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Grace Kelly

Real name: Grace Patricia Kelly
Birthdate: November 12, 1929
Status: Married
Partner: Prince Rainier of Monaco

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Biography

Grace, Princess of Monaco née Grace Patricia Kelly (November 12, 1929 – September 14, 1982) was an Academy Award-winning American film and stage actress who, upon marriage to Rainier III, Prince of Monaco in 1956, became Her Serene Highness The Princess of Monaco, but was generally known as Princess Grace of Monaco. Princess Grace maintained dual American and Monegasque citizenship after her marriage. The principality's current Sovereign Prince, Albert II is the son of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace. The American Film Institute ranked Kelly #13 amongst the Greatest Female Stars of All Time.

In 1935, John Kelly ran for mayor of Philadelphia, losing by the closest margin for any Democrat in Philadelphia. He later served on the Fairmount Park Commission. During World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt appointed him National Director of Physical Fitness, a post that allowed Kelly to use his fame to promote the virtues of physical fitness.

The film also paired Grace again with William Holden. The wife of a washed-up alcoholic singer, played by Crosby, Grace is emotionally torn between two lovers. Holden willfully begs Grace to leave her husband and be with him. A piece of frail tenderness manages to cloak itself inside of her, even after having been demonized by Crosby, describing "a pathetic hint of frailty in a wonderful glowing man. That appeals a lot to us. It did to me. I was so young. His weaknesses seemed touching and sweet, they made me love him more." The following March, Grace would be honored with the Academy Award for Best Actress. Her character's modest appearance and the film's demanding scenes were a departure from her on-screen persona of the graceful heiress, which she perfected and embodied through her last role in High Society, the musical remake of The Philadelphia Story.

In April 1954, Grace flew to Colombia for a brief 10 day shoot to film her next project, Green Fire, with Stewart Granger. Grace plays Kathy Noland, an extremely small role as a coffee plantation owner. In Granger's autobiography he writes of his distaste for the film's script, while Grace later confided to Hedda Hopper, "It wasn't pleasant. We worked at a pathetic village - miserable huts and dirty. Part of the crew got shipwrecked ... It was awful." Green Fire was a critical and box-office failure. It is undoubtedly looked down upon as Grace's least appealing film.

Preparations for the wedding were elaborate. The Palace of Monaco was painted and redecorated throughout. The voyage of the American contingent to Monaco was an ordeal. On April 4, 1956, leaving from Pier 84 in New York Harbor, Grace, with her family, bridesmaids, poodle, and over eighty pieces of luggage boarded the ocean liner SS Constitution for the French Riviera. Some 400 reporters applied to sail, though most were turned away. Thousands of fans sent the party off for the 8 day voyage. In Monaco, more than twenty-thousand people lined the streets to greet the future princess.

In his eulogy, James Stewart said: "You know, I just love Grace Kelly. Not because she was a princess, not because she was an actress, not because she was my friend, but because she was just about the nicest lady I ever met. Grace brought into my life as she brought into yours, a soft, warm light every time I saw her, and every time I saw her was a holiday of its own. No question, I'll miss her, we'll all miss her, God bless you, Princess Grace."



 


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