Many artists were also moviegoers; they absorbed the storytelling, cinematography and intensity of their experiences and translated them to a different medium, where - in olden days (yes, kids, there was a time computerized special effects didn't exist), their pencils journeyed beyond anything movies could conceive.
Character actors represented a diverse offering of personalities of all types: they often brought a distinct flavor to the movies. Artists took notice, and many a comic book were scattered with these familiar faces.
And, of course, there were the movie stars, whose larger than life presence was another influence. There have been countless times I've looked at a comic and noticed a familiar likeness, either star or character actor, by artists such as Gene Colan, John Romita, Gray Morrow, Don Heck, Steve Ditko, Gil Kane and so many others.
Jack Kirby was a confessed movie enthusiast, and those faces saw their way in his stories throughout his career. From Edward G. Robinson to Charles Bronson, Kirby had a cast list to choose from.
Audrey Hepburn was a extremely popular actress in the 1950's and 1960's, well-known for movies such as Roman Holiday (1953), which she won an Oscar for best actress, Sabrina (1954) and Funny Face (1957). In 1961 she was in another hit, Breakfast at Tiffany's. I particularly enjoyed her performance in Wait Until Dark (1967). Hepburn exuded an air of sophistication, fragility and beauty, and her image sold scores of movie related magazines.
Stan Lee was also a movie fan, and often asked for familiar types, such as a Sidney Greenstreet villain, or an Errol Flynn hero. Lee and/or Jack Kirby took notice of the charismatic Hepburn
Eyebrows, face, gloves - look familiar? Kirby pencils; Vince Colletta inks, Sam Rosen letters, Stan Goldberg colors? No script credit, but likely a Lee plot and Lee or Lieber script.
"By Love Betrayed" Love Romances # 102, Nov 1962
What's interesting is Kirby's image from the splash page is reused on the cover. Lee must have thought the Hepburn like figure was more attention getting than the three figures that occupy the rest of the cover (one of which is the same character). The three figures and background was probably reduced, cropped or otherwise altered, making the cover layout look odd. The new content was likely inked by Al Hartley. Sam Rosen letters, Stan Goldberg colors.
"To Me, He Was Like A God!", Kirby pencils, Colletta inks, John Duffy letters, Stan Goldberg colors? Again no scripting credits, although it reads like Lee (or Lee plot/ Lieber script) Love Romances # 104, March 1962.
I believe there are other Audrey Hepburn lookalikes (and other famous actresses) scattered throughout the romance line. Don Heck drew her type as well. And I'm sure other famous figures "appeared" at DC, Charlton, Dell and other companies. Today, the movie-comics influence has come full circle, and film looks to comics to appropriate ideas, visuals and characters. Kirby, not surprisingly, is one of the biggest influences.
For more on Audrey Hepburn and her films, check here: