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Hepburn, Katherine

Posted in WB Cartoon Companion on March 22, 2004

(1907-fl. 1997)

    Highly successful actress whose career spans decades. She was a popular target for caricature because of her Bryn Mawr enunciation and her unique “horsey” face. She won three Oscars for Best Actress roles in Morning Glory, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, and The Lion in Winter. She has been nominated no less than eight additional times, for Alice Adams, The Philadelphia Story, Woman of the Year, The African Queen, Summertime, The Rainmaker, Suddenly Last Summer, and Long Day’s Journey Into Night.

    Warner Brothers cartoonists caricatured her with glee in numerous cartoons. The following is not by any means a complete list, but it does give an idea of how much the joke was loved.

        I Only Have Eyes for You (Avery, 1937) as the Canary being wooed by the iceman bird and shunning him, because she is waiting for a crooner.
        A Star is Hatched (Freleng, 1937) in which Emily the chicken does a Hepburn turn in stating her desire to become a Hollywood star.
        A Gander at Mother Goose (Avery, 1940) as Mistress Mary.
        Dangerous Dan McFoo (Avery, 1939) as the heroine and girlfriend of Dan.
        The Coo-coo Nut Grove (Freleng, 1936) complemented by W.C. Fields, and drawn as a horse.
        Horton Hatches the Egg (Clampett, 1942) in which the Maizie Bird occasionally slips into Hepburn mode.
        Fighting Tools (Clampett, 1943) Private Snafu short in which one of the little ducks that flies out of an ill-maintained artillery piece gives the usual Bryn Mawr “really it is”.
        Elmer’s Pet Rabbit (Jones, 1941) Bugs delivers the Hepburnesque line “You dance divinely, really you do” to Elmer.

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• The Warner Brothers Cartoon Companion is © (copyright) 1996 E. O. Costello. All rights reserved.

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