Audrey Hepburn ''never thought she was beautiful'', according to her son Luca Dotti.

The iconic actress was known for being a film and fashion icon before her tragic passing in 1993 at the age of 63 after suffering from appendix cancer, and although she is still idolised by many for her good looks, her son Luca - whom she had with her second husband, Andrea Dotti - has claimed she battled crippling insecurity throughout her life.

He said: ''I look at photographs, and it's something I try to answer. I don't know ... it's ... something. She never thought she was beautiful. She didn't have the uniform beauty of her time. Her own mother made fun of her, calling her the ugly duckling. My grandmother always joked that my mother was this tall, slim, thing without curves - never a sexy beast. And my mother kept that insecurity: the thought that maybe tomorrow would change and she'd be ugly again.

''When I look back, I see she was very elegant. My mother had an innate charm whether in official photos, or captured by the paparazzi. That is something you cannot buy.''

And although the 'My Fair Lady' star has become a Hollywood icon, Luca says she was a ''sincere person'', who wasn't interested in the fame she had received.

The 48-year-old former graphic designer said: ''For a long time, I had difficulty bringing the two parts together - the real Audrey and the fantasy - but, now, I thank you; all of you. You perceived her for what she was and not as someone else.

''This wasn't a Kardashian-type celebrity. She was a sincere person - you got what you could see. In many of her movies, she's not really acting - she is herself - with the exception of 'Breakfast at Tiffany's because Holly was a different type of girl.''

Instead of stardom, the 'Sabrina' actress was more interested in domesticity, and Luca says his mother - who also had 58-year-old son Sean Hepburn Ferrer with actor Mel Ferrer - had always dreamed of starting a family.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph newspaper, Luca said: ''By the time she had me and my brother she was in her 30s - and 30 years older by experience. She'd had the war, her career, lived all over the world. She wanted a home, a garden, dogs, children. She'd played her part. Her attitude was: 'I did enough, and now I want to enjoy my family'. Her dream was to be a mother, which she'd wanted all her life.''