As March roars in like a lion, we want to take a moment to pay tribute to all the fiercely fabulous females that live, work, and play in our hometown Orlando. Since March is National Women’s History Month, it’s only fitting that we at ICON Park celebrate iconic women who, in their own way, have had an impact the City Beautiful’s history and experience. With a little help from our sisters at Madame Tussauds Orlando, we’ll walk you through some of the world-changing women who have uniquely touched our city.
Madame Marie Tussaud
In 1761, Marie Grosholtz was born into a French aristocracy. During her early life in Paris, Marie developed a talent and skill of wax sculpting studying under renowned French artists. Before she was 20, Marie earned herself a position teaching art to the royal family of France. During the French Revolution, Marie was commissioned to make masks of the famed royals and rebels that “lost their heads” over the revolution. Soon, her eerily lifelike waxwork was in high demand all over Europe, and Marie (now married to Francois Tussaud) took her figures on tour. In 1835, she set up her first permanent exhibition in London, which soon became the hottest ticket in town.
What’s the Madame’s Orlando connection? In 2015, Madame Tussauds’ 18th wax museum opened right here at ICON Park. Needless to say, we’re big fans!
Evildoers beware! Wonder Woman, the first female superhero, has been kicking bad guy behind since she first appeared in comics nearly 80 years ago. Over the years, this Amazonian princess warrior has wielded her Lasso of Truth against a rogue’s gallery of supervillains, proving she’s no damsel in distress. Created by comic book writer Charles Moulton, Wonder Woman is inspired by wife Elizabeth Holloway Marston and renowned feminist Olive Byrne.
What links the Princess of Themyscira to Central Florida? Toward the end of their lives, Wonder Woman’s two inspirations got an apartment together in Tampa, FL. They used their “superpowers” to help champion feminist causes locally and nationally.
Henry Higgins would agree, Audrey Hepburn had a face that many moviegoers over the years have “grown accustomed to.” Still, this legendary actress was far more than a pretty face. After spending her childhood studying theatre in England and the Netherlands, Ms. Hepburn took the stage in her first starring role on Broadway at the ripe age of 22. This was just the start of an illustrious, EGOT-winning career that included starring roles in Hollywood classics like Breakfast at Tiffany’s and My Fair Lady. In 1992, her trophy case grew to include the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her admirable work with UNICEF.
Unlike many icons of Hollywood’s Golden Age, you won’t find Aubrey Hepburn’s handprints cemented in front of Grumman’s Chinese Theatre. In fact, the only place you’ll find them is in front of the Chinese Theatre at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park right here in Orlando.
Oprah Winfrey is one of the most successful media moguls in modern history. In addition to hosting the highest-rated talk show of all time, she is the Chairwoman and CEO of a successful movie studio, television network, and publishing company. Overcoming a childhood of adversity, Oprah took the helm of her own daytime talk show before she was 30 and achieved acclaim as an actress for Oscar-nominated performance in The Color Purple. Her business savvy and media innovation made her North America’s first black multi-billionaire and cemented her status as one of the world’s most powerful women.
In 2018, Oprah brought her creative genius to Orlando, where she filmed OWN’s critically acclaimed drama series, David Makes Man. It was a dream come true for the City Beautiful, and we didn’t even have to look under our seats!
Alecia Beth Moore, better known as pop superstar Pink!, is not only a three-time Grammy Award winner, but also a modern feminist icon. In the early 2000s, Pink! burst onto the music scene with her edgy style and progressive lyrics. Her unique artistry earned her the coveted title of Billboard’s Woman of the Year. Offstage, she is active in a long list of human rights organizations and is an active advocate for LGBTQ+ equality.
In 2016, Pink! collaborated with a who’s who of music all-stars like Selena Gomez and Jennifer Lopez to record “Hands.” This original song raised money for the victims of the tragic Pulse nightclub shooting that occurred in Orlando. The city is forever grateful for the donation of her talents.
This month, we invite you to come on over to Madame Tussauds Orlando and snap a selfie with these world-shaping women. Girl power is on high as ICON Park celebrates iconic women. We hope you’ll join us in recognizing National Women’s History Month at Orlando’s Hometown Playground.