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Audrey and Bill: A Romantic Biography of Audrey Hepburn and William Holden

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Here for the first time is the complete, captivating story of an on-set romance that turned into a lifelong love story between silver screen legends Audrey Hepburn and William Holden. In 1954, Hepburn and Holden were America’s sweethearts. Both won Oscars that year and together they filmed Sabrina, a now-iconic film that continues to inspire the worlds of film and fashion. Here for the first time is the complete, captivating story of an on-set romance that turned into a lifelong love story between silver screen legends Audrey Hepburn and William Holden. In 1954, Hepburn and Holden were America’s sweethearts. Both won Oscars that year and together they filmed Sabrina, a now-iconic film that continues to inspire the worlds of film and fashion. Audrey & Bill tells the stories of both stars, from before they met to their electrifying first encounter when they began making Sabrina. The love affair that sparked on-set was relatively short-lived, but was a turning point in the lives of both stars. Audrey & Bill follows both Hepburn and Holden as their lives crisscrossed through to the end, providing an inside look at the Hollywood of the 1950s, ’60s, and beyond. Through in-depth research and interviews with former friends, co-stars, and studio workers, Audrey & Bill author Edward Z. Epstein sheds new light on the stars and the fascinating times in which they lived.


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Here for the first time is the complete, captivating story of an on-set romance that turned into a lifelong love story between silver screen legends Audrey Hepburn and William Holden. In 1954, Hepburn and Holden were America’s sweethearts. Both won Oscars that year and together they filmed Sabrina, a now-iconic film that continues to inspire the worlds of film and fashion. Here for the first time is the complete, captivating story of an on-set romance that turned into a lifelong love story between silver screen legends Audrey Hepburn and William Holden. In 1954, Hepburn and Holden were America’s sweethearts. Both won Oscars that year and together they filmed Sabrina, a now-iconic film that continues to inspire the worlds of film and fashion. Audrey & Bill tells the stories of both stars, from before they met to their electrifying first encounter when they began making Sabrina. The love affair that sparked on-set was relatively short-lived, but was a turning point in the lives of both stars. Audrey & Bill follows both Hepburn and Holden as their lives crisscrossed through to the end, providing an inside look at the Hollywood of the 1950s, ’60s, and beyond. Through in-depth research and interviews with former friends, co-stars, and studio workers, Audrey & Bill author Edward Z. Epstein sheds new light on the stars and the fascinating times in which they lived.

30 review for Audrey and Bill: A Romantic Biography of Audrey Hepburn and William Holden

  1. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    2.5 Stars Audrey and Bill is suppose to be about the passionate and all consuming love affair between Audrey Hepburn and William Holden. A relationship I didn't even know existed before this book. Well it turns out the reason I had never heard of this passionate and all consuming love affair was because it was a short term on-set fling. The "romance" this book is suppose to be about lasted less than a year and if I had to count the number of pages the relationship took up in this book it would be 2.5 Stars Audrey and Bill is suppose to be about the passionate and all consuming love affair between Audrey Hepburn and William Holden. A relationship I didn't even know existed before this book. Well it turns out the reason I had never heard of this passionate and all consuming love affair was because it was a short term on-set fling. The "romance" this book is suppose to be about lasted less than a year and if I had to count the number of pages the relationship took up in this book it would be under 50 pages. This book is not about Audrey and Bill, its really just a shallow and boring Audrey Hepburn biography with an occasional cameo from Bill Holden. Its not even a great Audrey Hepburn biography. Audrey is painted as perfect, graceful, dignified and naïve till her dying day. Really? Bill is the strong silent type who never liked acting and never wanted to be famous. Really? The author even romantizes Bill's lifelong battle with depression and alcohol. A battle that would eventually take his life in a sad horrible way. He was drunk fell and hit his head on glass coffee table and slowly bleed to death, his body wasn't found for 4 days. I don't recommend this book. You can get all the same basic info from a simple Google search. There are way better biographies of Audrey Hepburn and William Holden read one of them instead.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lynx

    If you're going into this book expecting a comprehensive look into Hepburn and Holden's love affair then you must not know much about them. Their affair was brief and at the beginning of Hepburn's career, not nearly enough material for a whole book. What you get with this book is two biographies in one, following their separate careers and personal lives throughout the decades. What ties it together apart from the obvious Hollywood and mutual friends connection is the authors claims that Bill sa If you're going into this book expecting a comprehensive look into Hepburn and Holden's love affair then you must not know much about them. Their affair was brief and at the beginning of Hepburn's career, not nearly enough material for a whole book. What you get with this book is two biographies in one, following their separate careers and personal lives throughout the decades. What ties it together apart from the obvious Hollywood and mutual friends connection is the authors claims that Bill saw Audrey as the love of his life and while having many affairs and long lasting relationships after her was never able to get over her completely. Both were part of the Old Hollywood system that made sure to keep their actors personal bad habits and affairs as far away from the media as possible, making sure to maintain the idealistic images they had onscreen so it's always an interesting experience to read how these larger then life, images of perfection were in fact human, complete with all the flaws that come with being such. For some that can be a blow (What! You mean Audrey Hepburn wasn't perfect?!) but I've always found this reassuring. Epstein tends to put the focus more on Audrey and at times I felt as though I was reading her biography alone until a random paragraph or two would mention what Bill was up to which left me wanting more on his end. He also focuses more on the personal aspect of things, even when it came to facts about filming. Epstein does a good job of covering Audrey's major films but leaves out a lot of Holden's work, glossing over it with a single sentence or not even mentioning it at all, that is unless he was having a sexual relationship with a costar. He also leaves out so many talented people both Audrey & Bill worked with in film that I had been looking forward to reading about. It also felt at times as though I was reading more gossip then actual fact, especially when it came to love affairs, personal feelings, and insinuations that a large part of Bills depression and alcoholism, even decades after their affair ended came from his longing for Audrey. Still, there is enough facts in here to make it a worthwhile read, especially for Audrey fans. Hopefully by putting their stories together it will make those reading for Audrey want to look up more on Holden or vice versa. However theres nothing wrong with a little juicy gossip here and there as long as theirs enough fact to make the book worthwhile which I believe it is. I'm not sure how much new information die hard Audrey fans will get from this, I've never read a book on her but I knew quite a lot already but there was still plenty of interesting tibits to make this one an enjoyable read. *Thank you Running Press & Netgalley for this review copy.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Wendy'sThoughts

    4 For the Love of It Stars * * * * Oh, the Golden Age of Hollywood... There was a time when we, as viewers of movies, had very limited access to the stars of the films... there was no TMZ, Internet or cell phones and their cameras...The images we were allowed of our movie stars were very limited and carefully monitored by movie studios and PR people. Scandal was not something which would be tolerated or like today used to make someone into a celebrity. Lives were closely monitored and life changi 4 For the Love of It Stars * * * * Oh, the Golden Age of Hollywood... There was a time when we, as viewers of movies, had very limited access to the stars of the films... there was no TMZ, Internet or cell phones and their cameras...The images we were allowed of our movie stars were very limited and carefully monitored by movie studios and PR people. Scandal was not something which would be tolerated or like today used to make someone into a celebrity. Lives were closely monitored and life changing decisions were made with these things in mind. Both, Audrey Hepburn and Bill Holden were part of this system. Both had upbringings and past histories which molded them into the budding stars they were....and all of this came together when they first met and worked together on the movie, Sabrina. This book tells the tales of both Audrey Hepburn and William (Bill) Holden. It shares how they fell hard for each other; the love they had, why it happened, how the studios hid it and what was the cause for their break up. It also shows the impact this love affair had on Holden throughout his life. What was the main reveal in this book as we follow these stars through their lives is how their images were not who these people were... we learn of their deepest, darkest fears, their weaknesses and strengths and what were their ultimate wishes... This book gave "inside" information on happenings on sets, locations and parties. There were back stories and interview snippets. I don't know if they were directly given to the author or if they were from researching from all of the material listed in the book. Either way, if you are an Audrey Hepburn fan... this gives a very in depth look at the woman as well as her career. It does the same for Holden. These were real people with real weaknesses... one was drink; the other was the need and desire to be loved and cared for...and to be the mother with a family life. Both had their insecurities...both underestimated their talents. Their time was at first a Golden Age... protected and molded by giants... then these two survived the changes...we, through this book are able to see how they did it. A gifted copy was provided by author/publisher via NetGalley for an honest review. For more Reviews, Free E-books and Giveaways

  4. 5 out of 5

    Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    Roman Holiday is one of my favorite movies of all time. It's a wonderful feel-good movie and Audrey Hepburn together with Gregory Peck make the movie truly marvelous. Sabrina is also a good movie, but I have always preferred Bogart to Holden so I've never really cared that much about his role in the movie, but someone that cared very much was Audrey Hepburn, she fell in love with him. But their romance was doomed from the start... This book has been lying and waiting to be read since I requested Roman Holiday is one of my favorite movies of all time. It's a wonderful feel-good movie and Audrey Hepburn together with Gregory Peck make the movie truly marvelous. Sabrina is also a good movie, but I have always preferred Bogart to Holden so I've never really cared that much about his role in the movie, but someone that cared very much was Audrey Hepburn, she fell in love with him. But their romance was doomed from the start... This book has been lying and waiting to be read since I requested it from Edelweiss and today did I pick it to read by chance. It's a fast read, started to read it this morning when I was out walking my cat, read 10% of it during the "walk", well Caesar was mostly lying on the grass. Thank God for the kindle app on my iPhone! I never thought I would give the book 4 stars. I thought 3-3.5 would perhaps be sufficiently when I started to read it, but it was such an enjoyable book. Sure most information about Audrey Hepburn and William Holden can you find on the internet, there are no big exposes in this book. But it's a great book about a doomed romance between two iconic movie stars. I recommend this book to fans of the old Tinseltown. To people like me that love the old movies, the old movie stars. William Holden and Audrey Hepburn may never have gotten a happily ever after life, but they got for a while during the filming of Sabrina a great time together. I received this copy from the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review! Thank you! Review also posted on A Bookaholic Swede and It's a Mad Mad World

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mauoijenn

    *NetGalley book review* I LOVE Audrey Hepburn and was very interested in learning about her life. This was a great read and a peek into a glamorous world win love with her husband and fellow actor. I just ate this book up. Very good writing and loved every little detail. Perfect book for any fan of either or both actors.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Carol Storm

    Incredibly shallow book about two very complex and tragic people. Edward Epstein is the lowest type of celebrity journalist, ignoring all the human suffering and the obvious misery and focusing on "didn't they look fabulous together in all those romantic movies!" Incredibly shallow book about two very complex and tragic people. Edward Epstein is the lowest type of celebrity journalist, ignoring all the human suffering and the obvious misery and focusing on "didn't they look fabulous together in all those romantic movies!"

  7. 4 out of 5

    Babs

    I really enjoyed this book as a big fan of Audrey Hepburn I wanted to see what else I could learn about her. Interesting read with William Holden and their early relationship. The behind the scenes and glimpse were nice to read about. It was a nice read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    Humphrey Bogart strongly disliked Audrey Hepburn?!? He threw a party on the set of Sabrina and DIDN'T INVITE HER??? This is quite possibly the most depressing nugget of information I've ever received. Humphrey Bogart strongly disliked Audrey Hepburn?!? He threw a party on the set of Sabrina and DIDN'T INVITE HER??? This is quite possibly the most depressing nugget of information I've ever received.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    Wow! I was not prepared for what I was getting into here!No, it's not because of scandal or heart break. It's because I didn't have near the foundation of understanding of who Audrey and Bill were and the works that made them so influential that I should have had. Now I just feel totally deprived! Thankfully, I made a list of movies I now need to see because of this book! I guess that's not the kind of review you were expecting. That's okay because I did write a review, a real one! You can real t Wow! I was not prepared for what I was getting into here!No, it's not because of scandal or heart break. It's because I didn't have near the foundation of understanding of who Audrey and Bill were and the works that made them so influential that I should have had. Now I just feel totally deprived! Thankfully, I made a list of movies I now need to see because of this book! I guess that's not the kind of review you were expecting. That's okay because I did write a review, a real one! You can real that here! ---> https://www.storybookem.com/post/book...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

    (I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.) I've always considered myself a huge fan of Audrey Hepburn, but I learned quite a bit about her that I didn't already know. This biography focuses more on Audrey than Bill, or at least it seemed that way to me, but there is still a good bit of information about Mr. Holden, as well. I love reading biographies and autobiographies of actors from the Golden Age of Hollywood. They always seemed so poised and glamorous, y (I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.) I've always considered myself a huge fan of Audrey Hepburn, but I learned quite a bit about her that I didn't already know. This biography focuses more on Audrey than Bill, or at least it seemed that way to me, but there is still a good bit of information about Mr. Holden, as well. I love reading biographies and autobiographies of actors from the Golden Age of Hollywood. They always seemed so poised and glamorous, yet they're human and face the same insecurities and problems as the rest of us. I was thrilled when I saw this bio was available on NetGalley. I find it a little strange that a biography is dedicated to two different actors, especially when this affair happened so early in Audrey's career. It seemed like she eventually moved on - marrying a couple of times, and having two children. The author never mentioned that she continued to pine for Bill. While no one really knows for sure, it seems like Bill may have been the one who never got over Audrey. However, according to the book, it didn't seem to affect their lives permanently, so I suppose that's why it seems a bit odd for a double biography. That being said, I did really enjoy reading about each of their lives and careers. I loved the behind-the-scenes glimpses of filming some of their classic and iconic films. I've seen several of Audrey's, but not many of Bill's, and reading this has inspired me to see as many as I can. I suppose it says a lot about their respective acting abilities that while they both looked and seemed so put together and graceful on screen, they both hid dark and difficult parts of their lives - alcoholism for Bill, and depression and insecurity about her looks for Audrey. While the author seemed a bit biased at times, this biography is still well-researched and informative. I would highly recommend it to fans of Audrey and Bill, or anyone who enjoys biographies of actors.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Thompson-Thalasinos

    This book was really two biographies in one...one on Audrey Hepburn & one on William Holden. Occasionally their paths crossed, but it would never be like it was when they filmed Sabrina. This book also focused on when stars were under long term contract by a studio which was very interesting. I've heard different things, especially about Judy Garland, but this book really focused on how those contracts worked and how the studios could cover up gossip. This book also have insight to various stars This book was really two biographies in one...one on Audrey Hepburn & one on William Holden. Occasionally their paths crossed, but it would never be like it was when they filmed Sabrina. This book also focused on when stars were under long term contract by a studio which was very interesting. I've heard different things, especially about Judy Garland, but this book really focused on how those contracts worked and how the studios could cover up gossip. This book also have insight to various stars at that time, especially Grace Kelly. And interesting book about old Hollywood and two of its beloved stars.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Casey Wheeler

    This book is very light read with the focus on the romances of Audrey Hepburn and William Holden including a brief fling they had around the making of the movie Sabrina. The author spends a great deal more time on Hepburn than he does Holden, so a reader needs to keep that in mind. An early mistake in the book causes me to wonder about the rest of the  research done on the book. The book states that Holden spent his teenage years in Pasadena. It was actually South Pasadena and it wasn't hard for This book is very light read with the focus on the romances of Audrey Hepburn and William Holden including a brief fling they had around the making of the movie Sabrina. The author spends a great deal more time on Hepburn than he does Holden, so a reader needs to keep that in mind. An early mistake in the book causes me to wonder about the rest of the  research done on the book. The book states that Holden spent his teenage years in Pasadena. It was actually South Pasadena and it wasn't hard for me to find it. I can only recommend this book for anyone who wants an overview of life of the two actors with the emphasis on Audrey Hepburn. I received a free Kindle copy of Audrey and Bill by Ernest Epstein courtesy of Net Galley  and Perseus Books, the publisher. It was with the understanding that I would post a review on Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon and my fiction book review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus pages. I requested this book as I have seen many of the movies made by the two actors. This is the first book by the author that I have read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Christine Cazeneuve

    Wasn't expecting much for a book I found at the Dollar Tree but it was really good. Can't say I watched many of their movies either - I think I saw two of hers and only Sunset Blvd of his and the I Love Lucy episode in reruns. I was, however, always intrigued by Audrey Hepburn and had no idea that she had an affair with Bill Holden. Very interesting book and well written. Author spent a lot of time doing his research and it showed in the work. A very fast read and wonderful pictures both black a Wasn't expecting much for a book I found at the Dollar Tree but it was really good. Can't say I watched many of their movies either - I think I saw two of hers and only Sunset Blvd of his and the I Love Lucy episode in reruns. I was, however, always intrigued by Audrey Hepburn and had no idea that she had an affair with Bill Holden. Very interesting book and well written. Author spent a lot of time doing his research and it showed in the work. A very fast read and wonderful pictures both black and white and color. A great read at any price!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey

    Well written, but as much as I loved Aubrey in her early films, I didn't much care for the overarching Hollywood theme. What a train wreck. Well written, but as much as I loved Aubrey in her early films, I didn't much care for the overarching Hollywood theme. What a train wreck.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Madelyn Flammia

    I recommend this book to Audrey Hepburn fans. It provides a different perspective on her life than the other biographies I have read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    title is a bit misleading, the romance between the 2 stars barely lasted past the movie Sabrina. It was sad if they really cared about one another for it to go the way it did.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Susan Bell

    Poorly researched. Poorly edited. Laughable sources. Don't bother. Poorly researched. Poorly edited. Laughable sources. Don't bother.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mick Meyers

    A brief but interesting book,covers the sabrina film in the first few pages and the goes into a cleft stick situation by covering both stars after the film was made.an easy read with good photos.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Raylene

    If you're interested in learning about Miss Audrey Hepburn's love-life and life experiences overall, this book is for you. I couldn't put it down! If you're interested in learning about Miss Audrey Hepburn's love-life and life experiences overall, this book is for you. I couldn't put it down!

  20. 5 out of 5

    JoAnne McMaster (Any Good Book)

    Although this book stays true to the fact that it is about Audrey Hepburn and William Holden, one has to wonder when the title itself appears to be misleading. Audrey and Bill: A Romantic Biography of Audrey Hepburn & William Holden is not what it seems. This is not a story about Audrey and Bill...together. It is, in a way, a story about Audrey and Bill, but very little of it has to do with their time together. In fact, only the first part of the book, around eighty pages or so of 272, chronicle Although this book stays true to the fact that it is about Audrey Hepburn and William Holden, one has to wonder when the title itself appears to be misleading. Audrey and Bill: A Romantic Biography of Audrey Hepburn & William Holden is not what it seems. This is not a story about Audrey and Bill...together. It is, in a way, a story about Audrey and Bill, but very little of it has to do with their time together. In fact, only the first part of the book, around eighty pages or so of 272, chronicles their love affair. The remaining pages chronicles their lives apart from each other...which makes it not a romantic biography. However, though their affair was brief, there is no doubt that they fell in love. But once the affair was over...Bill went on to other women, and Audrey went on to marriage. The thing she wanted most in the world was a family, and though she had several miscarriages, she achieved that. The book is more about Audrey than Bill, and there is no doubt that the author reveres her through all her faults. He lavishes praise upon her, while finding fault with the others mentioned in the book - Humphrey Bogart and Grace Kelly, for example; and even Bill himself. It seems rather gossipy at times, almost as if the author felt it were necessary to add snippets of such in order to keep us interested in reading the book. There was, every couple of chapters or so, something thrown in regarding Bill's life and career; the rest of the book was most definitely Audrey. There is very little said about Bill's home life, except for the fact that he would bring his girlfriends home to his wife. Nothing is said about Ardis' reaction to this; in fact, nothing much is said of Ardis at all. It would be interesting to know why she didn't resume her career. Was she hoping Bill would see the 'error of his ways' and return to her? I would have liked to have known more about her side of the marriage; but in fact, there was very little about their marriage at all. I came away still not knowing much more about Bill than I already knew. In the end, it is a very nice biography of Audrey Hepburn, and a so-so one about William Holden. There is no doubt that these were two talented actors (I will admit I am a bigger fan of William Holden, but like Audrey, too). They were also two fascinating people, and both lucky enough to have extensive careers in both film and personal pursuits. There are also quite a few nice pictures of the two. But unfortunately, I don't feel that there is a lot of new information here that can't be garnered elsewhere. I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review but this in no way influenced my decision. http://joannesbooks.blogspot.com/2016...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    I was given an electronic copy of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I am a huge Audrey Hepburn fan. In fact, it’s not inaccurate to suggest she’s my personal idol. I have a huge picture from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (my favorite film of all time) hanging in my living room, and for many years I adopted a version of one of her characters as her online alias. I knew next to nothing about William Holden, except for the fact that he died young and was an alcoholic. I knew they we I was given an electronic copy of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I am a huge Audrey Hepburn fan. In fact, it’s not inaccurate to suggest she’s my personal idol. I have a huge picture from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (my favorite film of all time) hanging in my living room, and for many years I adopted a version of one of her characters as her online alias. I knew next to nothing about William Holden, except for the fact that he died young and was an alcoholic. I knew they were co-stars in “Sabrina” and “Paris When it Sizzles”. When I saw the title of this book, I couldn’t help but grab it for review immediately. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but whatever it was, I’m sorry to say that I didn’t get it. The cover art to me seemed deceptive. Yes, the book is about Hepburn and Holden. Yes, they did have an on-screen romance. However, it was short-lived (and Holden was married the entire time). If the book was about their romance, then it should have emphasized and expounded on the shooting of “Sabrina”. But that story is completed far too early in the book. Even though they did two films together many years apart, by the time the second one happened both had completely different lives and agendas. The book is definitely a biography of the lives of the title characters (as stated in the small print). No doubt about that. But for some reason I felt a major disconnect from the text. There seemed to be a detachment; as if I was reading a newscast or hearing a report on the radio. It wasn’t hard to follow, but I do think it would have been better with time delineations. There’s far more emphasis on Audrey (and I had no problem with that; but there wasn’t much new information). It reads to me like a story of two contemporary actors whose lives temporarily intersected, not a lifelong romance or relationship in any way. What radiated with me was the stories about how the films were cast and made – why an actor chose which role, how the studio dealt with certain issues (alcoholism, in Holden’s case). I liked hearing about the different directors that both actors worked with, and the craft of moviemaking itself. That’s what I expected to find. I was looking for anecdotes I hadn’t already heard (for example, why Audrey never did a Hitchcock film). Unfortunately, I can’t say that I would recommend this book as a whole. I did enjoy the last third, and I think that if the author would have expanded on the backstage side of Hollywood further, instead of writing what at first glance was a tell-all book, it would have faired much better.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne (Chick with Books) Yester

    Oh, how can you resist The Golden Age of Hollywood?! The elegance, the larger than life movie stars, the romance! I am a true romantic and I love old movies. I love movies like Casablanca, Mildred Pierce, and Gone with the Wind. It was during the 1950's, that stars like Audrey Hepburn and William Holden came into their own and captured the hearts of movie goers, and it was in the 1950's that Audrey and Bill captured the hearts of each other… I was reading excerpts from this Springs new releases a Oh, how can you resist The Golden Age of Hollywood?! The elegance, the larger than life movie stars, the romance! I am a true romantic and I love old movies. I love movies like Casablanca, Mildred Pierce, and Gone with the Wind. It was during the 1950's, that stars like Audrey Hepburn and William Holden came into their own and captured the hearts of movie goers, and it was in the 1950's that Audrey and Bill captured the hearts of each other… I was reading excerpts from this Springs new releases and came across this book about Audrey Hepburn and Bill Holden, Audrey and Bill by Edward Epstein. I started to read the few opening pages and couldn't stop. What a wonderful, but sad, real life love story that became a thread to link these two people together forever. I'm not a big fan of the tabloids or Hollywood gossip, but this book was written so differently. It really showed the people underneath the layer of the Hollywood lights that scrutinized them for much of their lives. I had no idea that Audrey and Bill had a love affair, but during the filming of their first film together, and the film that would make Audrey Hepburn a star, Sabrina, they met and found in each other another person that they could open up to amid all the glitz and glamour neither one of them sought after. Audrey was young & naive and swept off her feet by the handsome, and married, leading man, who was no stranger to having affairs with his leading ladies. But this was different… Audrey and Bill is not only about their love affair, but about their lives separate from each other. It's almost 3 biographies in one book- Audrey Hepburn, Bill Holden, and the behind the scenes look at Hollywood. The writing is seductive and so good. Their lives, their loves, their loses and ultimately how they both found contentment, albeit a little too late, is what you'll find in Audrey and Bill. I don't want to spoil anything here, so let me just say, if you're a romantic and love old movies this book is for you! The writing is wonderful, the people come to life off the pages and you'll be transported to a time where prim and proper masked an underlying sensuality that was neatly dressed up.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sandi

    I enjoyed the book. I'm a big fan of Hollywood and theatrical biographies, and this was an easy read. I was disappointed by areas that could/should have been better developed. Chiefly, in my opinion, some biographical data on Audrey's mother Baroness Ella van Heemstra. We're told how important she was in Audrey's life, that she disapproved of both her sons-in law, that she lived with Audrey in Switzerland, that Audrey didn't want to wind up a multiple divorcee like her mother, but we're told noth I enjoyed the book. I'm a big fan of Hollywood and theatrical biographies, and this was an easy read. I was disappointed by areas that could/should have been better developed. Chiefly, in my opinion, some biographical data on Audrey's mother Baroness Ella van Heemstra. We're told how important she was in Audrey's life, that she disapproved of both her sons-in law, that she lived with Audrey in Switzerland, that Audrey didn't want to wind up a multiple divorcee like her mother, but we're told nothing about the mother's marriages, except that Audrey's father was a cold-natured, British Nazi sympathizer and that Audrey had very little to do with him for much of her life. We don't hear about her two half brothers (sons of the Baroness' first marriage)or just how difficult it was to survive in German-occupied Holland in the 1940s, especially during the terrible winter of 1944. I would have liked to have learned more about Holden's wife, actress Brenda Marshall, who preferred being called by her given name, Ardis. They were married for 30 years, and Bill adopted her daughter from her previous marriage, although the girl vanishes from the narrative once that fact is made: only the two sons of Ardis and Bill are mentioned briefly a few times and never in depth. The book is fun and fascinating with a cast of characters from the glamorous Hollywood of the 1050s and 60s, but I wish there had been more on familial relationships and the inner lives of these two rather private stars. Also, the fact that Audrey's mother was a baroness did not make her one, since she had two older half siblings. Epstein mentions that once she married Dr. Andrea Dotti, she was a Baroness by birth and a countess by marriage. Odd. He never tells the reader that Dotti had any title! It's stuff like this that weakens the narrative and points out weak editing/fact checking. If you're interested in either or both of these Oscar winners you'll enjoy this book. Unfortunately, it could have been better had it developed both the actors' backstories further, and had it given an epilogue on those closest to them: their children, significant others, etc.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lola

    *Copy received through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I am a huge Audrey Hepburn fan, have been ever since I first saw Breakfast at Tiffany's on TV in middle school. From the beginning, Audrey captivated me. She was unusually pretty, effortlessly elegant, and always witty. I watched nearly all her movies and did my best to try to dress like her. I still do. I also did my best to find out more about her. When I saw Audrey and Bill on NetGalley for review, I immediately requested it a *Copy received through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I am a huge Audrey Hepburn fan, have been ever since I first saw Breakfast at Tiffany's on TV in middle school. From the beginning, Audrey captivated me. She was unusually pretty, effortlessly elegant, and always witty. I watched nearly all her movies and did my best to try to dress like her. I still do. I also did my best to find out more about her. When I saw Audrey and Bill on NetGalley for review, I immediately requested it and was ecstatic when I got to read it. I knew the basics of the Audrey Hepburn/William Holden love affair before I read this. Admittedly, I knew next to nothing about William Holden other than he was David Larabee in Sabrina. I enjoyed reading about the couple meeting on set, falling in love, and the drama of it all. I also loved the little bits of trivia about the set and making of Sabrina, my favorite Hepburn film. Other than that, however, I didn't feel like this was a biography that needed to be written. After the making of Sabrina (and the end of their romance), Audrey and Bill didn't have a significant meeting for years. Epstein ties their narratives after that together with shaky supposition and supposed reactions of each other to events in the other's life. None of it felt well sourced, and the writing itself feels more like the casual style of a tabloid writer than that of a serious biographer. Still, I did like getting to read more about Audrey's life and learning more about William Holden than I ever knew. I do think Audrey and Bill had an interesting story, but I'm just not sure there is enough there for a novel this long. Maybe the biography itself would've benefited more as a book about Sabrina as a movie overall with a focus on the three big stars: Hepburn, Holden, and Boggart. That sounds like a much more interesting book to me. I'd recommend this to hardcore Hepburn fans only (and hardcore Holden fans too, I guess). A casual fan might not appreciate it.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ron

    The Introduction to Audrey and Bill clues in the discerning reader that Epstein is providing a biography of the "romance" of Audrey Hepburn and Bill Holden rather than a complete biography of their entwined lives. Epstein using published accounts and interviews then proceeds to document how their shared connection affected the rest of their lives. The movie Sabrina served as the catalyst for bringing Audrey and Bill into each others lives. Some of the romance played by their characters bled into The Introduction to Audrey and Bill clues in the discerning reader that Epstein is providing a biography of the "romance" of Audrey Hepburn and Bill Holden rather than a complete biography of their entwined lives. Epstein using published accounts and interviews then proceeds to document how their shared connection affected the rest of their lives. The movie Sabrina served as the catalyst for bringing Audrey and Bill into each others lives. Some of the romance played by their characters bled into real life, or maybe it was the other way around. And as in the movie, Bill did not get Audrey in the end. But that fact did not end the connection between the two. Epstein takes sixteen more chapters to tell how Audrey and Bill found other arms to comfort and support them. They even worked together on another movie, but the spark found in Sabrina could not be flamed back to again as too much time and experience had shaped each of them. Epstein wrote a very readable account of the entwined lives of Audrey and Bill, providing plenty of stories, movie details, and glimpses of Hollywood life all through a rose-colored filtered lens of romance. The book starts with the filming of Sabrina with little backstory on how Bill Holden and Audrey Hepburn arrived at that point in history. The tale continues through the romantic lives and movies of each person ending with their death, followed by a brief look at their place in movie history. Audrey and Bill works best for readers interested in the interaction of stars and their movies who do not expect too much analysis on the way.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    What a beautiful reminder of the Golden Age of Hollywood! It was so much fun to read about old Hollywood and the classic movies I still love to watch over...and over...and over again. Audrey Hepburn is a Hollywood icon and while I am very familiar with her movies I admit that I was very unfamiliar with her private life. It was my unfamiliarity with her private life that led me to request an ARC of this book from NetGalley. While I found the book interesting I also found myself frustrated by how What a beautiful reminder of the Golden Age of Hollywood! It was so much fun to read about old Hollywood and the classic movies I still love to watch over...and over...and over again. Audrey Hepburn is a Hollywood icon and while I am very familiar with her movies I admit that I was very unfamiliar with her private life. It was my unfamiliarity with her private life that led me to request an ARC of this book from NetGalley. While I found the book interesting I also found myself frustrated by how frequently Audrey and Bill's path diverged and how little time they actually spent together. While the title says "Audrey and Bill" this is really Audrey's story with Bill's story being separate enough to have justified a separate book. Audrey and Bill had a love affair while filming Sabrina and they never reunited on a personal level after that. Audrey went on to have three new relationships (two of which resulted in marriage and divorce) while Bill had multiple affairs with other Hollywood starlets. They spoke fondly of each other for the rest of their lives but there was never really an "Audrey and Bill" after Sabrina. This book continually alternated the chapters between Audrey's story and Bill's story. It read well and I was interested but from a book called "Audrey and Bill" I would have expected their paths to join together more of than they actually did. Overall it's an interesting read and it provided a lot of insight into two Hollywood legends but there is little that tied these two together other than a brief affair

  27. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

    I hate to start off with something negative, but in the interest of promoting truth in advertising, I have to say I found the title to be misleading. It leads one to think that we're about to read the story of a long lasting romantic relationship--maybe not Katherine Hepburn & Spencer Tracy, but certainly something more than a one-time affair early in Audrey's career that was never repeated! Because of this limited relationship, it sometimes feels as though the author is reaching a bit, grasping I hate to start off with something negative, but in the interest of promoting truth in advertising, I have to say I found the title to be misleading. It leads one to think that we're about to read the story of a long lasting romantic relationship--maybe not Katherine Hepburn & Spencer Tracy, but certainly something more than a one-time affair early in Audrey's career that was never repeated! Because of this limited relationship, it sometimes feels as though the author is reaching a bit, grasping somewhat desperately for parallels to draw or using common friends as a stand-in for actual contact between the two. That said, it was certainly easy to read, and it felt like a fairly complete, if shallow, coverage of each of their lives from their meeting during Sabrina through to each of their deaths. There were quotes from or anecdotes about others flung throughout; some felt entirely superfluous, but it gave the book a gossipy, chatty feel without ever becoming mean or salacious. As an Audrey fan, it was a satisfying way to spend some time and puts me in the mood to dig out my discs! I received this ARC from NetGalley.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Vicki Petersen

    I have a small collection of books about Audrey Hepburn but had not read in detail anything about her relationship with William Holden. This book is an easy read but it is still full of detailed information about their (separate) careers. It was a straightforward account of their affair (based upon what is known by insiders) and neither vilifies nor glorifies their actions. It does however give a glimpse into the choices and consequences of their decisions and actions which were intensified by th I have a small collection of books about Audrey Hepburn but had not read in detail anything about her relationship with William Holden. This book is an easy read but it is still full of detailed information about their (separate) careers. It was a straightforward account of their affair (based upon what is known by insiders) and neither vilifies nor glorifies their actions. It does however give a glimpse into the choices and consequences of their decisions and actions which were intensified by their fame and expectations of their fans. While the affair between Audrey and Bill was short-lived the book continues with the story of their lives with more details about Audrey than Bill. They never reignited their love affair but wove into each others lives through their work and acquaintances. While it is sometimes "bubble-bursting" to read about the lives of the glamorous and admired actresses, reading about Audrey's life is honest, sad and yet real and ultimately admirable. I would recommend this read. I received an ARC of this book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    patrick Lorelli

    I found this book lacking more content. This is just from my perspective. The story does a little back story of both their lives and leads into how they met at a party and on the set of Sabrina. Goes into how they have a brief love affair and really how he would leave his wife and children for her and she was happy that he would but because he could not have any more children they broke it off. This book really does not portray anyone in a good light. Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, and even Hum I found this book lacking more content. This is just from my perspective. The story does a little back story of both their lives and leads into how they met at a party and on the set of Sabrina. Goes into how they have a brief love affair and really how he would leave his wife and children for her and she was happy that he would but because he could not have any more children they broke it off. This book really does not portray anyone in a good light. Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, and even Humphrey Bogart. I think that is what got me the most and I just could not get past any of that. Not that I put any of these people higher than someone else but really they just made today stars the same. At Bogart was still with Bacall until he passed and maybe he was starting to get sick and that is why he was not in a good mood. Don’t know? Do know I thought it was going to be a different type of book. I got this book from netgalley. Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ivy

    Since having read this biography awhile ago, I was reluctant to review it, but considered it anyway. Edward Z. Epstein writes with a passion for history, and includes significant and little known facts that enrich this piece of writing. However, his writing seems to get carried away and emotion takes the place of facts. This biography to one might seem to turn into a soap opera, and maybe it felt like that at the time. The first half was the most interesting, and held charm with an exceptional s Since having read this biography awhile ago, I was reluctant to review it, but considered it anyway. Edward Z. Epstein writes with a passion for history, and includes significant and little known facts that enrich this piece of writing. However, his writing seems to get carried away and emotion takes the place of facts. This biography to one might seem to turn into a soap opera, and maybe it felt like that at the time. The first half was the most interesting, and held charm with an exceptional story of the iconic, and speculated couple, Audrey and Bill. After their relationship in the first half though, the author stretched it more than needed, and focused most on Audrey's life after, which included very little of the well known actor William Holden. An enjoyable enough piece, Audrey and Bill exposes their feelings for eachother and holds a magic that would have existed in their time.

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