Breakfast at Tiffany's released
A great performance, a classic song and iconic look were all introduced to the world on October 5, 1961, with the release of Breakfast At Tiffany's. The film is arguably the pinnacle of Audrey Hepburn’s career, but another screen beauty had initially been set to take the role of New York call girl Holly Golightly. When Truman Capote wrote the novella of the same name, he conceived Marilyn Monroe in the central role, and maintained that “Paramount double-crossed me in every way and cast Audrey.” Monroe was initially interested in playing the role of a Texan country girl who lives off old rich New York men, but was apparently was dissuaded from doing so by acting coach Lee Strasberg. Hepburn certainly brought a very different quality to the role, adding an aristocratic grace to Holly that was out of keeping with Capote’s original character, and Hepburn herself would admit later that she felt she had been miscast. Ultimately, however, movie lovers’ image of Hepburn will forever be inextricably linked to her in the role of Holly, wearing Givenchy and with her cigarette holder in hand. Another unforgettable element of the film, Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer’s song “Moon River” – which was written especially written for Hepburn’s limited vocal range – nearly didn’t make the movie. A Paramount exec demanded it be cut, but Hepburn’s tenacious response was, “Over my dead body.” Hepburn got her way and the “dubious ditty” won Best Song at the Academy Awards a few months later.