Kathrine Hep, the winner of more acting awards than any other actress in history,
is a very dynamic woman. She was born in Hartford Connecticut, on May 12, 1907. She
wass the second oldest child of six. Kate,as she was called by her family members, had
two sisters, Peg and Marion, and three brothers, Tom, Dick, and Bob.
She attended Bryn Mawr college in Connecticut. She majored in acting. During
her senior year at Bryn Mawr, Katharine met Ludlow Odgen Smith. That was 1927. In
1928, she and "Luddy" (her nickname for him) were married. They moved from
Hartford to New York.
Kate's acting career started in 1928 when she played in a New York Production
of The Big Pond. The first Broadway production she played in was The Night Hostess
where she had a small role. Miss Hepburn played a part as a schoolgirl in the play These
Days. It opened in her hometown, Hartford, Connecticut. She was praised by critics for
her performance. She earned a one hundred twenty-five dollar a week salary for These
Days. In the 1930's, that was a very high salary for begining actresses.
Katharine served as Hope Williams's understudy in Holiday. She sat through
every performance for six months. One day at understudy rehearsal, Aurhtur Hopkins,
the director, watched her act. "Fine," he said, "Just don't ever be sorry for yourself."
One night at midnight, Jimmy Hagen, the writer of the play, asked her if she still
knew her part. Hope was sick and they needed her to perform. She spent all day the next
day memorizing her lines. Katharine did her best.
"I lived through it ... so did the cast." She did have one disappointment. Aurthur
Hopkins didn't come to watch her perform.
In the spring of 1930, Kate played roles...