In 1992, when Hepburn returned to Switzerland from her visit her ex-husband Andrea Dotti, she began to feel abdominal pains. She went to specialists and received inconclusive results, so she decided to have herself examined while on a trip to Los Angeles in October.

On November 1, 1992, Hepburn checked in with her family to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Doctors performed a laparoscopy and discovered abdominal cancer that had spread from her appendix. It had grown slowly over several years, and metastasised not as a tumour, but as a thin coating over her small intestine. The doctors performed surgery and then put Hepburn through 5-fluorouracil Leucovorin chemotherapy. A few days later, she had an obstruction. Medication was not enough to dull the pain, so on December 1st she underwent surgery a second time. After one hour, the surgeon decided that the cancer had spread too far and could not be removed.

Because Hepburn was unable to fly on a commercial aircraft, fashion power-house, Givenchy arranged for Rachel Lambert “Bunny” Mellon to send her private Gulfstream jet, filled with flowers, to take Hepburn from California to Switzerland. Hepburn died in her sleep of cancer, on the evening of January 20,1993, in Tolochenaz, Vaud, Switzerland, and was interred there. After her death, Gregory Peck went on camera and tearfully recited her favourite poem, “Unending Love” by Rabindranath Tagore.

At the time of her death, she was involved with Robert Wolders, a Dutch actor who was the widower of film star Merle Oberon. She had met Wolders through a friend, in the later stage of her marriage to Dotti. After Hepburn’s divorce was final, she and Wolders started their lives together, although they never married. In 1989, after nine years with him, she called them the happiest years of her life. “Took me long enough,” she said in an interview with Barbara Walters. Walters then asked why they never married. Hepburn replied that they were married, just not formally.

Audrey Hepburn lived a life of glory and fame, but her accomplishments with her family is what made her truly happy. She is a legend to all generations.

Audrey Hepburn through the years

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