Was Katharine Hepburn the Jennifer Aniston of her generation? Like Aniston, the glamorous actress was married, then divorced without having children. Aniston still has some time, of course, but Hepburn never did have kids. With Turner Classic Movies (TCM) celebrating Katharine Hepburn Day today, we were wondering why.
Hepburn certainly engaged in some famous love affairs. She and Spencer Tracy, who was married, could not stay away from each other for 26 years. And in the recent movie “The Aviator,” we saw the actress’s hot-and-cold relationship with Howard Hughes.
But she was also married at age 21 to Ludlow Ogden Smith for six years, which did not produce any kids. Here, five things about this Hollywood icon, including what she herself had to say about why she never had kids.
1. Katharine Houghton Hepburn, as she was born, was an outstanding athlete. In her youth, she won local figure skating and golf championships, and she swam into her 80s.
2. She attended Bryn Mawr College, where she was once suspended for smoking and drinking (this was the 1920s!).
3. She and “Luddy” married in 1928, but the union was shortlived. Still, they remained friends for the rest of his life.
4. Hepburn was fired from her first lead role, in the regional production of “The Big Pond,” after she forgot her lines and tripped on stage.
5. As for kids, Hepburn felt she was ill-suited to be a mother. “Children? Of course not. I would have been a terrible mother. I’m basically too selfish,” she wrote in her autobiography.