Audrey Hepburn: A Tribute to her Humanitarian Work
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Sean Upholds Hepburn Legacy
by Ong Chin Huat, South China Morning Post, October 22, 1999

The two things closest to Sean Hepburn Ferrer's heart are film-making and children's charities.

As the founder and president of the Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund, Sean continues his mother's legacy of helping children in need all over the world.

Sean was in town recently for the opening of the Audrey Hepburn exhibition organised by Italian fashion house Salvatore Ferragamo in Pacific Place. Proceeds were donated to the fund.

"The last 12 years of my mother's life were devoted to helping mistreated children," says Sean.

He says it was his mother's profound wish that instead of a politicisation of humanitarianism, there be humanization of politics. "With her work with Unicef, which brought her to Ethiopia and all over Africa, my mother couldn't understand why politics couldn't be put aside to help suffering children."

If Audrey Hepburn were alive today, she would certainly be happy with the work her son has done to further her cause.

On the actress' birthday in May, a gala was held in New York with proceeds going to build the Audrey Hepburn Centre for abused children at Hackensack medical centre in New Jersey.

The Children's Fund also supports children's charities all over the world, from Brazil to Kenya.

With so much on his plate, it is natural that Sean's show-business career has taken a back seat of late.

But next year will see the release of Cloudstreet, a movie Sean produced based on the best-selling novel by Tim Winton, and starring Geoffrey Rush, Sam Neill, Judy Davis and Kathy Bates.

Starting off in showbiz 20 years ago as a "gofer", Sean says that being the son of famous Hollywood parents (his father was Mel Ferrer) was tough.

"People see you as someone who might be living just on your name," he says.

"Sure, my parents helped make powerful introductions, but at the end of the day you are only as good as what you are able to deliver."