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Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Grace Kelly

EARLY LIFE

Grace Kelly was born on November 12, 1929, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was bought up in the family home, which was built in 1929 in the East Falls district of Philadelphia.

Her father, Irish-American John B. Kelly, Sr. (1889–1960)  won 126 consecutive single scull rowing races between 1919 and 1920 and three Olympic gold medals for sculling. He owned a successful brickwork contracting company that was well-known on the East Coast.

John B. Kelly, Sr. was appointed by President Roosevelt, during the Second World War as National Director of Physical Fitness.

The Kelly family home,. By Shuvaev - Wikipedia Commons

ACTING CAREER

Grace Kelly's early acting roles were on stage and television. She made her film debut in a small role in the 1951 film Fourteen Hours. Kelly's performance was not noticed by critics and did not lead to her receiving other movie acting roles until she was chosen to co-star in High Noon.

In 1952, Kelly was offered a seven-year film contract with a salary of $850 a week. Two months after signing her contract, Kelly and the cast arrived in Nairobi to begin production of the MGM film Mogambo. Her role as Linda Nordley in Mogambo garnered Kelly a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress and her first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

The Cast of Mogambo
Grace Kelly was suspended by MGM for turning down the part of a call-girl in Jeremy Rodock, in which she was to star with Spencer Tracy. In her New York apartment, Miss Kelly said: "I am terribly upset. I just don’t feel I am right for the part."

Kelly's deglamorized performance in The Country Girl earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress.

Grace Kelly gave up her acting career aged 26 when she married Prince Rainier III and became Princess of Monaco. After they wed he banned showings of all her films in the Principality.

Her movies included three by Alfred Hitchock: Dial M for Murder, Rear Window and To Catch a Thief.

Grace Kelly in To Catch A Thief
MARRIAGE TO PRINCE RAINIER

On January 5. 1956, Prince Rainier of Monaco announced his engagement to Grace Kelly — the same day she topped the U.S. Best-Dressed list.

Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier married on April 18, 1956 in a brief civil ceremony at the royal palace. The next day, they married again in a large formal ceremony at Monaco's Cathedral of St. Nicholas. The three-hour public event was televised and was watched by thirty million people, a huge amount of viewers for the time.


Grace Kelly wore an elaborate ivory dress created by Hollywood designer Helen Rose. Four hundred fifty yards of silk and lace were used to make the bride's wedding gown.

The diamond sparkler worn by Grace Kelly's bride-to-be in High Society was Kelly's actual Cartier engagement ring, given to her by Prince Ranier. The film was released in the US just three months after their wedding.

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

Grace Kelly 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
Princess Stéphanie Marie Elisabeth, born February 1, 1965.

In 1993 Grace Kelly became the first actress to appear on an U.S. postage stamp. It was released in conjunction with a Monaco postage stamp featuring her on the same day.

DEATH AND LEGACY

Grace Kelly 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 P6 3500 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 failed. Grace Kelly died the following night on September 14, 1982, at the age of 52 after Prince Rainier decided to take her off life support.


The classic head-cover of a silk scarf crossed under the chin and knotted at the side or nape of the neck is universally known as the "Grace Kelly." This chic look is still copied by many female Hollywood stars when they wish to retain a degree of anonymity in the public eye.

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