Breakfast at Tiffany's
Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's," which was released in theaters on Oct. 5, 1961. Paramount Pictures

Breakfast at Tiffany's was released on Oct. 5, 1961, a time when only three television networks ruled the air (ABC, NBC, CBS) and The Supremes were scratching the surface of the music industry.

At the time, Audrey Hepburn had more than a dozen movies under her belt, including Roman Holiday in 1953, which earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress, Sabrina in 1954 and the musical Funny Face in 1957.

But it was Hepburn's portrayal of Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's that made her an icon that would be replicated over and over again -- at costume parties, on Broadway, and even in a 2007 episode of Gossip Girl.

On Wednesday, Breakfast at Tiffany's turns 50 years old. The film, loosely based on the novel by Truman Capote, went on the gross more than $14 million at the box office in 1961. Breakfast at Tiffany's also propelled the career of George Peppard, who starred as the dashing writer and new tenant Paul Varjak.

When director Blake Edwards began shooting the film in New York City, Hepburn was in her early 30s and had just given birth to her first child three months earlier. In a 1961 interview with Screen Stories Magazine, the actress said the role of Holly Golightly was the jazziest of her career.

It helped to get me away from that primmer lady look, like nuns and princesses. It was nice to become a new girl as easily as that. I liked it so much, Hepburn said.

Whether it was Hepburn's performance of Moon River, Holly Golightly's iconic cigarette holder or her cat named Cat, Breakfast at Tiffany's has remained one of the most beloved films of American cinema.