Sean Hepburn Ferrer

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Sean Hepburn Ferrer
CitizenshipUnited States
  • Film producer
  • author
Spouse(s)Leila Flannigan (1994 - ?)
Karin Hofer
Children3, including Emma Ferrer
Parent(s)Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer

Sean Hepburn Ferrer is an American film producer and author.[1] He is the son of Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer.

Early life[edit]

Sean Hepburn Ferrer is the son of Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer.[2] He was born in Switzerland with periods of his life spent in Italy and Spain.[1] He has a half-brother, Luca Dotti, from Hepburn's second marriage, to Italian psychiatrist Andrea Dotti.[2]


He worked in the film industry for several years in the development, production and marketing of films. He has also been an assistant director on several film projects. [1] In 2001, he filmed the documentary Racehoss about Albert Race Sample, who, as a convicted criminal in the prison, turned to writing and later helped other inmates to return to normal living. Ferrer directed and produced the film. In 2003, he published a biography of his mother, Audrey Hepburn, An Elegant Spirit. In 2020, he and his wife, Karin, published Little Audrey's Daydream, a children's book about Hepburn's childhood in Europe. Proceeds from the book benefit the European Organisation for Rare Diseases.[3] Ferrer and his daughter, Emma, contributed to Audrey (2020), a documentary about his mother directed by Helena Coan.[4]

Charity work[edit]

Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund[edit]

A year after his mother's death in 1993, Ferrer founded the Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund (originally named Hollywood for Children Inc.),[5] a charity funded by exhibitions of Audrey Hepburn memorabilia. He directed the charity in cooperation with his half-brother Luca Dotti, and Robert Wolders, his mother's partner, which aimed to continue the humanitarian work of Audrey Hepburn.[6] Ferrer brought the exhibition "Timeless Audrey" on a world tour to raise money for the foundation.[7] He served as Chairman of the Fund before resigning in 2012, turning over the position to Dotti.[8] In 2017, Ferrer was sued by theFund for alleged self-serving conduct.[8] In October 2017, Ferrer responded by suing the Fund for trademark infringement, claiming that the Fund no longer had the right to use Hepburn's name or likeness.[5] Ferrer's suit against the Fund was dismissed in March 2018 due to the complaint's failure to include Dotti as a defendant.[9] In 2019, the court sided with Ferrer, with the judge ruling there was no merit to the charity's claims it had the independent right to use Audrey Hepburn's name and likeness, or to enter into contracts with third parties without Ferrer's consent.[10][11]

Other ventures[edit]

From 2014 to 2018, Ferrer was ambassador of the annual Rare Disease Days.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Ferrer has three children,[2] including a daughter, Emma Ferrer, from his 1994 marriage to Leila Flannigan.[13][2] They divorced when Emma was six years old.[14] Ferrer later married Karin Hofer.[2][3]

Selected filmography[edit]

  • 1981: Inchon (Assistant Director)
  • 1982: One Shoe Makes It Murder (Second Assistant Director)
  • 1983: Strangers Kiss (Associate Producer, First Assistant Director)
  • 1984: Growing Pains (Second Assistant Director)
  • 1986: Good to Go (Producer)
  • 1987: Treasure of the Moon Goddess (Assistant Director)
  • 1987: Ironweed (Associate Producer)
  • 1991: Eye of the Widow (Executive Producer, First Assistant Director)
  • 1991: Pretty Hattie's Baby (Producer)
  • 1993: Blood In Blood Out (Bound by Honor, First Assistant Director)
  • 2001: Racehoss (Producer, Regie)
  • 2010: Living the Blues (Short, Executive Producer)
  • 2011: Cloudstreet (3-episode miniseries, Executive Producer)


  • Hepburn Ferrer, Sean (2003). Audrey Hepburn, An Elegant Spirit (1st Atria books hardcover ed.). New York: Atria Books. ISBN 0671024787.
  • Hepburn Ferrer, Sean & Karin (2020). Little Audrey's Daydream. New York: Princeton Architectural Press. ISBN 9781616899912.


  1. ^ a b c "Sean Hepburn Ferrer talks about Audrey Hepburn: the actress, the mother, the style icon and the humanitarian". Film Talk. 2016-12-08. Retrieved 2020-08-22. I used to take great pride in my American citizenship.
  2. ^ a b c d e Fiori, Pamela (2014-08-12). "Emma Ferrer Opens Up". Harper's Bazaar. Archived from the original on April 2, 2019. Retrieved July 28, 2020. [Audrey Hepburn] put aside her career at its peak to raise her two sons, Sean Ferrer, whose father was Audrey's first husband, the actor Mel Ferrer, and Luca Dotti, from her second marriage (to the Italian psychiatrist Andrea Dotti). ... [Audrey Hepburn died] in January 1993.... Emma Kathleen Hepburn Ferrer, Audrey's first grandchild, was born in Switzerland in May of the following year to Sean and his then wife, Leila. Now 20, Emma is the eldest of Sean's three children. ... Sean announced that dinner was ready. At that point we'd been joined by his wife, Karin Hofer, [and] her son, Adone...
  3. ^ a b Kacala, Alexander (9 October 2020). "Beyond the glamour: Audrey Hepburn's son opens up about her struggles in new interview". Today. Retrieved 30 November 2020. [Sean] Hepburn Ferrer and his wife, Karin, who co-authored the book...
  4. ^ Conlon, Scarlett. "Inside The New Audrey Hepburn Documentary – And The Unexpected Sadness Of Its Subject". Vogue. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
  5. ^ a b Stempel, Jonathan (2017-10-05). "Audrey Hepburn's son sues children's charity over use of mother's name". UK. Reuters. Archived from the original on July 28, 2020. Retrieved 2019-03-12.
  6. ^ "Note from Sean Ferrer". Audrey Hepburn official website. n.d. Archived from the original on February 12, 2016.
  7. ^ "Audrey Hepburn Arrives in Berlin" (Press release). Ileana International. March 9, 2009. Archived from the original on July 28, 2020. Retrieved July 28, 2020 – via Business Wire.
  8. ^ a b Bryant, Kenzie (February 10, 2017). "Audrey Hepburn's Oldest Son in Legal Wrangle with Her Children's Fund". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on May 31, 2020.
  9. ^ Sean Hepburn Ferrer v. Hollywood For Children, Inc., Court Listener. Free Law Project (District Court, Central District of California 2017-2018). Archived from the original on July 28, 2020.
  10. ^ "Proposed Decision Favors Actress' Eldest Son in Dispute with Charity". Los Angeles, California: KNBC. 19 October 2019. Archived from the original on 28 July 2020. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  11. ^ "Audrey Hepburn's Son Sean Hepburn Ferrer Vindicated By Court Decision" (Press release). Sean Hepburn Ferrer. December 3, 2019. Archived from the original on July 28, 2020. Retrieved July 28, 2020 – via PR Newswire.
  12. ^ "Rare Disease Day 2018 Ambassador". Eurodis: Rare Diseases Europe. February 6, 2018. Archived from the original on February 21, 2019. Sean Hepburn Ferrer ... is Rare Disease Day 2018 Ambassador. [He] was the previous Rare Disease Day Ambassador for 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
  13. ^ "Biographical Summaries of Notable People: Leila Flannigan". MyHeritage. Archived from the original on 3 December 2020. Retrieved 30 November 2020. Leila Flannigan married Sean Hepburn Ferrer in 1994.
  14. ^ Fiori, Pamela (12 August 2014). "Emma Ferrer Reflects on Audrey Hepburn". Harper's Bazaar. Archived from the original on 2 April 2019. Retrieved 28 July 2020.

External links[edit]