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Grace Kelly

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Title: Grace Kelly  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of American films of 1954, Holly Hunter, Ingrid Bergman, Elizabeth Taylor, Meryl Streep
Collection: 1929 Births, 1982 Deaths, 20Th-Century American Actresses, Actresses from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, American Academy of Dramatic Arts Alumni, American Emigrants to Monaco, American Film Actresses, American People of German Descent, American People of Irish Descent, American Roman Catholics, American Television Actresses, Best Actress Academy Award Winners, Best Drama Actress Golden Globe (Film) Winners, Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe (Film) Winners, Burials at Saint Nicholas Cathedral, Monaco, Grace Kelly, Grand Crosses of the Order of Beneficence (Greece), Grand Crosses of the Order of Saint-Charles, House of Grimaldi, Kelly Family, Knights and Dames Grand Cross of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Contract Players, Naturalized Citizens of Monaco, Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre Alumni, Princesses of Monaco, Recipients of the Order Pro Merito Melitensi, Road Accident Deaths in Monaco, Western (Genre) Film Actresses
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly
Studio publicity still for the film Rear Window (1954)
Princess consort of Monaco
Tenure April 14, 1956 – September 14, 1982
Spouse Rainier III, Prince of Monaco
Issue Caroline, Princess of Hanover
Albert II, Prince of Monaco
Princess Stéphanie of Monaco
Full name
Grace Patricia Kelly
Father John B. Kelly, Sr.
Mother Margaret Katherine Majer
Born Grace Patricia Kelly
(1929-11-12)November 12, 1929
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died September 14, 1982(1982-09-14) (aged 52)
Burial Monaco Cathedral
Religion Roman Catholicism[1]
Occupation Actress

Grace Patricia Kelly (November 12, 1929 – September 14, 1982) was an American film actress who, after marrying Prince Rainier III, became known as the Princess of Monaco.

After embarking on an acting career in 1950, at the age of 20, Grace Kelly appeared in New York City theatrical productions and more than 40 episodes of live drama productions broadcast during the early 1950s Golden Age of Television. In October 1953, Kelly gained stardom from her performance in the film Mogambo. This film won her a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination in 1954. She had leading roles in five films, including The Country Girl, for which her deglamorized performance earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress.[2] Other films include High Noon (1952) with Gary Cooper, Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder (1954) with Ray Milland, Rear Window (1954) with James Stewart and To Catch a Thief (1955) with Cary Grant, and High Society (1956) with Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby.

She retired from acting at the age of 26 to marry Prince Rainier and begin her duties in Monaco. She and Prince Rainier had three children: Caroline, Albert, and Stéphanie. She retained her American roots, maintaining dual U.S. and Monégasque citizenship.[3]

Grace Kelly died on September 14, 1982, a day after a stroke caused her to lose control of her car and have an accident.


  • Early years 1
    • Family 1.1
    • Education 1.2
  • Career 2
    • Early years 2.1
    • Acting career for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 2.2
  • Philanthropy 3
  • Personal life 4
    • Relationship with Rainier III 4.1
    • Wedding and marriage 4.2
    • Later years 4.3
    • Death 4.4
      • Funeral 4.4.1
  • Legacy 5
    • Fashion 5.1
    • Kelly's likeness 5.2
    • Elsewhere 5.3
  • References in popular culture 6
  • Works 7
    • Select filmography 7.1
      • Honors 7.1.1
    • Discography 7.2
  • Royal honors 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11

Early years


Grace Kelly was born November 12, 1929 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She came from an affluent family, of half Irish and half German descent.[4] Her father, John B. Kelly, Sr., won three Olympic gold medals for sculler. He later founded a brickwork contracting company that became well known on the East Coast. He registered as a Democrat, and was then nominated to be mayor for the 1935 election, but lost by the closest margin in the city's history. In later years, he served on the Fairmount Park Commission and, during World War II, was appointed by President Roosevelt as National Director of Physical Fitness. Grace's mother, Margaret Majer, taught physical education at the University of Pennsylvania. She was the first female to coach women's athletics teams at the institution. She was also a beauty queen and model. In her later years, she suffered from a stroke and was admitted to a convalescent home where she eventually died of pneumonia at the age of 91.[5]

Grace had two older siblings, Margaret (June 13, 1925 – November 23, 1991) and John B. Kelly, Jr. (May 24, 1927 – March 2, 1985), and a younger sister named Elizabeth (June 25, 1933 – November 24, 2009). They were raised to be Catholic.[6][7]

Margaret, more commonly known as Peggy, lived to be 65. At Margaret's baptism in 1925, Jack Kelly's mother, Mary Costello Kelly, expressed her disappointment that the baby was not named Grace in memory of her last daughter, who had died young. Upon his mother's death the following year, Jack Kelly resolved that his next daughter would bear the name and, three years later, with the arrival of Grace Patricia in November 1929, his late mother's wish was honored.

John Jr. won in 1947 the James E. Sullivan Award as the country's top amateur athlete for rowing. He followed in his father's footsteps and competed at the 1948, 1952, and 1956 Summer Olympics. During the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, he won a bronze medal, which he gave to Grace as a late wedding gift. In addition to John's rowing career, he also served as a city councillor. Philadelphia's Kelly Drive is named in his honour.

Two of Grace Kelly's uncles were prominent in the arts. Her father's eldest brother, The Show Off, in 1924–25, and he was awarded the 1926 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his next play, Craig's Wife.[8]


While attending Ravenhill Academy, a prestigious Catholic girls' school, Kelly modeled fashions at local social events with her mother and sisters. In 1942, at the age of twelve, she played the lead in Don't Feed the Animals, a play produced by the East Falls Old Academy Players.[8] Before graduating in May 1947 from Stevens School, a socially prominent private institution on Walnut Lane in the Northwest Philadelphia neighborhood of Germantown, she acted and danced. Her graduation yearbook listed her favorite actress as Ingrid Bergman and her favorite actor as Joseph Cotten.[9] Written in the "Stevens' Prophecy" section was: "Miss Grace P. Kelly – a famous star of stage and screen." Owing to her low mathematics scores, Kelly was rejected by Bennington College in July 1947.[10]


MGM Publicity Photo
In High Noon, 1952
From the film To Catch a Thief, 1955

Early years

Despite her parents' disapproval, Kelly decided to pursue her dreams of being an actress. Her father was particularly displeased with her decision; he viewed acting as "a slim cut above streetwalker."[7]

To start her career, she tried to get admitted into the

Monegasque royalty
Title last held by
Ghislaine Dommanget
Princess consort of Monaco
Title next held by
Charlene Wittstock
  • Grace Kelly at the Internet Movie Database
  • Grace Kelly at the TCM Movie Database
  • Grace Kelly at the Internet Broadway Database
  • Ancestry Chart of Prince Albert
  • A list of ancestors of Grace Kelly
  • Princess Grace Foundation – USA
  • Princely House of Monaco
  • Grace Kelly Footage
  • Footage of Grace Kelly's Royal Wedding
  • Short film about Grace Kelly
  • "High Society – The Life of Grace Kelly".  

External links

  • Leigh, Wendy (2007). True Grace: The Life and Times of an American Princess. New York:  
  • Taraborrelli, J. Randy (2003). Once Upon a Time: Behind the Fairy Tale of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier. Grand Central Publishing.  
  1. ^ A Prayer for Monaco. Catholic Online. Published: February 3, 2009.
  2. ^ "1954 Academy Awards: Winners and History". AMC Filmsite. 
  3. ^ Buchwald, Art (April 17, 1956). "Grace Kelly Can Retain American Citizenship: Status of Pat Poodle Oliver Not So Clear; His Marriage Could Start Monaco Squabble". Los Angeles Times. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Kaplan, Tracey (January 8, 1990). "Margaret Kelly, 91; Princess Grace's Mother, Head of Influential Family". Los Angeles Times. 
  6. ^ Spoto, Donald; Forshaw, Barry (May 28, 2009). "Grace Kelly and Hollywood by Donald Spoto". The Times (UK). Retrieved May 20, 2010. Born in 1929 and raised by stiff-necked Catholic parents in Philadelphia … Philadelphia convent girl (always remaining Roman Catholic … 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Jacobs, Laura (May 2010). "Grace Kelly's Forever Look". Vanity Fair. Retrieved December 30, 2010. 
  8. ^ a b c Leigh 2007
  9. ^ Spoto, Donald (2009). High Society: The Life of Grace Kelly. Harmony. p. 22.  
  10. ^ Leigh 2007, p. 26
  11. ^ Barbanel, Josh (October 28, 2007). "The Kelly Connection". The New York Times (New York City). Retrieved June 19, 2011. 
  12. ^ "The Private Life and Times of Gene Tierney". Retrieved March 13, 2010. 
  13. ^ Tierney, Gene; Herskowitz, Mickey (1978). Self-Portrait. Wyden Books. pp. 150–151.  
  14. ^ a b Hedda Hopper Collection. Maraget Herrick Library, Los Angeles. 
  15. ^ Kaplan, James (2010). Frank: The Voice. Doubleday. p. 586.  
  16. ^ Spoto, Donald (1983). The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock. Boston: Little, Brown.  
  17. ^ Eyles, Allen (September 1987). James Stewart. Stein & Day.  
  18. ^ Brogdon, William (July 14, 1954). "Rear Window". Variety. Retrieved June 17, 2009. 
  19. ^ Nelson, Nancy (December 2002). Evenings With Cary Grant. Citadel.  
  20. ^ Princess Grace Foundation
  21. ^ "Licensing". Princess Grace Foundation-USA. Retrieved May 14, 2014. 
  22. ^ Haugland, H. Kristina (2006). Grace Kelly: Icon of Style to Royal Bride. Yale University Press. pp. 966–.  
  23. ^ "Grace's Riviera Romance". LIFE (Time Inc): 14–15. May 30, 1955.  
  24. ^ Taraborrelli 2003, p. 96
  25. ^ a b c The Big Week in Monaco: Movies' Pretty Princess Assumes a Real Life Title. Life 40 (18) (Time Inc). 30 April 1956. p. 37.  
  26. ^ Hintz, Martin (2004). Monaco. Children's Press.  
  27. ^ a b c d Choron, Sandra; Choron, Harry (2010). Planet Wedding: A Nuptial-pedia. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 103.  
  28. ^ Bulwa, Demian (2004-03-29). "Memorial scheduled for designer Joe Allen Hong". SFGate (Hearst Communications). 
  29. ^ Vickers, Hugo (2007). Horses & Husbands – The Memoirs of Etti Plesch. p. 170.  
  30. ^ Quine, Judith Balaban (1990). The Bridesmaids: Grace Kelly and Six Intimate Friends. Pocket Books.  
  31. ^ Davies, Jennifer. Fatal Car Accidents of the Rich and Famous. RW Press. p. 38.  
  32. ^ Taraborrelli 2003, p. 149
  33. ^ Roe, Dorothy. "Grace Kelly Finds Being a Princess Almost as Hard as Making Movies" (14 April 1957). Washington Post. 
  34. ^ References:
    • Establishing the age and marque of the car: "1982: Hollywood princess dead". BBC News. September 14, 1982. After leaving the road her 10-year-old Rover tumbled 100 ft (30.5 m) down a ravine... 
    • Establishing the model: Parish, James Robert (2002). The Hollywood Book of Death: The Bizarre, Often Sordid, Passings of More than 125 American Movie and TV Idols (eBook ed.). McGraw Hill. p. 23.  
    • Establishing the platform: Gerard, Jasper (24 January 2011). "Classic Rover P6 review".  
  35. ^ Werner, Jennifer (2014). Grace Kelly of Monaco: The Inspiring Story of How An American Film Star Became a Princess. BookCaps Study Guides. pp. 40–44.  
  36. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  37. ^ Vinocur, John (17 September 1982). "Princess Stricken Before Crash, Doctors Say". New York Times. Retrieved 23 September 2014. 
  38. ^ Leigh, Wendy (2007). True Grace: The Life and Death of an American Princess. New York, NY: Thomas Dunne Books. p. 245.  
  39. ^ "BBC On This Day September 14th 1982". BBC News. September 14, 1985. Retrieved March 13, 2010. 
  40. ^ "Death of Princess Grace – history – central". British Council. Retrieved March 13, 2010. 
  41. ^ "Monaco Cathedral". Service Informatique du Ministère d'Etat (Monaco Minister of State Information Service. July 28, 2008. Retrieved October 16, 2010. 
  42. ^ "History of the Hermes Kelly Bag". August 13, 2011. Retrieved August 13, 2011. 
  43. ^ "The International Best-Dressed List Hall of Fame". Vanity Fair. June 7, 2012. Retrieved September 6, 2014. 
  44. ^ "Press Releases : 2006". Philadelphia Museum of Art. Retrieved March 13, 2010. 
  45. ^ Nikkhah, Roya (November 22, 2009). "Grace Kelly's wardrobe to go on display at V&A museum in London". The Daily Telegraph. 
  46. ^ "Grace Kelly: Style Icon". Retrieved June 30, 2012. 
  47. ^ a b c Ball, Sara. "No Wonder They Called Her Grace". Newsweek. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  48. ^ "Catalogue of "The Grace Kelly Years, Princess of Monaco" exhibition". The Ekaterina Cultural Foundation. Retrieved May 2, 2014. 
  49. ^ "Princess Grace, Cartier to get the royal treatment on Rodeo's Walk of Style | All The Rage | Los Angeles Times". August 5, 2009. Retrieved March 13, 2010. 
  50. ^ Dahl, Arlene. "Grace Kelly is 1955 Beauty Ideal". Chicago Daily Tribune. Retrieved 2014-09-25. 
  51. ^ a b Spoto, Donald (June 1, 2010). High Society: Grace Kelly and Hollywood. Random House. pp. 151–.  
  52. ^ Harvey, Evelyn (June 24, 1955). "The Key to Kelly".  
  53. ^ Thurber, Jon (March 27, 1999). "Howell Conant".  
  54. ^ Conant, Howell (1992). Grace: An Intimate Portrait by Her Friend and Favorite Photographer.  
  55. ^ "Andy Warhol – Grace Kelly". Retrieved November 27, 2014. 
  56. ^ "Fontvieille Park and the Princess Grace Rose Garden". Visit Monaco. Retrieved May 25, 2013. 
  57. ^ Richard, Sale (June 1, 1999). Provence & Côte D'Azur. Landmark. p. 207.  
  58. ^ "Recent Prizegivers".  
  59. ^ "Grace Kelly". IMDb. Retrieved February 10, 2012. 
  60. ^ Healey, Barth (March 21, 1993). "U.S. and Monaco Honor Grace Kelly". New York Times. 
  61. ^ Foundas, Scott (May 19, 2014). "No Saving 'Grace' in Contrived Melodrama". Variety 324 (2): 90–91. 
  62. ^ McFaron, Emma. "Historian at the Movies: Grace of Monaco reviewed". BBC History Extra. Retrieved 2014. 
  63. ^ a b c d Jack Jones, "Princess Grace" The Register-Guard, September 15, 1982.
  64. ^ "Iran: Host to the World". Badraie. Retrieved September 6, 2014. 


See also

Royal honors

  • "True Love", a duet with Bing Crosby from High Society (1956)
  • L'Oiseau du Nord et L'Oiseau du Soleil, in French and in English (1978)
  • Birds, Beasts & Flowers: A Programme of Poetry, Prose and Music (1980)


Year Title of Project Award
1953 Mogambo Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
1954 The Country Girl Academy Award for Best Actress
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama
National Board of Review Award for Best Actress (also for Rear Window and Dial M for Murder)
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress (also for Rear Window and Dial M for Murder)
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Rear Window National Board of Review Award for Best Actress (also for The Country Girl and Dial M for Murder)
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress (also for The Country Girl and Dial M for Murder)
Dial M for Murder National Board of Review Award for Best Actress (also for The Country Girl and Rear Window)
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress (also for The Country Girl and Rear Window)
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated – Bambi Award for Best International Actress
1956 Golden Globe Henrietta Award for World Favorite Film Female
1960 Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
1999 13th Top Female Stars of American Cinema American Film Institute


Year Title Role Director Co-stars
1951 Fourteen Hours Louise Ann Fuller Henry Hathaway Paul Douglas, Richard Basehart, Barbara Bel Geddes
1952 High Noon Amy Fowler Kane Fred Zinnemann Gary Cooper, Katy Jurado, Lloyd Bridges, Thomas Mitchell
1953 Mogambo Linda Nordley John Ford Clark Gable, Ava Gardner
1954 Dial M for Murder Margot Mary Wendice Alfred Hitchcock Ray Milland, Robert Cummings, John Williams
Rear Window Lisa Carol Fremont Alfred Hitchcock James Stewart, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter, Raymond Burr
The Country Girl Georgie Elgin George Seaton Bing Crosby, William Holden
Green Fire Catherine Knowland Andrew Marton Stewart Granger
The Bridges at Toko-Ri Nancy Brubaker Mark Robson William Holden, Fredric March, Mickey Rooney, Earl Holliman
1955 To Catch a Thief Frances Stevens Alfred Hitchcock Cary Grant
1956 The Swan Princess Alexandra Charles Vidor Alec Guinness, Louis Jourdan, Agnes Moorehead
High Society Tracy Samantha Lord Charles Walters Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Celeste Holm

Select filmography


In 2014, Nicole Kidman portrayed Kelly in Grace of Monaco, directed by Olivier Dahan. There were mixed reviews on the film. Many people, including the royal family of Monaco, felt the film was overly dramatic, had historical errors, and had little depth.[61][62]

She was also referenced in the following songs: "Grace Kelly" by Die Ärzte, "Grace Kelly Blues" by Eels (Mark Everett), and "Grace Kelly with Wings" by Piebald.

Mika, a Lebanese-British songwriter, wrote a song called "Grace Kelly". The song was released by Universal Music and topped the 2007 UK Singles Chart.

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of her death, €2 commemorative coins were issued on July 1, 2007 with the "national" side bearing the image of Princess Grace, and in Monaco at the Grimaldi Forum and in the United States at Sotheby's, a large Princess Grace exhibition, "Grace, Princess of Monaco: A Tribute to the Life and Legacy of Grace Kelly", coordinated by the Princely Family, celebrated her life and her contribution to the arts through her Foundation.

In 1993, Kelly appeared on a U.S. postage stamp, released in conjunction with a Monaco postage stamp featuring Kelly on the same day.[60]

In 1983, an American television film called Grace Kelly focused on the early life of the princess was presented featuring Cheryl Ladd as Princess Grace and Ian McShane as Prince Rainier.[59]

References in popular culture

In 2003, the Henley Royal Regatta renamed the Women's Quadruple Sculls the "Princess Grace Challenge Cup." Kelly was invited to present the prizes at the Henley Royal Regatta in 1981, as a peace offering by the Henley Stewards to put a conflict between the Kelly family and Stewards to rest. Prince Albert presented the prizes at the Henley Royal Regatta in 2004.[58]

[57] in the garden, which features 4,000 roses.Kees Verkade Princess Grace is commemorated in a statue by [56] is dedicated to the memory of Princess Grace. It was opened in 1984 by Prince Rainier.rose garden in Monaco's Fontvieille districtA
Kees Verkade's statue of Kelly in Monaco's Princess Grace Rose Garden


Kelly has been depicted by many pop artists including James Gill and Andy Warhol. Warhol made a portrait of Kelly for the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia as a limited edition silkscreen in 1984.[55]

In 1955, Kelly was photographed by Howell Conant in Jamaica. He photographed her without makeup in a naturalistic setting, a departure from the traditional portrayal of actresses.[51] The resulting photographs were published in Collier's magazine, with a celebrated photo of Kelly rising from the water with wet hair making the cover.[51][52] Following her marriage, Conant was the unofficial photographer to the House of Grimaldi and extensively photographed Kelly, her husband, and their three children.[53] In 1992, Conant published Grace, a book of photographs that he took during Kelly's 26-year reign as Princess of Monaco.[54]

James Gill's Grace Kelly in Sun (2013).

Kelly's likeness

After her death, Kelly's legacy as a fashion icon lived on. Modern designers, such as Tommy Hilfiger and Zac Posen, have cited her as a fashion inspiration.[7] During her lifetime, Kelly was known for introducing the "fresh faced" look, one that involved bright skin and natural beauty with little makeup.[50] Kelly's fashion legacy was even commemorated at the Victoria and Albert Museum of London, where an exhibit titled, "Grace Kelly: Style Icon" paid tribute to the star's impact on the world of fashion.[7] The exhibit included 50 of Kelly's legendary ensembles.[47] Kelly is remembered for her "college-girl" everyday fashion, defined by her pulled-together yet simple look.[47]

Numerous exhibitions have been held of Kelly's life and clothing. The Philadelphia Museum of Art presented Kelly's wedding dress in a 2006 exhibition to mark the 50th anniversary of her marriage,[44] and a retrospective of her wardrobe was held at London's Victoria and Albert Museum in 2010.[45] The V&A exhibition continued in Australia at the Bendigo Art Gallery in 2012.[46] This famous dress, seen around the world, took thirty five tailors six weeks to complete.[47] An exhibition of Kelly's life as Princess of Monaco was held at the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation in Moscow in 2008 in conjunction with Monaco's Grimaldi Forum.[48] In 2009, a plaque was placed on the "Rodeo Drive Walk of Style" in recognition of Kelly's contributions to style and fashion.[49]

Kelly was inaugurated into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1960.[43]

While pregnant with her daughter Caroline in 1956, Kelly was frequently photographed clutching a distinctive leather hand-bag manufactured by Hermès. The purse, or Sac à dépêches, was likely a shield to prevent Kelly's pregnancy from being exposed to the prying eyes of the paparazzi. The photographs, however, popularized the purse and became so closely associated with the fashion icon that the purse would thereafter be known as the Kelly Bag.[42]



Prince Rainier, who did not remarry, was buried alongside her following his death in 2005.[41]

Princess Grace's funeral was held at the Saint Nicholas Cathedral, Monaco[40] on September 18, 1982. After a Requiem Mass, she was buried in the Grimaldi family vault. Over 400 guests attended the funeral, including First Lady Nancy Reagan, Diana, Princess of Wales, and Cary Grant. At the funeral, James Stewart delivered the following eulogy:


Stephanie's original diagnosis was mild, with only minor bruising and a light concussion. However, after receiving x-ray results, she was found to have suffered a hairline fracture[39] on the seventh cervical vertebra. She was unable to attend her mother's funeral due to her injuries.

On September 13, 1982, Princess Grace was driving back to Monaco from her country home in Roc Agel when she had a stroke. As a result, she lost control of her 1971 Rover 3500[34] and drove off the steep, winding road and down the 120 ft mountainside. Her daughter Stéphanie, who was in the passenger seat, tried to regain control of the car, but was unsuccessful.[35] When paramedics arrived at the crash site (),[36] Grace was alive but unconscious. Grace and Stephanie were transported to the Monaco Hospital (later named The Princess Grace Hospital Centre). Doctors tried to stop her internal bleeding during surgery and performed CAT scans to diagnose her brain damage. Despite their efforts, her head injuries – in addition to her fractured ribs, collarbone, and thigh – were irreparable. Doctors believed that she had suffered a minor stroke prior to the crash, which made her more susceptible to another.[37] The following night, at 10:55pm, Princess Grace died at the age of 52 after Prince Rainier decided to take her off life support.[38]


Hitchcock offered Kelly the lead in his film Marnie in 1962. She was eager, but public outcry in Monaco against her involvement in a film that portrayed her as a kleptomaniac made her reconsider and ultimately reject the project. Director Herbert Ross attempted to lure Kelly into accepting a part in his 1977 film The Turning Point, but Prince Rainier quashed the idea. Later that year, Kelly returned to the arts in a series of poetry readings on stage and narration of the documentary The Children of Theater Street. She also narrated ABC's made-for-television film The Poppy Is Also a Flower (1966).

Later years

During her marriage she was unable to continue her acting career. Instead, she performed her daily duties as princess and got involved in philanthropic work.[33]

The couple had three children:

To fulfill the requirements of the Napoleonic Code of Monaco and the laws of the Roman Catholic Church, Kelly and Rainier had both civil and religious weddings.[25] The 16-minute civil ceremony took place in the Palace Throne Room of Monaco on April 18, 1956,[25] and a reception later in the day was attended by 3,000 Monaco citizens.[26][27] To cap the ceremony, the 142 official titles that Kelly acquired in the union (counterparts of Rainier's) were formally recited. The following day the church ceremony took place at Monaco's Saint Nicholas Cathedral, before Monaco's Bishop Gilles Barthe.[25] The wedding was estimated to have been watched by over 30 million viewers on live television, and was described by biographer Robert Lacy as "the first modern event to generate media overkill."[27] Kelly's wedding dress, designed by MGM's Academy Award–winning Helen Rose,[27] was worked on for six weeks by three dozen seamstresses. The bridesmaid's gowns were designed by Joe Allen Hong at Neiman Marcus.[28] The 700 guests included several famous people, including Aristotle Onassis; Cary Grant; David Niven and his wife Hjördis; Gloria Swanson; Ava Gardner; the crowned head Aga Khan III; Gloria Guinness;[29] Enid, Lady Kenmare; Daisy Fellowes; Etti Plesch; Lady Diana Cooper; Louise de Vilmorin; Loelia Lindsay; and Conrad Hilton. Frank Sinatra initially accepted an invitation, but did not attend.[30][31] The prince and princess left that night for their seven-week Mediterranean honeymoon cruise on Rainier's yacht, Deo Juvante II.[27][32]

The Prince and Princess of Monaco arrive at the White House for a luncheon, 1961

Preparations for the wedding were elaborate. The Palace of Monaco was painted and redecorated throughout. On April 4, 1956, leaving from Pier 84 in New York Harbor, Kelly, with her family, bridesmaids, poodle, and over eighty pieces of luggage, boarded the ocean liner SS Constitution for the French Riviera. Some 400 reporters applied to sail, although most were turned away. Thousands of fans sent the party off for the eight-day voyage, and in Monaco, more than 20,000 people lined the streets to greet the future princess consort.

With Frank Sinatra in High Society, 1956

The religious wedding was set for April 19, 1956. News of the engagement was a sensation, even though it meant a possible end to Kelly's film career. Alfred Hitchcock quipped that he was "very happy that Grace has found herself such a good part."

Rainier met Kelly and her family, and after three days, the prince proposed. Kelly accepted and the families began preparing for what the press called "The Wedding of the Century." Kelly and her family had to provide Prince Rainier with a dowry of $2 million.[24]

Wedding and marriage

That same year MGM released Kelly's last film, the musical comedy High Society, which was based on the studio's 1940 comedy The Philadelphia Story. She wore her own engagement ring in the film and one of the film's highlight was Kelly's duet with Bing Crosby, "True Love," a song with words and music by Cole Porter.

In December 1955, Rainier came to America on a trip officially designated as a tour, although it was speculated that Rainier was actively seeking a wife. A treaty with France in 1918 had stated that if Rainier did not produce an heir, Monaco would revert to France; this was as a result of the Monaco Succession Crisis of 1918. At a press conference in the U.S., Rainier was asked if he was pursuing a wife, to which he answered, "No." Then a second question was posed: "If you were pursuing a wife, what kind would you like?" Rainier smiled and answered, "I don't know – the best."

Upon returning to America, Kelly began work on The Swan, in which she coincidentally portrayed a princess, and she meanwhile began a private correspondence with Rainier.

Kelly headed the U.S. delegation at the Cannes Film Festival in April 1955. While there, she was invited to participate in a photo session at the Palace of Monaco with Prince Rainier III, the sovereign of the principality. After a series of delays and complications, Kelly met the prince in Monaco. At the time of her initial meeting with Rainier, Kelly was dating the French actor Jean-Pierre Aumont.[22][23]

Relationship with Rainier III

Personal life

In addition, she was one of the first celebrities to support and speak on behalf of La Leche League, an organization that advocates breastfeeding. She also planned a yearly Christmas party for local orphans and dedicated a Garden Club.

The Princess Grace Foundation-USA (PGF-USA) was established following the death of Princess Grace of Monaco to continue the work that she had done, anonymously, during her lifetime, assisting emerging theater, dance and film artists in America. Incorporated in 1982, PGF-USA is headquartered in New York and is a tax-exempt, not-for-profit, publicly supported organization. The Princess Grace Awards, a program of the Princess Grace Foundation-USA, has awarded nearly 500 artists at more than 100 institutions in the U.S. with more than $7 million to date. The foundation also says it "holds the exclusive rights and facilitates the licensing of Princess Grace of Monaco's name and likeness throughout the world."[21]

Princess Grace was also active in improving the arts institutions of Monaco, forming the Princess Grace Foundation in 1964 to support local artisans. In 1983, following Kelly's death, Princess Caroline assumed the duties of President of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation. Prince Albert is Vice-President.[20]

Kelly founded UNESCO's website, AMADE promotes and protects the "moral and physical integrity" and "spiritual well-being of children throughout the world, without distinction of race, nationality or religion and in a spirit of complete political independence." Her daughter Princess Caroline carries the torch for AMADE today in her role as President.

After her marriage to Prince Rainier, Princess Grace became involved with philanthropic work since she was no longer allowed to act.


After the consecutive filming of Rear Window, Toko-Ri, Country Girl, and Green Fire, Kelly flew to France, along with department store heir Bernard "Barney" Strauss, to begin work on her third and last film for Alfred Hitchcock, To Catch a Thief. Kelly and her co-star, Cary Grant, developed a mutual admiration. The two cherished their time together for the rest of their lives. Years later, when asked to name his all-time favorite actress, Grant replied without hesitation, "Well, with all due respect to dear Ingrid Bergman, I much preferred Grace. She had serenity."[19]

In April 1954, Kelly flew to Colombia for a ten-day shoot on her next project, Green Fire, with Stewart Granger. Kelly played Catherine Knowland, a coffee plantation owner. In Granger's autobiography he writes of his distaste for the film's script, while Kelly later confided to Hedda Hopper, "It wasn't pleasant. We worked at a pathetic village – miserable huts and dirty. Part of the crew got shipwrecked … It was awful."[14] Green Fire was a critical and box-office failure but made a small profit of $840,000.

By the following March, the race between Kelly and Garland for the Oscar was very close. On March 30, 1955, the night of the Academy Awards telecast, Garland was unable to attend because she was in the hospital having just given birth to her son, Joseph Luft. However, she was rumored to be the odds-on favorite, and NBC Television cameras were set up in her hospital room so that if she was announced as the winner, Garland could make her acceptance speech live from her hospital bed. However, when William Holden announced Kelly as the winner, the technicians immediately dismantled the cameras without saying one word to Garland.

As a result of her performance in The Country Girl, Kelly was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. Her main competitor for the prize was Judy Garland, in her much heralded comeback performance in A Star Is Born, playing not only the part of an up-and-coming actress-singer, but also, ironically, the wife of an alcoholic movie star. Although Kelly won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for best actress for her performances in her three big movie roles of 1954, Rear Window, Dial M For Murder, and The Country Girl, she and Garland both received Golden Globe Awards for their respective performances.

Kelly won the role of The Country Girl, after a pregnant Jennifer Jones bowed out. Already familiar with the play, Kelly was highly interested in the part. To do so, MGM would have to lend Kelly out to Paramount. Kelly was adamant, and threatened the studio that if they did not allow her to do it she would pack her bags and leave for New York for good. MGM relented, and the part was hers. The film also paired Kelly again with William Holden. The wife of a washed-up alcoholic singer, played by Crosby, Kelly's character is emotionally torn between two lovers.

Kelly's new co-star, James Stewart, was highly enthusiastic about working with her.[17] The role of Lisa Fremont, a wealthy Manhattan socialite and model, was unlike any of the previous women Kelly had played. For the very first time, she portrayed an independent, career-driven woman. Stewart played a speculative photographer with a broken leg, bound to a wheelchair and so reduced to curiously observing the happenings outside his window. Just as he had done earlier, Hitchcock provided the camera with a slow-sequenced silhouette of Kelly, along with a close-up of the two stars kissing, and finally lingering closely on her profile. With the film's opening in October 1954, Kelly was again praised. Variety's film critic remarked on the casting, commenting on the "earthy quality to the relationship between Stewart and Miss Kelly. Both do a fine job of the picture's acting demands."[18]

With James Stewart in Rear Window, 1954

Kelly unhesitatingly turned down the opportunity to star alongside Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront. Eva Marie Saint, who replaced Kelly won an Academy Award for that role. Kelly committed instead to the role of Lisa Fremont in Rear Window. Said Kelly, "All through the making of Dial M for Murder, he [Hitchcock] sat and talked to me about Rear Window all the time, even before we had discussed my being in it."[16] During the shooting of Dial M for Murder, Kelly and Hitchcock shared a close bond of humor and admiration, although minor strife sometimes emerged on set.

Kelly began filming scenes for her next film The Bridges at Toko-Ri in January 1954 with William Holden. She played the role of Nancy, the wife of naval officer Harry (Holden), who was a minor but pivotal character in the story. A film review that was released 12 months later, the The New Yorker remarked on the apparent on-screen chemistry between Kelly and Holden, and took note of Kelly's delivery of her performance "with quiet confidence."

After the success of Mogambo, Kelly starred in a TV play The Way of an Eagle with Jean-Pierre Aumont, before being cast in the film adaptation of Frederick Knott's Broadway hit Dial M for Murder. Director Alfred Hitchcock also saw the 1950 screen test[7] and took full advantage of Kelly's beauty on-camera. Hitchcock was one of Kelly's last mentors in the film industry.

Two months after signing her contract, Kelly and the cast arrived in Nairobi to begin production of the film Mogambo. Gene Tierney was initially cast in the role, but she had to drop out at the last minute owing to personal issues.[12][13] Upon getting the role, Kelly told Hollywood columnist Hedda Hopper, "Mogambo had three things that interested me. John Ford, Clark Gable, and a trip to Africa with expenses paid. If Mogambo had been made in Arizona, I wouldn't have done it."[14] A break in the filming schedule afforded Kelly and Mogambo co-star Ava Gardner a visit to Rome.[15] Kelly's role as Linda Nordley in MGM's production of Mogambo garnered her a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress and her first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Director John Ford had first noticed Kelly in a 1950 screen test. The studio flew Kelly to Los Angeles to audition in September of 1952, and Ford said that Kelly showed "breeding, quality and class."[7] She was hired for the role and was offered a seven-year contract with a salary of $850 a week. Kelly signed the deal under two conditions: That every two years she could get time off to do theater performances, and that she could live in New York City at the now-landmarked Manhattan House (200 E. 66th Street).[11][7]

With Clark Gable in Mogambo, 1953

Acting career for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

However, her performance in Fourteen Hours was not noticed by critics and did not lead to her receiving other film acting roles. She continued her work in the theater and on television,[8] although she lacked "vocal horsepower" and would likely not have had a lengthy stage career.[7] She had various roles on television shows produced by NBC and CBS. Kelly was performing in Colorado's Elitch Gardens when she received a telegram from Hollywood producer Stanley Kramer offering her a co-starring role opposite Gary Cooper in High Noon.

Television producer Delbert Mann cast Kelly as Bethel Merriday, in an adaptation of the Sinclair Lewis novel of the same name; this was her first of nearly sixty live television programs.[7] Success on television eventually brought her a role in a major motion picture. Kelly made her film debut in a small role in the 1951 film Fourteen Hours. She was noticed during a visit to the set by Gary Cooper, who subsequently starred with her in High Noon. Cooper was charmed by Kelly and said that she was "different from all these actresses we've been seeing so much of."

She worked diligently and practiced her speech by using a tape-recorder. Her early acting pursuits led her to the stage, most notably a Broadway debut in Strindberg's The Father alongside Raymond Massey. At 19, her graduation performance was as Tracy Lord in The Philadelphia Story.[7]

, a prestigious establishment which barred men from entering after 10 pm, and she worked as a model to support her studies. Barbizon Hotel for Women. Kelly began her first term the following October. While at school, she lived in Manhattan's [7]

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