roman-holiday

Audrey Hepburn resurrected for chocolate bar advertisement

Feb. 27, 2013 at 10:38 AM ET

A pretty woman sits on a bus and waits for her journey to continue. She peers into her purse, eyes a bar of chocolate. Outside, a handsome man gives her a smile -- and next thing you know, she's bounding out of the bus and jumping into the stranger's car. And, of course, having a bite of that chocolate bar, all while "Moon River" plays in the background.

The pretty woman? The Oscar-winning actress and humanitarian Audrey Hepburn, who died in 1993. The scene? It may look like a lost sequence from the gamine actress' breakthrough role in 1953's "Roman Holiday" (colorized, natch), but it's actually a combination of footage shot on the Amalfi Coast in Italy (says the Toronto Sun) and a CGI resurrection of the actress -- who happened to sing "Moon River" in 1961's "Breakfast at Tiffany's."

The purpose? To sell the British chocolate bar Galaxy. But not everyone finds the pairing sweet -- critics say the ad is disrespectful to the actress, now dead for 20 years, who can't complain that her image is being ill-used. But Hepburn isn't the first famous face to come back from the dead to shill for a product -- a young Fred Astaire was used in 1997 to push the Dirt Devil vacuum, a deal authorized by his widow but dissed by his daughter, who said she was "saddened that after his wonderful career he was sold to the devil."

In Hepburn's case, she can't stand up for herself to either support or discredit the move, which means it's up to her estate to make these decisions. And her sons, who control that estate, are all for it: Sean Ferrer and Luca Dotti issued a statement saying Hepburn would be "proud" of her latest role, noting that she "often spoke about her love of chocolate and how it lifted her spirit."

They probably didn't mean that last bit literally.

More in TODAY Entertainment:

TOP