Audrey Hepburn is an icon for more reasons than one. Not only was she a gifted, Oscar-winning actress and dedicated philanthropist, but she also inspired generations of young women with her signature style.
She was also famous for her notoriously thin figure, which had been the subject of eating disorder accusations over the years. But as People reports in this week’s cover story, these rumors were never true. In fact, Hepburn was never even partial to dieting. “She loved Italian food and pasta. She ate a lot of grains, not a lot of meat, and a little bit of everything,” her son Luca Dotti said.
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Hepburn’s longtime partner Robert Wolders said that although the actress did not diet, the two enjoyed taking long walks together and that she would often outwalk him. “She had a healthy metabolism, but she was not excessive,” said Wolders, who began a relationship with Hepburn in 1980 that lasted until her death in 1993.
Gary Cooper and Audrey Hepburn share a picnic on the set of the film Love in the Afternoon.
Hepburn’s diet was simple and healthy. For breakfast she and Wolders often had brown bread with jam; for lunch, a lean meat or pasta with produce fresh from their garden; and for dinner they had chicken soup with veggies. That’s not to say Hepburn didn’t indulge—her partner recalls “she had chocolate after dinner, baking chocolate [and] she had a finger or two of Scotch at night.”
Plus, Hepburn was a fan of carbohydrates. “She was crazy about the pasta,”, younger son Dotti recalls in a prior People interview. In his own book Audrey at Home, Dotti wrote, “Mum had a serious pasta addiction. She couldn’t do without pasta.”
Her signature dish was spaghetti al pomodoro, which she cooked at home practically every week. “Her absolute favorite was spaghetti with tomato sauce. She could live on that alone,” Dotti said.