Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly from the 1961 movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's." The classic Blake Edwards comedy, based on the novel by Truman Capote,. was not a huge success when it was first released 50 years ago, but has since attained iconic status - from the fashions Hepburn wore to the lilting music of Henry Mancini. But it was Hepburn who solidified her status as a Hollywood icon with her performance as a young woman torn by love in the concrete canyons of New York City.
Actress Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 film, "Breakfast at Tiffany's."
"I think it's gained in popularity the last 50 years," Alison Bailes, film critic for More Magazine, told CBS' "The Early Show."
New York Times film critic A.O. Scott said, "I think it's true partly 'cause of the wonderfully charming and romantic and sophisticated view it gives of bohemian life in New York."
George Peppard and Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (1961).
In Truman Capote's novel, published in 1958, Holly Golightly is a young (18 or 19) girl from the country who comes to New York City to snare a wealthy husband
Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (1961).
Scott said the filmmakers kind of "air brushed" the sexual connotations of the story, "makes it look pretty and fun, like 'Pretty Woman' did."
"I think what is ground-breaking about it [was] the way that Audrey Hepburn became associated with the little black dress and hat and cigarette holder," Bailes told "The Early Show."
"It was iconic, rather than groundbreaking. She is playing a society girl. She's very inventive. It's about self-invention. It's about the American dream. Ground-breaking for women? Not so sure."
Audrey Hepburn sings "Moon River" in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (1961).
George Peppard and Audrey Hepburn kiss in the rain in "Breakfast at Tiffany's."
A poster for "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (1961).
This photo released by Christie's auction house shows a back view of the black Givenchy dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 film, "Breakfast at Tiffany's." The dress was offered at auction in Dec. 2006 at Christie's in London and sold for $923,187. The money raised was used to help build a school in Calcutta.
A set of Audrey Hepburn stamps, at auction in Berlin on Oct. 16, 2010. The money raised was donated to the Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund.
Program director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center Richard Pena and Julie Andrews speak on stage at Q&A commemorating the 50th Anniversary of "Breakfast at Tiffany's" at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, September 15, 2011 in New York City. Andrews' late husband, Blake Edwards, directed the film, which debuts on Blu-ray September 20, 2011.
When asked about Holly Golightly's status as a man-chaser, Andrews said, "When you've got Audrey Hepburn and Hubert de Givenchy, I don't think anyone for a second believed that this was a heavy hooker, for God's sake!"
Julie Andrews attends the blue carpet at the 50th Anniversary of "Breakfast at Tiffany's" at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, September 15, 2011 in New York City.
During her career Audrey Hepburn trained at the ballet dancer, made her London debut in 1948, and was given the lead in the Broadway production of "Gigi" (1951). She went on to win international acclaim for such films as "Roman Holiday" (1953), "Sabrina" (1954), "The Nun's Story" (1959) and "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (1961).
Actors Eddie Albert, Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn all sit on a Vespa scooter during the shooting of "Roman Holiday" in Rome in 1953.
Audrey Hepburn in the 1953 film "Roman Holiday." She won an Oscar for Best Actress portraying royalty who lets loose with an American journalist played by Gregory Peck in Italy.
Hepburn and Gregory Peck in "Roman Holiday" (1953).
Audrey Hepburn in a publicity photo for "Roman Holiday."
In "Sabrina" (1954), Audrey Hepburn played the daughter of a chauffeur caught in the live sof two very wealthy men, Humphrey Bogart and William Holden.
Audrey Hepburn holds a poodle as William Holden looking on in this scene from "Sabrina."
Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer arriving in Rome on Sept. 29, 1954, after they were married.
Fashion photographer Richard Avedon talks to actress Audrey Hepburn, during a photo session in Los Angeles, on April 24, 1956.
Cary Grant was always good in a clinch, especially with Audrey Hepburn in Stanley Donan's comedy-thriller "Charade" (1962).
Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle in 1963's "My Fair Lady." For the movie version of the Lehner & Loewe musical Hepburn got the role that Julie Andrews made famous on the stage. But Andrews copped the Oscar for Best Actress for "Mary Poppins."
In this 1967 file photo, Audrey Hepbrun is seen on the Los Angeles set of "Wait Until Dark" with her husband, actor Mel Ferrer.
The Belgian-born actress traveled extensively as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. Here she is surrounded by reporters in this September 1992 file photo during a press conference after her return from Somalia.