Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and The Dawn of the Modern Woman

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

NEW YORK TIMES BEST BOOK OF 2010

“So smart and entertaining it should come with its own popcorn” – People

“A bonbon of a book… As well tailored as the little black dress the movie made famous.” – Janet Maslin, New York Times

“Sam Wasson is a fabulous social historian.” – The New Yorker

“Reads like carefully crafted fiction…[Wasson] carries the reader from pre-production to on-set feuds and conflicts, while also noting Hepburn’s impact on fashion (Givenchy’s little black dress), Hollywood glamour, sexual politics, and the new morality. Capote would have been entranced.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Sam Wasson’s exquisite portrait of Audrey Hepburn peels backs her sweet facade to reveal a much more complicated and interesting woman. He also captures a fascinating turning point in American history— when women started to loosen their pearls, and their inhibitions. I devoured this book.” — Karen Abbott, author of Sin in the Second City

Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. by Sam Wasson is the first ever complete account of the making of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. With a cast of characters including Truman Capote, Edith Head, director Blake Edwards, and, of course, Hepburn herself, Wasson immerses us in the America of the late fifties, before Woodstock and birth control, when a not-so-virginal girl by the name of Holly Golightly raised eyebrows across the nation, changing fashion, film, and sex, for good. With delicious prose and considerable wit, Wasson delivers us from the penthouses of the Upper East Side to the pools of Beverly Hills presenting Breakfast at Tiffany’s as we have never seen it before—through the eyes of those who made it.

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About the author

Sam Wasson is the author of A Splurch in the Kisser: The Movies of Blake Edwards and the forthcoming Paul on Mazursky. He is working on a book about Bob Fosse. He lives in Los Angeles.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Harper Collins
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Published on
Jun 22, 2010
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9780062000132
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Social History
Performing Arts / Film / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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While her name is synonymous with elegance, style and grace, this poignant, funny and deeply moving biography, reveals the private Audrey Hepburn and invites readers to fall in love with her all over again.  

Over the course of her extraordinary life and career, Audrey captured hearts around the world and created a public image that stands as one of the most recognizable and beloved in recent memory. But despite her international fame and her tireless efforts on behalf of UNICEF, Audrey was also known for her intense privacy. With unprecedented access to studio archives, friends and colleagues who knew and loved Audrey, bestselling author Donald Spoto provides an intimate and moving account of this beautiful, elusive and talented woman.

Tracing her astonishing rise to stardom, from her harrowing childhood in Nazi-controlled Holland during World War II to her years as a struggling ballet dancer in London and her Tony Award–winning Broadway debut in Gigi, Spoto illuminates the origins of Audrey’s tenacious spirit and fiercely passionate nature. She would go on to star in some of the most popular movies of the twentieth century, including Roman Holiday, Sabrina, Funny Face, The Nun’s Story, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and My Fair Lady. A friend and inspiration to renowned designer Hubert de Givenchy, Audrey also emerged as a fashion icon and her influence on women’s fashion virtually unparalleled to this day.

Behind the glamorous public persona, Audrey was a different and deeper person and a woman who craved love and affection. Donald Spoto offers remarkable insights into her professional and personal relationships with her two husbands, and with celebrities such as Gregory Peck, William Holden, Fred Astaire, Gary Cooper, Robert Anderson, Cary Grant, Peter O’Toole, Albert Finney and Ben Gazzara. The turbulent romances of her youth, her profound sympathy for the plight of hungry children, and the thrills and terrors of motherhood prepared Audrey for the final chapter in her life, as she devoted herself entirely to the charity efforts of an organization that had once come to her rescue at the end of the war: UNICEF.
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