Kate Was the Real Life Jo

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Katharine Hepburn described Little Women as one of her favorites. From her castmates to the direction by George Cukor, Kate enjoyed the process of bringing the tomboyish Jo to life.

She said, "This picture was heaven to do... It was to me my youth!"

It's no wonder then that Cukor and Frances Dee thought the role was perfect for her.

1. They had the same character.

“Kate was born for the part of Jo. She’s tender and odd and funny, sweet and yet tough, intensely loyal with an enormous sense of family and all of Jo’s burning ambition, and at heart a pure, clean simplicity and firmness.” - Director George Cukor

2. They had the same mannerisms.

“I’ll never forget Katharine. She used to sit between scenes in a window seat in her severe, austere dresses with a straight back, reading a slim volume. She could have been Jo herself. She had such a grave, sweet expression on her face, with her hands folded in her lap, and looking so austere and yet so beautiful.” - Frances Dee

3. They shared strength.

"Katharine Hepburn cast something over the film: a sort of innocence and strength that was quite remarkable and very touching." -Director George Cukor

4. They were driven.

“She was always the first on the set every day, lines perfect, glowing with health, and never the slightest sign of temperament. Sometimes while she was reading or just contemplating alone, we girls – Joan Bennett, Jean Parker, and myself – would creep up and peek at her, absolutely awestruck by her concentration.” - Frances Dee