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The Show

Charade

"Charade" (1963) pits Reggie Lampert (Audrey Hepburn) against the thieves her husband double-crossed before his suspicious demise. They're sure Reggie's got the loot, but she has no idea where the purported treasure could be—nor can she pin down the identity and motives of the handsome man who becomes her constant companion (Cary Grant).

Throughout the light-hearted caper film, Reggie's response to the stress of first contemplating divorce from her beastly husband then dealing with his mysterious death is to nosh on a string of snacks. It's funny, perhaps, because Hepburn was so slim. Unfortunately, the actress who taught the world the meaning of "gamine" reportedly suffered from an eating disorder, which some biographers credit to surviving food shortages during World War II.

Like his character in "Charade", Grant himself changed his names a couple of times before hitting on the one we know today. Born Archibald Alexander Leach, he did a brief stint as Cary Lockwood before eventually fixing on Cary Grant. Married three times by the release of "Charade" (he'd marry twice more after), the actor was sensitive to the age difference between his much-younger co-star and himself. It's said this prompted Grant to request a script re-write to make Reggie the pursuer, reducing the risk that he'd come across as a lecherous old man.

The Science

Elena Yorgason

Elena YorgasonRegistered dietician Elena Yorgason discusses the reality of stress-induced compulsive eating in connection with the fictional character played by Audrey Hepburn in the classic mystery movie Charade.

 

More Science to go with the Show

Related Resources

Division of Nutrition

Utah Dietetics Association

Academy for Eating Disorders (AED)

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