Theatre Royal - Newcastle
Premiere: June 2, 1952-
Opera House - Manchester
Premiere: June 9, 1952-
New Theatre - London
Premiere: June 27, 1952- (10 weeks)
Schubert Theatre - New York
Premiere: October 17, 1952-28 December 1952 (10 weeks)
When her father dies, Epifania, becomes the world's richest woman. She feels incomplete without a husband and falls in love with a humbl doctor, much loved by his patients. He eschews physical pleasure, so he rejects her overtures, which include sexual flirtation, offers of wealth, an opportunity to run a state-of-the-art clinic, and then her simple and direct declaration of love.
What Kate had to say
"I adored the play. Everyone kept saying, 'Why do you want to do it? It's such a bad play.' Well, I thought it was fun, and I still do. It portrays a wonderful character. My mother worshipped Shaw. She knew everything he'd written. Backward. So did my father. A great deal of Shaw was read out loud at home. He was sort of a God."
What fellow actors, the director and friends had to say
Judy Garland – 1952 (Source: New York Public Library video)
"Dear Katie, I’ve always said you were our leading actress, and what everyone is saying out here about you in the new play just about cliches the title for you. Congratulations. Love and kisses, Judy."
Bernhard Shaw wrote this play 1935. He had Edith Evans in mind for a West End run and Katharine Hepburn for a New York production. Kate did them both.
Patricia Cohen - New York Times - October 30, 2007
"After losing her voice during the run of Millionairess, [webmasters note: during the run of the play in New York] she went to a speech coach, Alfred Dixon."
Kate wanted to make a film of The Millionairess, but the funds were never forthcoming. Instead, she gave one of her finest performances in David Lean's Summertime (1955), about a lonely American spinster who finds romance in Venice.
Read The Hepburn Story in TIME from Monday, Sep. 01, 1952.