Kate the Great

Throughout my teenage years, I was obsessed with classic Hollywood and Katharine Hepburn in particular. I still love Kate, and if we ever have a daughter we will name her Katharine. I own virtually all of her movies and a dozen books written about her – including one I wrote myself. I spent my entire senior year of high school researching and writing a biography on Hepburn. Much like my inspiration for creating this blog, I wrote the book because I wanted to create something I would like to read. It was a fun project and surprisingly stands the test of time (10 years to be exact!). It’s rare that I can tolerate anything I wrote in my younger years and I credit this exception to Jack’s thorough editing. I can only imagine it was a painful process for him, but I remain grateful. Looking at the book again I’ve been reminded of several interesting facts I completely forgot about.

Here are some interesting facts about Kate [Note: I only forgot the last one]:

  • As a child she wanted to be a boy and at age 8 cut her hair off and went by the name Jimmy
  • Kate was technically married to Ludlow Smith for 14 years but they were separated for over a decade
  • She was in a relationship with Spencer Tracy for over 25 years but they never married – in part because he was married
  • Kate wrote a book, The Making of THE AFRICAN QUEEN or How I went to Africa with Bogart, Bacall and Huston and almost lost my mind, and it’s better than the movie
  • Kate has a record setting 4 Oscars (Meryl Streep has 3)
  • She was a great athlete and learned to skateboard in her 50s
  • Kate was Vivien Leigh’s maid of honor when she married Lawrence Olivier

This book is truly one of my greatest accomplishments. The planning, research and writing of a book is taxing but I managed to do it while in school, volunteering and working. I hope I can find the dedication to write a book on Franklin Roosevelt one day. In the meantime, I will safeguard the sole copy of this Kate biography.


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