One thing that Audrey never had the chance to do, though, was enjoy the experience of being a grandmother. In late 1992, she fell ill during a UNICEF trip to Somalia and died a few months later, in January 1993, of a rare form of abdominal cancer.Share
Emma Kathleen Hepburn Ferrer, Audrey's first grandchild, was born in Switzerland in May of the following year to Sean and his then wife, Leila. Now 20, Emma is the eldest of Sean's three children and spent most of her adolescence in and around Florence, Italy, where Sean, who runs an agency that deals with intellectual property and is also a filmmaker and keeper of the Audrey flame, lives outside the city. (Luca, his wife, and their daughters occupy his mother's former apartment in Rome.)
"Muse" is an overused word these days, but that's exactly what Audrey was for the legendary photographer Richard Avedon. She was, in a word, his inspiration, and their interaction played out over a number of years in the 1950s in the pages of Harper's Bazaar. Avedon photographed Audrey on the streets of Paris, in fashion stories, and several times as a cover subject for the magazine. Even though he worked with some of the biggest models of all time—Suzy Parker, Dorian Leigh, Carmen Dell'Orefice—he was completely enamored with Audrey as a subject, and she loved sitting for him.
Avedon, of course, was memorably fictionalized in the 1957 movie Funny Face. Though he didn't appear in the film, he served as an adviser. The part of the photographer, Dick Avery, was played by Fred Astaire. Audrey was cast as Avery's muse—the mousy but promising bookstore clerk who, under his tutelage, blossoms into a glorious supermodel in Paris. (Read more.)