Richard Hepburn, a playwright and the younger brother of actress Katharine Hepburn, has died, his family said Friday. He was 89.
“Dick” Hepburn, who lived with his famous sister at the family’s Connecticut home overlooking Long Island Sound in the borough of Fenwick, died Wednesday of heart problems, said his brother-in-law, Ellsworth Grant.
Born in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1911, Hepburn was the third of six children of Dr. Thomas Norval Hepburn and Katharine Houghton Hepburn.
Katherine Hepburn in Good HealthWhile none of Dick Hepburn’s plays were ever produced on Broadway, writing “was his main occupation and interest,” Grant told Reuters. Some of his plays were produced on the West Coast and in repertory theaters, Grant said.
Asked about the health of actress Katharine Hepburn, who turned 93 in May, Grant said: “She’s doing very well, for her age.”
In an interview with the Hartford Courant newspaper published Friday, Grant described his brother-in-law as “a completely free spirit with an iconoclastic outlook.”
“He was just not like the others in the family,” Grant told the paper. “They are all very different but he was almost a completely different, separate figure.”
“The rest of the family was all engaged in different activities,” Grant said. “Bob’s a doctor, Peg’s a librarian, Marion was a social activist, Katharine an actress. They all had their particular pegs or niches. He was the playwright, standing back. He would be the social critic of his period.”
Hepburn is survived by four children, two sisters, and one brother.