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Audrey Hepburn’s Children: A Glimpse into Their Lives

Journey with us as we explore the lives of Audrey Hepburn's children, Sean Hepburn Ferrer and Luca Dotti, and see how they continue to uphold and cultivate the remarkable legacy of their iconic mother.
by Rob Gillham | Feb 26 2024
Audrey Hepburn's Children: Unraveling the Lives of Sean and Luca

Audrey Hepburn is a woman who needs no introduction. She is famously known for her extraordinary talent, timeless elegance, and humanitarian efforts.

While her life in the limelight has been well-documented, less is known about Audrey Hepburn’s children, the family she cherished above all else.

A Snapshot of Audrey Hepburn’s Love Life

An iconic film and fashion legend, Audrey Hepburn was absolute magic on screen. Born in 1929, the Belgian-born actress quickly stole the world’s heart with her stellar performance in films such as “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “Roman Holiday,” and “My Fair Lady”.

She had a love life as captivating as the characters she portrayed on the big screen. 

Audrey Hepburn had two husbands, first to the Hollywood actor Mel Ferrer, whom she met at a party hosted by Gregory Peck. After a whirlwind romance, they married in 1954 and had a son, Sean.

However, their relationship didn’t stand the test of time, and they divorced in 1968.

Her second marriage was to the Italian psychiatrist Andrea Dotti, whom she married in 1969 after a chance encounter on a cruise. This union also brought her the joy of motherhood for the second time with their son, Luca.

Unfortunately, Audrey’s marriage to Dotti ended in divorce in 1982, but not before leaving unforgettable memories and a beautiful family that Audrey Hepburn loved dearly. 

Sean Hepburn Ferrer: Audrey Hepburn’s Eldest Son 

From her first marriage to Mel Ferrer in 1954, she became a mother at 25 and gave birth to her first son, Sean. He was born in Switzerland but spent his childhood between Italy and Spain.

Despite his parents’ celebrity status, Sean lived largely away from the spotlight. He found success in film production and even stepped into the director’s shoes to bring to life the inspiring story of Albert Race Sample in the documentary, “Racehoss.”

A published author, Sean co-wrote a unique book about his mother’s childhood, “Little Audrey’s Daydream,” with his wife, Karin Hepburn.

After Audrey Hepburn’s passing in 1993, Sean leaped into the philanthropic world, laying the foundation for the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund, funded by exhibitions of his mother’s memorabilia. Sean joined efforts with his half-brother Luca and his mother’s partner, Robert Wolders, to extend and build upon Hepburn’s humanitarian efforts.

Letting her legacy travel the world through the “Timeless Audrey” exhibition, the funds raised helped light up countless lives.

However, life was not without its trials. After resigning as chairman of the fund in 2012, Sean was sued by the charity in 2017.

Not backing down, he retaliated with a lawsuit against the fund for trademark infringement later that year. Come 2019, justice rang in his favor, validating his claim to his mother’s name and likeness.

Sean’s story is about legacy and a son’s effort to protect his mother’s reputation and enduring impact on the world.

A devoted father, Sean thrives on carrying forward Audrey’s vision of a better world for children. Ferrer and his daughter, Emma, contributed to a documentary about his mother, Audrey (2020), directed by Helena Coan.

Luca Dotti: Keeping his Mother’s Memories Alive

Born to Audrey Hepburn and Italian psychiatrist, Andrea Dotti, Luca Dotti is Audrey’s younger son. Living away from Hollywood, Luca took to academia.

A professional graphic designer, he also authored a memoir focused on his mother’s off-screen life, “Audrey at Home: Memories of My Mother’s Kitchen,” celebrating Audrey as a mother and a cook.

Nowadays, Luca Dotti continues his work in graphic design in Italy. A family man devoted to his wife and children, he also ensures his mother’s humanitarian philosophy lives on, actively supporting the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund.

Like his brother Sean, Luca is committed to preserving and promoting Audrey’s legacy of giving.

Robert Wolders: Hepburn’s Lasting Love

Robert Wolders, a notable figure in Hepburn’s life, albeit not her husband, was her companion in her later years. After her divorce from Dotti in 1982, Hepburn found comfort and companionship with Dutch actor Robert Wolders.

Even though they didn’t have any children, they were inseparable until her last breath. After Audrey’s demise, Wolders continued his life dedicated to philanthropy, just as Hepburn wanted.

Robert passed away in 2018, leaving behind a legacy of love and charity that was heavily influenced by his time with Audrey.

Audrey Hepburn’s children are living testaments to the remarkable woman who captivated millions on and off-screen. Her legacy inspires through them, reminding each new generation about this endlessly graceful and talented woman.

To know more about the cinematic world that Audrey Hepburn so beautifully navigated, we invite you to explore Truman Capote’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Blinkist provides a wonderful platform to delve into this classic, offering meaningful insights and much more.

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