PRINCESS GRACE HISTORY

Grace Patricia Kelly (Nov. 12, 1929 – Sept. 14, 1982) is an Oscar-winning American film icon who became Princess of Monaco after marrying Prince Rainier III in April 1956.

After embarking on an acting career in 1950, when she was 20, Princess Grace 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, she gained stardom from her performance in director John Ford’s film Mogambo starring Clark Gable and Ava Gardner, which won her a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination in 1954.

 

Subsequently, she had leading roles in five films, including The Country Girl (1954) with Bing Crosby, for which her deglamorized performance earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress. Other films include High Noon (1952), with Gary Cooper; High Society (1956), with Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra; and three Alfred Hitchcock films: Dial M for Murder (1954), with Ray Milland; Rear Window (1954), with James Stewart; and, To Catch a Thief (1955), with Cary Grant.

 

Princess Grace retired from acting at the age of 26 to marry Prince Rainier III, and began her royal duties as Princess of Monaco. They had three children: Caroline, Albert, and Stéphanie. She retained her link to America by her dual U.S. and Monégasque citizenship. Princess Grace died at Monaco Hospital on September 14, 1982, succumbing to injuries sustained in a traffic collision the day before. At the time of her death, she was 52 years old.

 

She is listed 13th among the American Film Institute’s 25 Greatest Female Stars of Classical Hollywood Cinema.

 

HER LEGACY

 

ACTING

 

Princess Grace left a lasting legacy as a model, theater artist, television actress (her most prolific work, acting in around 100 TV plays), and an iconic Hollywood film star. She has been cited as one of the “classic Hitchcock blondes”, and as one of the most elegant women in cinematic and world history.

 

After embarking on an acting career in 1950, when she was 20, Princess Grace 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, she gained stardom from her performance in director John Ford’s film Mogambo starring Clark Gable and Ava Gardner, which won her a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination in 1954. Subsequently, she had leading roles in five films, including The Country Girl (1954) with Bing Crosby, for which her deglamorized performance earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress. Other films include High Noon (1952), with Gary Cooper; High Society (1956), with Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra; and three Alfred Hitchcock films: Dial M for Murder (1954), with Ray Milland; Rear Window (1954), with James Stewart; and, To Catch a Thief (1955), with Cary Grant.

 

Princess Grace appeared on the cover of the January 1955 issue of Time Magazine. The magazine hailed her as the top movie star who brought about “a startling change from the run of smoky film sirens and bumptious cuties”. She was described as the “Girl in White Gloves” because she wore “prim and noticeable white gloves”, and journalists often called her the “lady” or “Miss Kelly” for this reason as well. In 1954, she appeared on the Best Dressed list, and in 1955, the Custom Tailored Guild of America listed her as the “Best-Tailored Woman”

PHILANTHROPY

 

During her marriage, Princess Grace was unable to continue her acting career. Instead, she performed her daily duties as princess and became involved in philanthropic work.
Princess Grace was active in improving the arts institutions of Monaco, forming the Princess Grace Foundation in 1964 to support local artisans. She also founded AMADE Mondiale, a Monaco-based non-profit organization that was eventually recognized by the UN as a Non-governmental organization. According to 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.

 

Following Princess Grace’s death, the Princess Grace Foundation-USA (PGF-USA) was established to continue the work she had done anonymously during her lifetime, assisting emerging theater, dance and film artists in America. The foundation also holds the exclusive rights and facilitates the licensing of her name and likeness throughout the world. Read more on the foundation.

FASHION

 

While pregnant with her daughter Caroline in 1956, Princess Grace was frequently photographed clutching a distinctive leather hand-bag manufactured by Hermès. The purse, or Sac à dépêches, was likely a shield to prevent her pregnant abdomen 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 it would thereafter be known as the Kelly bag. Princess Grace was inaugurated into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1960.

 

Numerous exhibitions have been held of Princess Grace’s life and clothing. In 2009, a plaque was placed on the “Rodeo Drive Walk of Style” in recognition of her contributions to style and fashion. After her death, Princess Grace’s legacy as a fashion icon lived on. Modern designers, such as Tommy Hilfiger and Zac Posen, have cited her as a fashion inspiration. During her lifetime, she was known for introducing the “fresh faced” look, one that involved bright skin and natural beauty with little makeup. Her fashion legacy was even commemorated at the Victoria and Albert Museum of London, where an exhibit titled, “Grace Kelly: Style Icon” paid tribute to her impact on the world of fashion.

 

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

 

KELLY FAMILY HOME

 

In 2012, Princess Grace’s childhood home was made a Pennsylvania historic landmark, and a historical marker was placed on the site. The home, located at 3901 Henry Avenue in the East Falls section of Philadelphia, was built by her father John B. Kelly Sr. in 1929. Grace lived in the home until 1950, and Prince Rainier III proposed to her there in 1955. The Kelly family sold the property in 1974. Prince Albert of Monaco purchased the property, speculating that the home would be used either as museum space or as offices for the Princess Grace Foundation.

 

For full article, visit Wikipedia.

PRINCESS GRACE’S LEGACY

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