Like the Kennedy children, the parents of Katharine Hepburn influenced her personality and life choices.

Susan Cannavino continued a series of lectures with "Screen Sirens of the 20th Century" March 8 at Case-Barlow Farm.

The Hudson Community Education and Recreation in partnership with Case-Barlow Farm hosted the lecture program for adults to offer an interactive experience on events, issues and people of the Western Reserve from past to present.

During the first lecture on Feb. 9 Cannavino spoke about Joseph Kennedy, Sr.: The Patriarch of Patriarchs and the impact Joe and Rose Kennedy had on their children, including John F. Kennedy, who became the 35th President of the United States and was assassinated in Dallas in 1963.

The March 8 talk featured the 40th Academy Awards in which Hepburn, who did not attend, won for best actress in "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner." Guests at Case-Barlow Farm received Oscar gift bags and a special prize was given to one lucky person.

As guest entered on the red carpet Michele Collins of HCER asked what they were wearing such as "Targette" or "Kohl Kohls."

The Screen Sirens featured Katharine Hepburn and how her family influenced her acting career and relationships with men.

Her parents valued independence; the idea that women were as good as men; be positive without any "moaning;" gain knowledge and a good education; and love of family, Cannavino said.

Hepburn had five siblings but was closest to her brother Tom who committed suicide, Cannavino said. After she found him, she went to a neighbor's house and the women said her husband, who was a doctor, couldn't help Tom because he was already dead.

"The small incidents affect us," Cannavino said.

Hepburn, who was 14 at the time, told her parents she had "known tragedy" and could not return to school, Cannavino said. She was tutored instead and attended Bryn Mawr, the same college her mother had attended.

Hepburn guarded her privacy and after becoming an actress she would not give interviews or sign autographs, she said.

Hepburn's one and only marriage was to Ludlow Ogden Smith who gave while she took, Cannavino said. She decided to divorce him, but they remained friends.

"She never wanted to be married," Cannavino said. "I like how she was honest about herself in the good, bad and ugly."

Wendy Narad of Chagrin Falls portrayed Katharine and spoke about her experience with Spencer Tracy.

Hepburn remained friends with the men in her life and often returned in later years to take care of them, including Smith when he had cancer and Tracy when he suffered from depression and alcoholism.

Hepburn became the giver while Tracy took from her during their relationship. Cannavino said.

Although the women attending said Hepburn symbolized independence, her behavior toward Tracy in which she found completely serving him fulfilling was difficult to understand.

Case-Barlow Farm will have open houses in May, June and July with wedding dresses featured in May.

HCER offers Intro to Backyard Vegetable Gardening April 5 from 7 to 9 p.m. At the Barlow Community Center, 41 S. Oviatt St.

Children ages 5 to 10 can attend a Royal Tea party April 8 at Case-Barlow Farm in a joint program by HCER and CBF.

Other programs can be found in the HCER program guide. Register online at or by calling 330-653-1210.

Case-Barlow Farm is raising funds for the large red barn through its programs. The recent improvements include work on the barn's foundation, rebuilding the land bank and work on the main level of the barn, restored cupola, restoration of the corn crib, discovery and preservation of two 1890 brick cisterns, a restored farm delivery wagon, Hudson Questers completed an 1800s children's bedroom in the farm house, Maple Tree Alley planted and other updates including Eagle projects by the Boy Scouts.


Phone: 330-541-9434

Twitter: @LauraFreeman_RP