What Kate Said

A friend was cleaning out her attic last month and mentioned that she'd just brought down a couple of boxes of magazines. I immediately raised my hand and offered to take them off her hands (as I use magazines for some student exercises.)

Inside an old issue of McCall's, I found an interview with Katharine Hepburn and will excerpt that for this issue.

I met Hepburn once. A friend, who'd been the location scout and manager for On Golden Pond (he'd actually found the location for the film) took me along to a performance of a play she was starring in at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

We went backstage and, while waiting to meet her (along with Barbara Eden and Stephanie Powers), I asked her assistant if Miss Hepburn would sign my playbill. The elder assistant nervously leafed through the playbill saying that Miss Hepburn usually did not sign autographs.

Hepburn appeared. I was surprised by how petite she was. She stopped and sized me up and down. We were dressed almost exactly alike. I was introduced to her as being "from Bryn Mawr."

"Bryn Mawr... Bryn Mawr... Ah, yes," she said. "We had a maid once from Bryn Mawr." I threw back my head and laughed out loud. It was the funniest comment I'd ever heard about my place of birth.

Turning to her assistant, Hepburn asked what she was doing. The assistant said that I'd asked for an autograph. Hepburn briskly took the playbill, opened exactly to the title page, signed the thing and handed it to me. No nonsense.

I may have respected her deeply before, but at that moment, I became a true fan.

Katharine Hepburn: How she stays happy

On Fate

"I never think of the future. I don't plan. I let what happens happen."

Control what you can—forget what you can't

"I try not to be afraid of anything. I'm not afraid to be alone. I'm not afraid of dying. But if the house were burning down, I do think I'd try to get out of it. There have always been dangers in the world—I don't think about them. My mind doesn't work that way. Life is tough—it's never been easy—but I don't dwell on it."

"I've been extremely lucky in that I've always had enough money. I had enough money to buy a home and manage my life independently. So I've had control. And anyone who has control is a fool if they don't make the best of it, I think."

Don't complain—find a solution

"Gradually one falls apart as one gets older, and that is a bore. A lot of my friends are destroyed by being older; they just think too much about it. There's no use thinking about it because it's not going to change. So fact the facts.

"But I do think it's important to meet various and sundry challenges that you are capable of meeting. For example, playing tennis is becoming very questionable for me beacuse I had this goddamn broken ankle that didn't mend very well. It's a pain in the ass, but I think it's stupid if I sit around and cry. 'Oh, my ankle hurts. Oh, what am I going to do?' I say, "Swim and you don't have to stand on the ankle!' Isn't that true? It's such a simple solution."

On Choices

"I didn't have children because I wouldn't have had the time or been that relaxed."

Live with your choices

"I have many regrets, and I'm sure everyone does. The stupid things you do you regret, if you have any sense. And if you don't regret them, maybe you're stupid."

—from an exclusive interview by Christine Reinhardt in McCall's December 1992.


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joshemari said...

Qué hermosa historia. Preciosa!!
Un buen recuerdo para toda la vida!
Yo también soy fan de Katharine Hepburn. La he pintado varias veces. Es o así me lo parece: encantadora!
Un beso Suzanne.

Suzanne McDermott said...

Joshemari! I love you and want to come to Barcelona to give you a great big hug and kiss. Your comments always make my heart smile!