Cleaning Kate’s House
Don’t look for Katharine Hepburn’s Oscars to pop up on eBay anytime soon.
The late acting great willed them to an undisclosed charity.
That’s just one of the tidbits to emerge from Hepburn’s last will and testament, which was obtained Monday by the Smoking Gun.
Hepburn, who died last month at the age of 96, bequeathed most of her estate to family and friends.
Per her will, written and signed in January 1992 and updated with a six-page addendum in March of ’94, Kate’s estate will mostly be divvied up between her sister Margaret, brother Robert and descendants of her late siblings Richard and Marion.
According to a July 7 application filed in the the Connecticut Court of Probate by ABC News correspondent and Hepburn’s friend and executor Cynthia McFadden, the value of Hepburn’s personal property is estimated to be $800,000. But that’s a low-ball number, since the “gross taxable estate” on her property is $10 million and a recent appraisal put the figure at closer to $20 million.
Hepburn’s siblings and their descendants will each receive a quarter of the sales of her homes in New York City and Connecticut. A nephew and a grandniece will each receive $100,000 trusts in their names.
Among her close friends and associates, Hepburn doled out $200,000 to longtime housekeeper Norah Moore; $50,000 to accountant Erik Hanson; $5,000 to her literary agent, Freya Manson; and $10,000 to her close confidante McFadden, who was also bequeathed furniture from Hepburn’s Manhattan townhouse, including an 18th century oak dresser and two works of art, one painted by Hepburn herself. Another portrait was given to the National Gallery of Art.
Hepburn also set aside a piece of her 7.17-acre waterfront residence in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, to local or state officials or a select “environmental or conservation organization” to “protect the lot from development…for the benefit of the general public.”
Hepburn honored her roots on both stage and screen with matching $10,000 donations to the Actors Fund of America and the Motion Picture and Television Fund. She also conferred another $10,000 to the Episcopal church in Maryland where her grandfather once served as a clergyman.
Her personal belongings–jewelry, furniture, clothing, cars, rugs, pictures, books, silver, china and artwork–were to be divided up among family and friends. Hepburn earmarked some items for charity and gave permission for them to be auctioned.
Then there are those Oscars–Hepburn won a record four Best Actress statuettes–which apparently won’t be on the block. She requested the Oscars, along with an extensive memorabilia collection that includes scripts, photos, letters, costumes, clippings and scrapbooks to a “charitable organization” to be determined by McFadden. She also gave said charity permission to publish her “manuscripts, letters or other personal papers or records” should they choose to do so.
Cleaning Kate’s House