Grace Kelly: Princess of Monaco (Part I)

Grace Kelly was an American actress and a 50’s icon. She was well-known for being Alfred Hithcock’s muse and later becoming the Princess of Monaco.

Grace Kelly was the third of four children, she was born in the family of a self-made millionaire and three times Olympics gold medalist in sculling, Jack Scully and Margaret Majer, the first director of women’s athletics at the University of Pennsylvania. Grace attended a Catholic school where she took part in plays and discovered her interest in acting. Her uncles, Walter, who worked in vaudeville and George Kelly, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, were believed to have influenced Grace’s film career. In 1947 she was accepted to continue her education at American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York.

During her stay in New York, Grace did not receive much financial support from her family and so she had to make some extra income of her own. She went on to do modelling jobs and appeared in a number of television commercials. Grace was also photographed for the cover of Cosmopolitan. She was described as a rebel and it was in the Academy where she began an affair with one of her teachers. She even brought him home to meet her family but they were the least to say, unimpressed. The relationship didn’t last long and soon after they split up.

Once she graduated the Academy, her initial interest was to pursue a career in Broadway but this turned out to be an unsuccessful attempt and so Grace moved to Hollywood. There she made her big break and landed her first major role in the movie Mogambo (1953), which won her a Golden Globe Award and an Oscar nomination.

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In 1954 she met Alfred Hitchcock, who had big plans for Grace. They went on to shoot three movies together and began a friendship which would last a lifetime. She first appeared in his Dial M for Murder (1954), then in Rear Window (1945) – it would be the one and only movie in which Grace would ever agree on being filmed smoking a cigarette. Their last film together was To Catch a Thief (1955). Alfred Hitchcock was fascinated with Grace Kelly’s sophisticated looks and found her to be the perfect fit for his femme fatale figures.

In 1945 Grace won an Academy Award for the role of Georgie Elgin in the movie The Country Girl. The role was one of a bitter wife of an alcoholic with some strong monologues and little make-up on which was extremely unusual for Grace. Prior to this point she had always appeared to be playing glamorous and classy characters which were somehow close to her actual persona.

Sources:
Pettinger, Tejvan. “Biography of Grace Kelly”, Oxford, UK – http://www.biographyonline.net. Published 15 August 2014. Last updated 1 February 2018.
Biography.com Editors. Grace Kelly Biography – The Biography.com website. Publisher:A&E Television Networks. Published April 2, 2014. Last updated March 2, 2020.
Kelly, Alyssa. Grace Kelly’s Secret Moments – CR Fashion Book website.
Published November 12, 2019.
Donald Spoto. High Society: Grace Kelly and Hollywood. Publisher: Arrow.
Published 2010.

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