They seemed to have it all - glamour, power, wealth and adoration. Grace Kelly, Coco Chanel, Audrey Hepburn, Indira Gandhi, Madame Chiang Kai Shek... they were worshipped, loved and sometimes even feared by millions the world over. These were the pioneers who showed that a woman could be the equal of any man. But behind the public success, there was so often private heartache and personal tragedy. Featuring archive, interviews and dramatic re-enactment, this series reveals the price these extraordinary women paid for their achievements. Yet in the end, they overcame all adversities to emerge as triumphant, inspirational icons of the 20th Century.
Audrey Hepburn (#109H) Duration: 51:16 STEREO TVPG
Audrey Hepburn was one of the most stylish women the world has ever seen, and she took Hollywood by storm. Winning an Oscar for her first major film role in Roman Holiday, she went on to star in the iconic Breakfast at Tiffany's and the huge box office hit, My Fair Lady. Her natural, effortless beauty charmed millions. Audrey was more than just a movie star - she was a fashion icon the world over. But behind the glamour was a life marked by tragedy and loss. When Audrey was just 6 years old her father walked out on the family. His abandonment haunted her for the rest of her life. She endured the horrors of the Nazi-occupation in wartime Holland, and aged just 12 years old, Audrey witnessed the deportations of Jewish families to the death camps.
Martha Gellhorn (#105Z) Duration: 48:59 STEREO TVG
Martha Gellhorn became a war correspondent almost by accident when her lover, Ernest Hemingway, urged her to file a report from Madrid during the Spanish Civil War. She wrote about the innocent victims of the war: the civilians who lived in daily fear of being killed by bombs. It was the beginning of a remarkable career spanning some 60 years.
Until Martha entered the field, war reporting was dominated by male journalists but, through her fearlessness and dedication, she earned a place at the top. Unlike many of her contemporaries, she was motivated to write - not about tactics and statistics - but about the devastating effects of war on the lives of civilians. It was a theme she carried from Spain throughout WWII, to Vietnam and, much later, to America's wars in Guatemala and Panama. But Martha's success came at great cost to her personal life.
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Maria Montessori (#113H) Duration: 48:31 STEREO TVPG
Maria Montessori was a woman of vision. In a remarkable life spanning eight decades, Maria Montessori, challenged convention to pioneer a radical new system of education; one which focused on the child as an independent learner and which spread to all corners of the world, affecting the schooling of millions. Her visionary method of education has helped produce some of the most creative and successful people on the planet including the founders of Amazon.com, Wikipedia and Google.
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Amelia Earhart (#111H) Duration: 51:55 STEREO TVPG
Amelia Earhart was an aviation pioneer and female icon. Born to a privileged family in Kansas in the United States, Amelia grew up a tomboy. It was no surprise that when her father, Edwin took her to an air show, Amelia was hooked. She took numerous part time jobs, and borrowed money from her mother's inheritance, in order to pay for flying lessons and buy her first plane. But Charles Lindberg's record-breaking flight across the Atlantic awakened in Amelia, a daring need for adventure on a massive scale. She caught the attention of high profile publisher of adventure books, George Palmer Putnam who gave Amelia the chance to equal Lindbergh's Atlantic feat. The successful crossing in 1928 brought Amelia instant fame.
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Agatha Christie (#107Z) Duration: 50:19 STEREO TVG
Agatha Christie was the Queen of Crime Fiction. In a career that spanned more than half a century and two world wars, Agatha wrote 80 novels and short stories, creating such unforgettable characters as Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple. Revered as the 'Master of Suspense', Agatha Christie perfected the art of the 'whodunit' - and her mysteries were a masterpiece in misdirection. One of her many plays, 'The Mousetrap', is the longest running play in theatrical history.
It was Agatha's experiences in World War One that first set in motion a career in detective fiction - inspired by medicines, and especially poisons, when volunteering with the British Red Cross dispensing unit. Agatha went on to travel extensively across the Middle East, finding inspiration for many of her most famous books - 'Death on the Nile', and 'Murder on the Orient Express'.
But her dramas and mysteries were not just contained within her books. There were rumours of a nervous breakdown, an unexplained disappearance and an acrimonious divorce, made all the more painful by the death of her beloved mother. But Agatha Christie, a shy, clever and complex woman, set this all aside to become the best selling author of all time, alongside Shakespeare - selling over 2 billion books worldwide.