Three gelatin silver production stills; Audrey Hepburn with Fred Astaire, Kay Thompson and others on the set of the 1957 Paramount production Funny Face
various date stamps 7 - 17 May, 1956 (verso)

each sheet: 5 x 4 in. (13 x 10 cm.)

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Lot Essay

Mutual admiration drew Hepburn and Astaire to take part in Funny Face. The producers secured their two leading actors by telling each star that they had already signed the other. According to Mel Ferrer, although Audrey usually took three days to read and consider a script, she finished Funny Face in two hours, crying This is it! I don't sing well enough, but, oh, if I can only do this with Fred Astaire! Likewise Fred was eager to work with Audrey, telling a reporter This could be the last and only opportunity I'd have to work with the great and lovely Audrey, and I was not missing it.

Years later, at the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award tribute to Astaire, Hepburn spoke of her first meeting with the Hollywood star: One look at this most debonair, elegant and distinguished of legends and I could feel myself turn to solid lead, while my heart sank into my two left feet. Then suddenly I felt a hand around my waist and, with inimitable grace and lightness, Fred literally swept me off my feet. I experienced the thrill that all women at some point in their lives have dreamed of - to dance just once with Fred Astaire.

Hepburn played a studious Greenwich Village bookseller, whisked off to Paris by fashion photographer Astaire and transformed into a high fashion model. In a frothy romantic finale, the pair dance in the grounds of a Chantilly chapel before drifting away on a raft to the strains of Gershwin's S'wonderful. Astaire recalled that the Paris shoot was besieged with rain ....and little Audrey she said "Here I have waited twenty years to dance with Fred Astaire and what do I get? Mud! My favourite remark of all time... gosh she's cute.

The film has become something of a classic, with American Film citing it as one of the most lushly gorgeous Technicolor films ever produced.

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