Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Grace Kelly - A Remarkable Life

To watch a lovely video of Grace Kelly click here http://allbestlist.blogspot.com/2009/04/grace-kelly-actress-to-princess_29.html

Grace Patricia Kelly was born on November 12, 1929 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to John Brendan Kelly, Sr. (or Jack Kelly), the son of Irish immigrants, and Margaret Katherine Majer Kelly, daughter of German immigrants.

Jack Kelly was a triple Olympic-gold-medal-winning sculler. Jack Kelly had a brick business was the largest on the East Coast and was a self-made millionaire. Two of Grace Kelly's uncles (her father's brothers) were well known in the arts: vaudevillian Walter Kelly and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright George Kelly.

Grace Kelly attended the prestigious Ravenhill Academy, and Kelly modeled fashions at local social events with her mother and sisters. When she was twelve, she played a lead role in a play produced by the Old Academy Players in East Falls, called Don't Feed the Animals. During high school, Kelly acted and danced, graduating from Stevens School, a small private school in Germantown, Philadelphia, in May 1947.

To her mother’s dismay, Kelly decided to pursue a career in the theater. She was performing in Colorado’s Elitch Gardens when she was offered a starring role opposite Gary Cooper in High Noon. According to Kelly’s biographer Wendy Leigh, at age 22 Kelly had been romanced by both Cooper and director Fred Zinnemann. High Noon was a popular film of the 1950s.

Grace Kelly’s Filmography

Year 1951
Film Fourteen Hours
Role Louise Ann Fuller
Director Henry Hathaway
Co-stars Paul Douglas, Richard Basehart, Barbara Bel Geddes

Year 1952
Film High Noon
Role Amy Fowler Kane
Director Fred Zinnemann
Co-stars Gary Cooper, Katy Jurado, Lloyd Bridges, Thomas Mitchell

Year 1953
Film Mogambo
Role Linda Nordley
Director John Ford
Co-stars Clark Gable, Ava Gardner

Year 1953
Film Dial M for MurderRole Margot Mary Wendice
Director Alfred Hitchcock
Co-stars Ray Milland, Bob Cummings, John Williams

Year 1953
Film Rear WindowRole Lisa Carol Fremont
Director Alfred Hitchcock
Co-stars James Stewart, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter, Raymond Burr

Year 1954
Film The Country Girl
Role Georgie Elgin
Director George Seaton
Co-stars Bing Crosby, William Holden

Year 1954
Film Green Fire
Role Catherine Knowland
Co-stars Andrew Marton Stewart Granger

Year 1954
Film The Bridges at Toko-Ri
Role Nancy Brubaker
Director Mark Robson
Co-stars William Holden, Fredric March, Mickey Rooney, Earl Holliman

Year 1955
Film To Catch a Thief
Role Frances Stevens
Director Alfred Hitchcock
Co-star Cary Grant

Year 1956
Film The Swan
Role Princess Alexandra
Director Charles Vidor
Co-star Alec Guinness

Year 1956
Film High Society
Role Tracy Samantha Lord
Director Charles Walters
Co-stars Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Celeste Holm

Kelly headed the U.S. delegation at the Cannes Film Festival in April 1955. While there, she was invited to a photo session at the Palace of Monaco with Prince Rainier III. Kelly finally met the prince in Monaco after a series of delays and complications.

After returning to America, Kelly began work on The Swan, in which she portrayed a princess. Meanwhile, she was privately beginning a correspondence with Rainier. In December, Rainier came to America on a trip officially designated as a tour, although it was rumoured that Rainier was seeking a wife.

A 1918 treaty with France stated that if Rainier did not produce an heir, Monaco would revert to France. At a press conference in the United States, Rainier was asked if he was pursuing a wife, to which he answered "No." Then he was asked, "If you were pursuing a wife, what kind would you like?" Rainier smiled and answered, "I don't know — the best."

Prince Rainier met up with Grace Kelly and her family, and after three days, the prince proposed. Kelly accepted and preparations began for "The Wedding of the Century." The religious wedding was set for April 19, 1956.

The wedding of the century

Kelly's wedding was a 40-minute civil ceremony that took place in the Palace Throne Room of Monaco on April 18, 1956, and was broadcast across Europe. To cap the ceremony, the 142 official titles (counterparts of Rainier's) that Kelly acquired in the union were formally recited. The event concluded the following day with the church ceremony at Monaco's Saint Nicholas Cathedral.

Kelly's wedding dress was designed by MGM's Academy Award-winning Helen Rose, was worked on for six weeks by three dozen seamstresses. The 600 guests included Hollywood stars David Niven and his wife Hjördis, Gloria Swanson, Ava Gardner, the crowned head Aga Khan, and Conrad Hilton. Frank Sinatra initially accepted an invitation but at the last minute decided otherwise, afraid of upstaging the bride on her wedding day.

Queen Elizabeth II flatly refused to attend on the grounds of there being "too many movie stars." The ceremony was watched by an estimated 30 million people on television. The prince and princess left that night for their seven-week Mediterranean cruise honeymoon on Rainier's yacht, Deo Juvante II.

Princess Grace had three children:
Hereditary Princess Caroline Louise Marguerite, born January 23, 1957, and now heiress presumptive to the throne of Monaco; Albert II, Prince of Monaco, born March 14, 1958, current ruler of the Principality of Monaco; and Princess Stéphanie Marie Elisabeth, born February 1, 1965.

Princess Grace

As princess, Kelly was active in improving the arts institutions of Monaco, and eventually the Princess Grace Foundation was formed to support local artisans. She was one of the first celebrities to support and speak on behalf of La Leche League, an organization that advocates breastfeeding; she planned a yearly Christmas party for local orphans, and dedicated a Garden Club that reflected her love of flowers.

In 1981, the Prince and Princess celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.

On September 13, 1982, while driving with her daughter Stéphanie to Monaco from their country home, Princess Grace suffered a stroke, which caused her to drive her Rover P6 off the serpentine road down a mountainside. Princess Grace was still alive after the accident, but had suffered serious injuries and was unconscious. She died the following day at the Monaco Hospital (now Centre Hospitalier Princesse Grace – The Princess Grace Hospital Centre in English – in 1958), having never regained consciousness.


The Princess Grace Foundation was founded in 1964 to help those with special needs that are not met by ordinary social services. In 1983, following Princess Grace's death, Caroline, Princess of Hanover became the President of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation. Albert II, Prince of Monaco is Vice-President.

If you would like to view some recommended books on Grace Kelly go here http://allbestlist.blogspot.com/2009/04/grace-kelly-actress-to-princess_29.html


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