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New book reveals Audrey Hepburn weighed just 39kg

In a new book Luca Dotti talks of how his pin thin mother Audrey Hepburn had a healthy appetite for pasta and chocolate but never put on any weight.

Audrey Hepburn never got over how the war affected her.

During her youth in Nazi occupation of Arnhem (1944-1945) in the Netherlands the young woman, who would grow up to become one of the most famous people in the world, weighed just 39 kilos and suffered from jaundice, asthma, anaemia and escaped dying of malnutrition by a hairsbreadth.

Luca Dotti, Audrey’s son, has opened up about is mother’s life in a new book, Audrey at Home.

In the book Dotti tells how Audrey only managed to survive the Nazi-induced Dutch famine that killed 22,000 Dutch of her countrymen and women by eating a diet consisting of nettles, boiled grass and dug up tulip bulbs and drinking enough water to feel full.

“Mum carried the war with her for her entire life,” writes her son in what he calls his “kitchen table biography” to her.

Luca Dotti says after the war his mother had a healthy appetite but never put on weight. She came away from those early years with a passion for good food and some very familiar vices.

According to her son Hepburn was addicted to chocolate, believing it would “banish sadness”.

There is an anecdote where Audrey was given seven chocolate bars by a Dutch solider toward the end of the German occupation and she credited them with allowing her to survive those final days of hunger.

From then on, chocolate was always within arm’s reach and Luca says it was a little evening habit throughout her life.

Pasta was another craving.

“She couldn’t do without pasta”, Luca writes.

And Luca says she didn’t limit herself to small serves but instead “she would help herself to second servings of plates overflowing with pasta.”

The once aspiring ballerina however managed to keep her small frame by dancing and walking everywhere.

Her son says as a boy he was completely unaware his mother was famous because she “wasn’t driven in a limo,” preferring simple walks with her dog instead.

Hepburn died, at 63, in 1993, but her legacy lives on as one of the most admired actress’ and humanitarians. She spent the latter half of her life working as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, travelling on missions to try and bring attention to areas in need of aid.

Her son summed her up in his book by saying: “She didn’t have to impress anyone, really. It was what she loved and how she lived.”

A new book reveals how Audrey Hepburn survived the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands at just 39 kilograms and ravaged with illness.

She then moved into Broadway, where she danced in chorus lines.

And then Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Hepburn married her first husband, Mel Ferrer, in 1954.

Audrey was considered one of the most “naturally beautiful women in the world.”

Audrey won her Academy Award in 1954 for her role in Roman Holiday.

The next year she presented the award with fellow host, Grace Kelly.

Her short cut hair and fringe have become an iconic look.

After expressing her wish to start a family, Hepburn began taking fewer and fewer roles.

Hepburn gave birth to her first child, Sean Ferrer, after suffering three miscarriages.

She then married Italian psychiatrist, Andrea Dotti.

Pictured here with her first son, Sean.

Audrey with her Roman Holiday co-star, Gregory Peck.

After semi-retiring from acting, Hepburn dedicated her time to humanitarian acts.

Hepburn visiting a mother’s hospital in Vietnam.

She was appointed UN Goodwill Ambassador in the 1980s.

She continued her work with the UN and UNICEF right up until her death in 1993.

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