If Audrey Hepburn wasn't Audrey Hepburn in real life I don't want to know it. It would be a pity to think that the most charming actress ever to grace the silver screen was anything other than the delightful pixies she portrayed. I also think she was a terrible actress. That's just our good fortune however as I don't know anyone who watches Audrey Hepburn movies for anything other than seeing Audrey Hepburn being Audrey Hepburn. It doesn't matter the role or her age, she is always herself. Before you start flaming me, I must say with the greatest of solemnity that she is also the only actress in Hollywood history who I do not want to act. Her natural personality is so enticing, charming, and yes even sexy, that I would be disappointed if I wasn't constantly reminded throughout one of her films that I was watching anyone other than Audrey Hepburn. I get the feeling that Audrey could cross the lines of the sexes in the way that few actresses could. She could be demure and dizzy but no matter how transparent those affects were, it simply didn't matter. One of those singular, beautiful women who could be one of the guys without becoming one. Such was Audrey's natural confidence that the sheer joy of living shone through whatever dour emotion she had to adopt for the camera and unlike so many actresses, that faltering of character portrayal made no difference what so ever. We are entranced, delighted, and hoping that somewhere down in that bag of popcorn will be a little bit of Audrey's joie de vive for us to take home when we cease to be people out there in the dark. As I watch Roman Holiday, I am struck by how lifeless the film is when Audrey's not on screen. Maybe that was her greatest fault. So watchable, so lovable, we unconsciously cherish the moments we have with her on screen and feel empty when her presence isn't there. The films she appears in we liken to works of genius and even her few bad ones aren't really condemned had someone else appeared in them. She buoys everything around her making the pedestrian appear brilliant. Audrey aged with supreme grace and style giving her the aura of a much younger woman without pitifully grasping at youth. That she, as an actress, resisted this does not surprise me. I would like to think she wouldn't even be tempted by such things. In her late years she only became more radiant and confident. More reserved perhaps, but always quick to laugh and as is the secret of women of a certain age who maintain their beauty, never trying to be anything other than who she was. Alas, Audrey Hepburn left us too soon. I don't know that there will ever come another like her and I doubt it will be anytime soon. Occasionally I go to Tiffany's and browse the windows, admire the Tiffany diamond and search for sterling silver telephone dialers. There is something of Audrey there. Something in the simple beauty of the jewels, in the elegant designs of the pieces, and in the unfailingly friendly salespeople who don't become ruffled at my regret of not buying something. That is what Audrey was. A diamond perfectly happy to be a diamond and to be appreciated not for its cost but for its intrinsic beauty, fire, and supreme durability masquerading as something ever so fragile.