Audrey Hepburn in “Ondine” (1954)

Ondine is a play written in 1938 by French dramatist Jean Giraudoux, based on the 1811 novella Undine by the German RomanticFriedrich de la Motte Fouqué that tells the story of Hans and Ondine. Hans is a knight-errant who has been sent off on a quest by his betrothed. In the forest he meets and falls in love with Ondine, a water-sprite who is attracted to the world of mortal man. The subsequent marriage of people from different worlds is, of course, folly. By turns comic, enchanting, and tragic, Ondine is considered by some to be Giraudoux’s finest work.

The play was adapted by Maurice Valency, opening on Broadway in 1954 in a production by Alfred Lunt with a cast including Mel Ferrer, John Alexander, Peter Brandon, Alan Hewitt, Edith King, Robert Middleton, William Podmore, Marian Seldes, and Audrey Hepburn in the role that made her a star.

Ondine won the 1954 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play. This production also garnered the 1954 Tony awards for Best Director (Lunt) and Best Actress in a Play (Hepburn).


Audrey Hepburn photographed on stage during a performance of Ondine, New York, 1954 via


Audrey Hepburn during the theatre production of “Ondine” by Philippe Halsman via


Audrey Hepburn photographed by Milton H. Greene on stage during a performance of Ondine, New York, 1954 via


Audrey Hepburn photographed by Milton H. Greene on stage during a performance of Ondine, New York, 1954 via

Dancer Enrica Soma by Philippe Halsman

Enrica Soma (1929 – 1969) was an Italian-American socialite, model, and prima-ballerina. She was also the wife of director John Huston and mother of actress Anjelica Huston.

Soma was pushed into the entertainment industry by her father, using his connections he had gained through his restaurant. She studied ballet with George Balanchine and joined his company as a principal dancer. As a model, she appeared on the June 9, 1947 cover of Life Magazine at the age of 18. She worked often with Philippe Halsman. 

She was offered a film contract by David O. Selznick, but turned down becoming an actress once she met Huston.


Philippe Halsman. Enrica Soma as a rococo courtesan via


Philippe Halsman. Enrica Soma, 1947 via


Philippe Halsman. Enrica Soma, 1949 via

Marilyn Monroe by Philippe Halsman

From the 1940s through the 1970s, Philippe Halsman’s sparkling portraits of celebrities, intellectuals, and politicians appeared on covers and pages of big picture magazines. A 1958 poll conducted by Popular Photography named Halsman one of the “World’s Ten Greatest Photographers” . In 1951, he was commissioned by NBC to photograph various popular comedians of the time. While photographing them doing their acts, he captured many in mid air, which went on to inspire many later jump pictures of celebrities including Marilyn Monroe, who Halsman had several photo sessions with – including her first cover of Life Magazine.


Marilyn Monroe photographed by Philippe Halsman, 1959 via


Marilyn Monroe photographed by Philippe Halsman, 1959 via

Marilyn Monroe in LIFE Magazine 1952 by Philippe Halsman

Marilyn Monroe´s  first cover shoot for LIFE magazine, in April 1952, made by the great Philippe Halsman, remains as one of the most famous and collectible covers in the magazine´s history (source)

Philippe Halsman: US actress Marilyn Monroe posing for a cover photograph for LIFE Magazine, 1952.

Marilyn Monroe posing for the cover photograph for LIFE Magazine, 1952 via

Marilyn Monroe, 1952 via