Biography Grace Kelly / Биография Грейс Келли
Grace Kelly, the future Princess of Monaco, was born in Philadelphia on November 12, 1929 in a catholic family from Irish origin. Her father built a fortune in Construction after participating in the US expeditionary force in France in 1917, and being twice a rowing Olympic champion in the early 20’s. Her mother, a beautiful and educated woman, deliberately chose to give priority to her family, although as a debutante, she attracted most of the attention.
Both parents, gifted with a lot of charisma and energy, brought up their four children with warmth and caring love but also with demanding moral principles, teaching them entrepreneurship, the value of effort and responsibility, while keeping them safe from the atmosphere of social turmoil prevailing during the Great Depression. Grace, the second daughter, seemed the softest, most sensitive and introverted one. As a teenager, her dreamy and poetic nature drove her close to her uncle Georges Kelly, a renowned man of letters who was awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize.
A student in Performing Arts in New York at the end of the 40’s, Grace led the life of all actor-apprentices with a good background: staying in home-hotels for young single women, modeling for advertisements and magazines in order to pay for her studies. Very soon, she was able to act in theatrical performances and TV dramas live, at a time when TV was booming. Her talent, her beauty, her charm seeming distant because of high myopia were rapidly noticed by Hollywood talent hunters and immediately after “High Noon”, where she starred with Gary Cooper, her career took off like a rocket. Under contract with MGM, but receiving many proposals from other studios, which created conflicts where she proved to be exceptionally determined, she became the most popular actress in 1954, winning the Oscar for “Country Girl” before Judy Garland and having the unbelievable honor of featuring on Time front page, after Life, Look and American press major titles.
However, Alfred Hitchcock was the man who turned her into a legendary star by choosing her for three major parts in “Dial M for Murder”, “Rear Window”, and “To catch a thief”, where, incidentally, she discovered the Principality of Monaco during shooting. After that, she embodied the Female Ideal of the Master of Suspense with whom she shared an everlasting friendship. In spite of the romances unavoidably imagined by the press with prestigious partners such as Clark Gable, William Holden or Cary Grant, she kept her private life very discreet. Nonetheless, her greatest faithful admirer was the famous Couturier Oleg Cassini, in spite of her parents’ reluctance because although he certainly was a brilliant man, he was not catholic and divorced. At the Cannes Festival in 1955, her meeting with Prince Rainier during a visit to the Palace of Monaco, organized by Paris Match magazine, completely changed her destiny.
Following the Prince’s visit to the Kelly family during Christmas, the announcement of her engagement generated a media tornado which became even more powerful with what was called the “Wedding of the Century”, on April 19, 1956. In giving up acting, dedicating herself to her three children Caroline, Albert and Stephanie, sharing the tasks and responsibilities with her husband, Prince Rainier, and relentlessly devoting herself to the well-being of the Principality and the Monegasques, Her Serene Highness Princess Grace perfectly assumed her role among the European Royal Families and on the international scene where the nobility of her character and charisma created an aura of glamour fascinating the media and adding to the prestige of the Principality. The work she accomplished in Monaco itself, in the social, environmental and cultural fields, unprecedentedly restored the brilliance of the Principality, reviving all the links established at the time of the Monte Carlo Ballets and the numerous visits of many artists from all over the world.
However, the countless constraints of a compelling life, constantly under the spotlights of public curiosity, induced her to protect her privacy: her old friends from Hollywood, regularly visiting her in Monaco; artwork with dried flowers that were exposed in major exhibitions, poetry recitals in England and America for humanitarian causes, private films shot by Princess Grace with an undeniable “Hitchcock” flavour. Her premature death, after a car accident, on September 14, 1982, generated unprecedented emotion and caused such a deep pain to the Prince’s family and Monegasques, that twenty five years later, her memory still remains as vivid as ever in everyone’s heart. In a century affected by collective tragedies, the life and personality of Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco, stands as a example for all her admirers.