and disdainful pronouncements what she thought of women’s lib, marriage, her need for privacy and increasing fear of everything.”

    “Suddenly Last Summer”

    A Tennessee Williams play adapted by Gore Vidal starring Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and closeted actor Montgomery Clift. Does it get any gayer than this?

    It does, actually: Hepburn played Violet Venable, a socialite who "procures" young men for her gay son, Sebastian. (Taylor, as cousin Catherine, picks up the slack when Violet gets too long in the tooth.)

    Released in 1959, Summer never overtly mentions homosexuality directly, but the Production Code Administration gave filmmakers a "special dispensation" to depict Sebastian as a predatory gay.

    The Legion of Decency concluded , "Since the film illustrates the horrors of such a lifestyle, it can be considered moral in theme even though it deals with sexual perversion."

    Hepburn and Tracy

    Yes, even one of Hollywood's most cited romances had a queer tinge. To hear Larry Kramer tell it, the two icons were the ultimate Hollywood beards.

    "Hepburn and Spencer Tracy were both gay," he told The Hollywood Reporter in 2015. "They were publicly paired together by the studio. Everyone in Hollywood knows this is true."

    Was Katharine Hepburn a queer?
    Whether these were lesbian relationships as we understand today is hard to pin down: "'Lesbian' was, for Hepburn, a specific term to describe a very butch woman, not her type at all," wrote Catherine Shroad in Telegraph. Hepburn just wasn't a huge fan of sex, with men or women. more
    Did Katharine Hepburn drink alcohol?
    All that changed after Tracy's death in 1967, when she would often join Bacall for a drink before dinner – Hepburn with a Scotch, Bacall with a vodka or a Jack Daniel's. Scotch was always Hepburn's tipple of choice. more
    Did Katherine Hepburn wear dresses?
    Though she was famously famous for wearing pants (everywhere) off screen, Hepburn wore any number of beautiful dresses on screen, and some of the ones with which she is most identified grace the exhibit. more
    Is Summer Smith a queer?
    Summer Smith is a queer character from Rick and Morty. more
    Was Katharine Hepburn a snob?
    Hepburn broke all sorts of unspoken rules: she was an unabashed snob, and her voice rang with the sort of class that people outside New England love to hate. more
    Is Toph a queer?
    Toph is a character that many people have read as possibly queer because she doesn't follow traditional gender stereotypes. Of course, a person can go against gender roles and stereotypes and still be straight, but there was an opportunity here to explore possibly a different sexuality or gender identity for Toph. more
    Was Audrey Hepburn rich?
    Audrey Hepburn had a net worth of $55 million at the time of her death in 1993. That's the same as $100 million in today's dollars, after adjusting for inflation. Hepburn died on January 20, 1993 at the age of 63. She was recognized as a film and fashion icon during Hollywood's Golden Age. more
    Are Audrey Hepburn and Katherine Hepburn related?
    Audrey Hepburn is not related to Katherine Hepburn Katharine was the daughter of two wealthy Connecticut Americans; Audrey the daughter of Dutch nobility. There is no meeting of family lines. They do, however, have a lot in common: talent, beauty, the same star sign, multiple acting awards. more
    What is Audrey Hepburn style?
    Pieces you probably have in your wardrobe now: cigarette pants, black polo necks, trench coats, ballet flats, head scarves. Her sophistication dazzled in its simplicity. Hepburn was also the wearer of arguably the most famous little black dress in history: the Hubert de Givenchy one she wore in Breakfast at Tiffany's. more
    Did Katharine Hepburn have OCD?
    I wondered if I could take a shower in your bathroom.” After that, the astonished woman, who recognised the star, allowed her to use her bathroom every day during the shoot. Whilst of course we can't say she didn't suffer with OCD, we've found no real evidence to support the theory Hepburn suffered with OCD. more
    Is Audrey Hepburn and Katherine Hepburn related?
    Audrey Hepburn is not related to Katherine Hepburn It has been a persistent misconception since Audrey came to prominence in the 1950s. Katharine was the daughter of two wealthy Connecticut Americans; Audrey the daughter of Dutch nobility. There is no meeting of family lines. more

    Source: www.logotv.com

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