Katharine Hepburn at 30

On the occasion of my thirtieth, I found myself going down one of the many rabbit holes of the interwebs. I began googling all my favorite stars to see what they were up to at 30. Katharine Hepburn at 30, Myrna Loy at 30, Oprah Winfrey at 30, etc.

If you choose to do this yourself, it would be my suggestion that you just go ahead and skip Beyonce and Grace Kelly. Trust me. You say you’ll do it anyway? Fine: Bey (2011) was the highest-paid performer per minute in the world her 30th year. Grace Kelly (1959) had already completed her acting career and moved on to the title of princess. It’s alright, they’re not the star of this post anyway. Let’s move on.

When Myrna Loy turned 30 (1935), she’d just started playing Nora Charles–the seemingly definitive role of her career. (Click here for the Thin Man cocktail guide.)

Mary Richards was moving into her Minneapolis apartment. (Click her for the style file.)

Oprah (*/cue angels singing/*) relocated to Chicago to host a half-hour morning talk show. The first episode aired 27 days before her 30th birthday (1984). (Click here to read my open letter to Oprah’s hair.) 

And Martha Stewart? (All hail Martha. Martha!) In 1971, homegirl hadn’t even started her catering company yet.

Katherine Hepburn at 30 | Hannah & Husband

So why is this post titled “Katharine Hepburn at 30”? Well, Hepburn had just starred in two of my favorite films of all time–Bringing Up Baby and Holiday–both with Cary Grant, both playing strong female leads. In fact, Bringing Up Baby is now considered a definitive movie of the “screwball comedy” genre. But it was after these two movies and around her 30th, that Ms. Hepburn was labeled “box office poison” in Hollywood.

Box Office Poison?!?

A little harsh, don’t you think? Haters gonna hate.

So what was a girl to do? Well, Katharine Hepburn bought out her contract with RKO. She turned to the stage to play Ms. Tracy Lord in “The Philadelphia Story”–a role written specifically for her by Philip Barry. The role was so perfect for her that before the play hit the stage, she acquired the rights to the film. (Her friend Howard Hughes is said to have bought them for her as a gift.) Then, she sold them to MGM on the condition that she would star. Which she did alongside who else? Cary Grant, of course! It got her praise, accolades, another Oscar nomination, and Spencer Tracy–well lots of movies with Spencer Tracy and then, eventually, Spencer Tracy.

Katherine Hepburn at 30 | Hannah & Husband

“It’s life isn’t it? You plow ahead and make a hit. And you plow on and someone passes you. Then someone passes them. Time levels.”

-Katharine Hepburn

And, just because I think it’s a cool, Grace Kelly played Tracy Lord sixteen years later in the musical version, High Society. It was her last film role. (Click here for the style file.) 

The Mary Tyler Moore Show Apartment Style File

The Mary Tyler Moore Show apartment | Hannah & Husband

When I was little, sick days meant red Gatorade, VapoRub, and television—more specifically videos of the Mary Tyler Moore show. This week, I found myself on the couch again turning to Mary Richards for support. She really can take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile. And you know what stood out this time? The Mary Tyler Moore Show apartment! The working girl’s ultimate abode and every little girl’s first 1970s house crush. So today, I thought we should talk about the six things that made her pad so dreamy.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show apartment | Hannah & Husband

1. She lived in a storybook house. Turrets + stained glass would normally denote an over-the-top Disney movie (Pollyanna, anyone?). Instead, The Mary Tyler Moore show made it the ultimate single girl pad.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show apartment | Hannah & Husband

2. Long before the days of Carrie Bradshaw, Mary Richards had a walk-in closet. To be clear, she slept on a sofa bed in the middle of the living room, but her mini skirts and go-go boots had a place all their own.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show apartment | Hannah & Husband

The Mary Tyler Moore Show apartment | Hannah & Husband

3. Before the Spice Girls chanted #GirlPower and Destiny’s Child invited all the “honeys who makin’ money” to throw their hands up, their was Mary Richards who hung an ‘M’ on her wall. This independent woman did not need a man to monogram the hand towels. She knew she was important enough all by herself.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show apartment | Hannah & Husband

4. She rearranged her furniture all the time just because she could. Growing up, my mother was a serial rearranger. The fact that my father and I have any toes left from tripping over the couch is beyond me! But Mary Richards could change the layout of her studio sitting area every week if she wanted… and sometimes she did.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show apartment | Hannah & Husband

The Mary Tyler Moore Show apartment | Hannah & Husband

5. Confession: The only shag carpet I have ever loved was in this apartment. I think my affection has something to do with the knee-level library.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show apartment | Hannah & Husband

6. Forget shattering the glass ceiling, Mary Richards had 10 foot beauties with windows and draperies to match that she leased all by herself. #winning #girlpower

I’m just going to leave this list here and assume I’m not the only one that ponders 1970s tv set design when I’m sick.

Other Style Files You May Like:

Hello, Dolly!

Lisa Douglas

Lucille Ball