Historical Figures

Grace Kelly, actress and princess

Grace Patricia Kelly (1929 – 1982) is an American actress, who became Princess of Monaco by marriage. She is particularly known for her performances in several Alfred Hitchcock films.

American Academy of Dramatic Arts

Born November 12, 1929, Grace Patricia Kelly is the daughter of Margaret Katherine Majer, former swimming champion and model , and John B. Kelly, Sr., champion rower and businessman. The third of four children, she has Irish roots through her father and German roots through her mother. She and her two sisters, her brother received a strict and austere education.

Grace was educated at Ravenhill Academy, the convent of the Ladies of the Assumption in Philadelphia; she took her first steps on stage there at the age of 12, performing in several plays. She continued her studies at Bennington College but was rejected in 1947 for her poor results in mathematics. Dreaming of becoming an actress, she passed with an audition at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, in New York. To pay for her drama lessons, she became a fashion model, posed for commercials and acted in plays.

Oscar for best actress

In 1950, Grace Kelly appeared in her first television series, Bethel Merriday, then the following year in her first film, 2 p.m. . She then plays plays and TV movies until Gary Cooper, visiting the film studio, notices her and gets her a first role in the western The train will whistle three times , in 1952; the film then makes her known to the public. The following year, she played in Mogambo , a film for which she was nominated for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. She then acted in three Alfred Hitchcock films:The Crime was almost perfect (1954), Window on courtyard (1954) and The Hand at the Collar (1955). In 1955, Grace received the Oscar for best actress for A girl from the province .

Princess of Monaco

The same year, in the middle of the Cannes Film Festival, Grace Kelly meets Prince Rainier for a photo shoot. They met again the same year for the end of year celebrations and announced their engagement on January 6, 1956. Grace then agreed to give up her career after her last film, the musical Haute Société . The civil marriage is celebrated on April 18, 1956, the religious marriage the following day; it is broadcast live around the world and watched by three million viewers. Becoming Princess of Monaco, Grace also received the title of Duchess four times, Marquise four times, Countess seven times and Baroness nine times. She and Rainier had three children:Caroline Louise Marguerite, Albert Alexandre Louis Pierre, the reigning prince of Monaco, and Stéphanie Marie Élisabeth.

Grace refuses all the roles offered to her by Hollywood and devotes herself to her role as a mother, to that of first lady as well as to charitable works. In 1963, she created the World Association of Childhood Friends and in 1964 the Princess Grace of Monaco Foundation , an international charity. She is also president of the Monegasque Red Cross.

On September 13, 1982, while Grace was driving her daughter Stéphanie to an artistic internship in France, the car left the road, rolled down a steep slope and came to a stop forty meters below. Stéphanie escapes with a cervical fracture but Grace Kelly suffers a cerebral hemorrhage and dies the next day in hospital.