The New York Times reports that a biography-of-sorts about the late Katharine Hepburn — who died June 29 age 96 — will be released by G. P. Putnam's Sons July 11. Written by A. Scott Berg, the book is based on 20 years of conversations that the biographer had with the four-time Academy Award-winning actress. Hepburn had but one stipulation about the tome: It was to be released after her death.
In an advertisement for the book, Berg says, "More than my remembrances, this book intends to convey hers." In a statement, Berg added, "Kate often suggested the importance of publishing a book right away because she presumed there would be many books about her over the years. She presumed they would be filled with the same misstatements of facts that have appeared for years. . . . With this book, I think, she imagined there would be at least a foundation of truth, of what she actually said and thought about things, in many cases things she felt should not be printed until she had died."
Putnam Books President Carole Baron told the Times, "For us to print over 500,000 [books] within a week is really extraordinary for a hardcover book. We have seen that with paperbacks, but this is a very big, elegant hardcover book. It had all been written, edited and set in type in 2001, and then we locked it in a drawer. When we received the word of Ms. Hepburn's death, Scott wrote the end and then we pushed the button."
Katharine Hepburn received Academy Awards for her performances in "Morning Glory," "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," "The Lion in Winter" and "On Golden Pond." She received Oscar nominations for her roles in "Alice Adams," "The Philadelphia Story," "Woman of the Year," "The African Queen," "Summertime," "The Rainmaker" "Suddenly, Last Summer" and "Long Day's Journey Into Night." On Broadway Hepburn was seen in The West Side Waltz (Tony nomination), A Matter of Gravity, Coco (Tony nomination), The Millionairess, As You Like It, Without Love, The Philadelphia Story, The Lake, The Warrior's Husband, Art and Mrs. Bottle and These Days.
Perhaps author Berg sums up Hepburn's career best when describing his forthcoming book: "'Kate Remembered' is based largely on my experiences with the subject, somebody I was crazy about — and it is, quite frankly, based on my belief that Katharine Hepburn enjoyed the greatest acting career of the 20th century, maybe ever."