Edward Quinn, Photographer

The Edward Quinn Archive

Meeting Audrey Hepburn

Text by Edward Quinn

Photos of Audrey Hepburn

Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo, the set of the film „Monte Carlo Baby“ 1951. Pictured by Edward Quinn, © edwardquinn.com
It was in 1951 at the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo while I was watching a rehearsal on the set of the film „Monte Carlo Baby“ and I was shooting pictures right and left. Then I saw this girl. She was in a corner of the room discussing a step with one of the dancers. I was absolutely floored by her. She stood out like an orchid in a patch of weeds. I grabbed one oft he crew and asked, "Who is this girl?" I learned that far from being the star of the picture, she had just a small part. She was Audrey Hepburn who was then absolutely unknown (her name appeared as "Audrey Hopbern" in the press release, a long way down the list of credits. She had been a dancer and had done some small parts in films, but was unknown to the general public.

I approached her and asked her if it would be possible to go out on a photo session to some picturesque backgrounds. She accepted and we went out the following day in my small two-seater Mathys car model 1930.
Hollywood actress Audrey Hepburn, Eze-Village in 1951, pictured by Edward Quinn, © edwardquinn.com
After having made a few pictures in Monte Carlo we drove to the medieval Eze-Village, high up on the Corniche Road. The old car nearly did not make it up the hill and as I had practically no brakes, we were in danger of slipping backwards. Finally we got to Eze safely but when we wanted to go back to Monte Carlo, the car would not start, so Audrey had to push it until we got on to a steep hill down to the corniche. Audrey couldn’t have been nicer about the whole thing. She obligingly changed costumes several times, drove from location to location. Her slender, gamine beauty was in great contrast to the bosomy glamour of the times and set a new style for young actresses.
Hollywood actress Audrey Hepburn, Monaco harbour in 1951, pictured by Edward Quinn, © edwardquinn.com

When I showed her the contact prints of the photographs the next day, she was very excited and said she had never been photographed in such a variety of poses.

She asked if she could send them straight away to her agent in Hollywood, of course I agreed. He showed them to the Paramount heads and she was asked to make a screen test and consequently got the leading part in the film „Roman Holiday“.

Photos of Audrey Hepburn