A Tribute to Grace Kelly
Grace Kelly — who would have been 75 in November 2004, had it not been for the tragic automobile accident that took her life in Monaco in 1982 — made less than a dozen feature films in a half-dozen years before becoming Princess Grace in 1956.
Nevertheless, she was voted 13th on the American Film Institute’s list of the greatest actresses of the classic era, and two of those 11 films —High Noon and Rear Window — are considered by AFI voters to be among the 50 best films ever made. She won a Best Actress Oscar for a third film, The Country Girl, and was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Mogambo. A fair number of film fans believe that she was the most beautiful actress ever to appear on film.
Not bad for such a relatively short career! One can only begin to speculate about what she might have accomplished in Hollywood if she hadn’t decided to marry Prince Rainier and become a member of the ruling family of Monaco.
Grace Patricia Kelly was born on November 12, 1929, in Philadelphia. Her dream was to become an actress, so much so that she left for New York right after high school graduation in 1947. She found some modeling work, appeared on magazine covers, studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Art, and acted on Broadway and on TV. Two years later, after moving to California, she landed a small part in Fourteen Hours. Her second film was High Noon, and it was all up from there for the beautiful 23-year-old actress.
Among other things, Kelly was the ideal “Hitchcock blonde,” and appeared in three films by The Master: Dial M for Murder (1954), Rear Window (1954), and To Catch a Thief (1955). During the filming of Thief with Cary Grant on the Riviera, she met the Prince, and the rest is history. Her last movie was High Society, a musical remake of The Philadelphia Story, with a plot that was full of intentional or unintentional references to what happened to her in real life. Though she was regularly offered film roles, she never acted again. She remained active in other ways, as a narrator and a member of the Board of Directors of 20th Century Fox, but chose to concentrate on her duties as the wife of the Prince of Monaco. She had three children — Caroline, Albert, and Stephanie.
The seeming fairy-tale life came to an end on September 14, 1982, in an automobile accident in the mountains of Monaco. Her family was devastated, and her fans will have to settle for those 11 films. If you are interested in purchasing any Grace Kelly films, books, or posters, just click on the links you’ll find throughout this feature.
Part I: Introduction
Part II: Grace Kelly Tributes and Other Pages
Part III: Movie Reviews & Where to Find Her Movies
Part IV: Photos, Art, and Posters