Audrey Hepburn Preferred to be a Farmer & Mom Rather Than a Movie Star

Portrait of Belgian-born American actress Audrey Hepburn (1929 - 1993) as she wears a peculiar hat and sleeveless blouse and holds a pool cleaning net beside a dry swimming pool, early 1950s
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

By the 1960s, Hollywood icon Audrey Hepburn had semi-retired and was focusing on raising her two sons, Luca Dotti and Sean Hepburn Ferrer. So much so, that her boys never realized that their mother was so famous until they were older. Dotti has now teamed up with Meghan Friedlander to write a book called “Audrey Hepburn in Paris,” featuring never-before-seen photos of the star. 54-year-old Dotti is opening up about what it was like to grow up with Hepburn as his mom and how he really just wants people to remember her as a “happy farmer.”

He said, “In those days, my mother gave us a very normal upbringing. That’s what she wanted for us. She stopped making movies when my brother Sean was about five years old. She wanted to be present as he went to school. By the time I was born … she was already a full-time mom. And remember, there was no Instagram, Facebook or anything like that to show me that she was an icon. She was just my mother. I didn’t have that concept that she was an icon until her death.” Hepburn passed away in 1993 from cancer at age 63.

Belgian-born American actress, Audrey Hepburn (1929 - 1993), wearing a white blouse with pink flowers, circa 1963

Archive Photos/Getty Images

They lived in an 18th-century farmhouse in Switzerland for many years, hoping to escape the pressures of Hollywood. He continued, “She was just a regular mom who took me to school and looked after me. I was very protected from that world of paparazzi and cameras. It was, to a certain extent, a world that was unfamiliar to me.” Dotti wanted to write the book about Paris because he said that Paris was her “playground” and where she filmed many of her most famous movies including Funny Face.

Sean Ferrer, son of Audrey Hepburn, and Luca Dotti attend the 'Audrey In Rome' Opening Exhibition duing 6th International Rome Film Festival at Ara Pacis on October 25, 2011 in Rome, Italy

Hepburn’s sons / Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images

Dotti added, “As a kid, I would always wonder, ‘Why do we have all of these matches around the house from Paris? We live in Switzerland.’ Her daily life was in the countryside. But when she went to Paris … she would transform into this other nightly creature. She would play with fashion. But she kept those worlds separate. For us, home was Switzerland.” He hopes the book will give a glimpse into the life of Hepburn and show a different side to her.

Purchase the book on Amazon.

Hollywood Glamour
Want More?

Hollywood Glamour

May 2020

Celebrate the most glamorous leading ladies from the Golden Age of Hollywood

Buy This Issue
More Of This: