In this text, I will tell you the life story of Grace Kelly, one of the greatest greats of the twentieth century. By marrying Prince Reni III, she became the Duchess of Monaco. She was named one of the greatest fashion and film icons in history, and the American Film Institute ranked Thirteenth in its list of “100 Greatest Movie Stars of All Time”.
Her father, Jack, was a three-time winner of the Olympic Games, with a starting capital of $7,000, turning him into a company worth $18,000,000.
Her mother Margaret was a swimming champion and a model on the covers of magazines. One uncle was a leading star, the other was a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer.
In the family videos, the four children of the Kelly family – one boy and three girls, prove their dexterity by running and jumping from the roof. But one daughter, the middle one, was different. She was the only one in the family who did not attract attention at all. A shy, gentle girl, she always avoided any kind of competition and sports.
The only thing she loved was the stage. She was destined for success, although, in a family environment, she seemed to have the least chance of success. Such an opinion followed her even after she triumphed in Hollywood in just a year and a half, in which she made nine films in such a short time, won an Oscar and married a prince, only to eventually withdraw from the public.
When a journalist once asked her father if he was proud of his daughter’s success, Jack Kelly suggested that he prefer to write about her older sister Peggy, and explained:
– Whatever Grace does, Peggy can always do better.
Eternal family failure
In short, Grace Kelly was constantly treated as a family failure. Raised that way, she learned patience. In her first play in which she played a bigger role, the main actress forgot the text. Kelly, who was on stage with her at that moment, calmly put down her bag and whispered her keywords.
Grace Patricia Kelly, was born on November 12, 1929, in Philadelphia. She had a brother, John Kelly Jr. and two sisters: Margaret Catherine and Elizabeth Ann.
She and her brother and sisters grew up in abundance, and they were raised in a strict Catholic spirit. Although her family was wealthy, those in Philadelphia were not respectable. Moreover, they were considered newcomers who, by chance, made a lot of money, and Jack Kelly was considered a desperate man who tried with all his might to achieve high society. In a way, that was true, because Jack really wanted his children to have grace and behavior as if they belonged to the highest stratum of society. That is why he taught them to speak English with a British accent.
Although her sisters had a great interest in sports, Kelly was weak and uninterested, and in addition, she had asthma. Because of that, her parents paid much less attention to her than to the other children. It was this relationship that her parents had with her that led her to start acting in the local theater. The person who supported her in acting was her uncle, George Kelly.
She was only 12 years old
After graduating from the best schools in Philadelphia, Kelly tried to attend Bennington University, but failed the math exam. The Kelly’s were taught defeat. She gave up with dignity, but immediately started studying acting and at the same time went to auditions on Broadway. And there she managed to endure five years of consecutive rejections.
– I was constantly in the “too much” category. Too tall, too long legs, too pronounced chin …, she once said. Grace hated her wide jaw and learned how to tilt her head to visually look narrower. Her powerful figure visually gave the impression that Grace was a very persistent person, which she actually was.
Since she did not want to be financially dependent on her parents, she supported herself by shooting commercials and as a model. So she came to the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine, where her chin was covered with a green glove. Most of the commercials were completely unglamorous – from those for shampoos, to cigarettes and beer.
Aware of its flaws
Because she was very self-critical, she also knew she was joking at her own expense:
– If I advertised “Old Gold” cigarettes, anyone who would see me in the ad would immediately switch to “Camel”.
Kelly knew he was acting pretty weird. When she was too busy with work and didn’t have time to set up an apartment in New York, she knew how to invite her partners to an empty room where she would light a few candles and dress as if she had just arrived from the “Adams Family” set.
She greeted one of her boyfriends lying under the sheets, pretending to be a corpse. She was also secretly dependent on various psychics and prophets who constantly assured her to continue working diligently, because one day, all her efforts would pay off. So, while preparing for the audition in the movie “Taxi”, she learned the Irish accent to perfection, and in the end, they took another actress. Finally, Grace landed a role in the movie “14 Hours” in which she played a conflicted divorcee.
The role was so small that the assistant director cared more about not damaging the expensive hired fur she wore, than about how Grace played that role. And then followed the role of a very young girl, Gary Cooper, in the movie “Exactly at Noon”.
She turned down the producers!
After that, they offered her a permanent contract of producers After that, a week, but Grace refused.
Maybe Hollywood isn’t for me after all, she thought. The Kelly’s have not learned to lose. But she turned the loss into a real hit when John Ford was looking for an actress who would play a married sophisticated woman who cheats on her husband with a safari guide in “Mogambo”.
Namely, Ford saw that Grace was rejected at the audition for “Taxi” and immediately saw in her a person who could play that role very well.
– Find me that girl! She could play it great, Ford exclaimed.
Kiss Clerk Gable in Kenya?
Grace rushed to the airport, and a few minutes before the flight, she signed a six-year contract with MGM. Gable adored her. They went hunting together while their colleague, Ava Gardner, slept.
– One day I will get married and have children, so I will be able to tell them how I was in Africa on a safari, Grace would say. When Gable shot a 4-foot snake, she posed with his trophy.
And so the movie “Mogambo” opened the door to Hollywood, which after that role, suddenly began to adore her. In the dramatic scene in which Kelly shoots her secret love, she acted out the loss of control so well that she won an Oscar nomination in the supporting role category, as well as a Golden Globe nomination. In 1953, she became famous overnight, and she was only 24 years old. Unlike other sex bombs, she never competed in beauty contests or ever took off her clothes. That’s why “Time” wrote for her:
– She’s a star who’s never been a starlet.
The antipodes of Merilyn Monroe
Kelly positioned herself as the total antipodes to one Marilyn Monroe. A good girl from a respectable family who never stripped for Playboy, was the complete opposite of Marilyn Monroe, who had no pedigree. The public has hardly ever seen Grace’s body.
Her aura is described as “stainless steel” and “granite”. Alfred Hitchcock, who also spotted her at the audition for the movie “Taxi”, became completely obsessed with the young actress, who he described as “a volcano covered with snow”. To prove it, in the movie “Window to the Yard”, he asked her to kiss Jimmy Stewart 30 times in one scene.
Journalists have never been able to penetrate deeper into her intimate world. As soon as they started asking awkward questions about her measures and whether she might be wearing fake stamps, Grace would leave the interview.
Kelly never wanted to comment on the rumor that Ray Miland, the star of “Call M for Murder”, was ready to leave the woman he had been married to for 21 years because of her. All the newspapers managed to find out about her private life was that she liked giraffes, yellow and liked to “knit”.
She kept repeating that she didn’t want to talk about personal things. One journalist spent three weeks following Grace and desperately trying to get something interesting out of her. Eventually, in desperation, he tossed his notebook and cried out:
– There is nothing that could be published in the newspapers. She confirmed to him in cold blood:
– You’re right. I don’t think I’m interesting at all.
If she had to come to a party to promote movies, Kelly would wear dark glasses and not say a word.
– I have never seen any actress that directors and producers wanted so much in their films, Louella Parsons once wrote.
Grace Kelly’s work week was planned exactly in advance, and it looked like this: she got up at five in the morning six days a week and spent it on set until dinner. Then she would eat a hamburger and go to bed to catch 10 hours of sleep.
She always lived in rented apartments instead of buying a house, only to be able to return to New York whenever she wanted. Hollywood had nothing to offer her but the pleasure of acting. She didn’t need money, she didn’t crave fame, nor did she need anyone’s confirmation of success, except recognition from her own father.
But the substitute for paternal love was Hitchcock, whom she claimed could read her mind. When in the movie “Call M because of the murder”, she asked him not to take off his housecoat while making a phone call, otherwise the very stubborn director granted her wish.
There was something in her personality, dark blue eyes, wide forehead, gentle and precise speech, that would leave people feeling that her opinion was worthy of respect. Or maybe a quarter of a century of failure brought her such power.
One night in Cannes, she and costume designer Idit Head agreed to go to the casino and spend only $10 on roulette. The costume designer immediately lost the entire amount, and Kelly waited and finally put all $10 on number 6. She won 350. Idit Head told this anecdote herself and concluded:
– She was always right.
Finally an Oscar
When she heard that the film “Country Girl” was being made, she threatened MGM that she would terminate the contract if she was not given the main female role. In the film, she played the wife of Bing Crosby, a neurotic actor, whose mistakes she has to correct. She is a practical, sad and strong, proud woman who is misunderstood by those around her as a person who is jealous of her husband’s talent.
She won an Oscar for the role. Those few who knew the details of her upbringing were stunned when her husband’s director uttered the sentence in the film: “Despite your fine background and good upbringing, you are actually a failure,” to which Grace responds with applause.
Her speech at the Oscars, according to the protocol, was reduced to only 32 words, half of which were: Due to the great excitement at this moment, I can’t say everything I really feel …
But her award has already been overshadowed by the news that she should soon marry Prince Rainier III of Monaco. Despite the fact that she became the most respected woman in the world with this marriage, a double princess, a four-time duchess, … when asked by journalists what she thinks about this marriage and whether she is proud, her father Jell Kelly answered:
– I am not impressed with the noble titles. The wedding was so sudden that her mother had no idea when her daughter was getting married, so she even thought it was a prince from Morocco.
Marilyn Monroe again!
Earlier that year, Rennie, instructed his men to introduce him to Marilyn Monroe. He wanted to have an American actress with him at all costs, who would be ready to stop acting, give birth to his children and thus ensure the continuation of the lineage and the independence of Monaco from France.
Grace Kelly once admitted, many years later:
– I’m sorry I didn’t postpone the wedding for five years. That is how I would really celebrate my name, said the Princess of Monaco a few years before she died in a car accident on September 13, 1982, at the age of 52. She suffered a stroke, so the SUV, which also included her daughter Stefani, plunged into a 37-meter-deep abyss.
When she became a princess, she started organizing charity balls, flower arrangements, and she became the first woman to enter the management of the production company “20th Century Fox”.
She directed home movies in which she shot a happy family and her three children surrounded by love. Before marriage, she said goodbye to acting with the film “High Society”, in which she was already wearing her real engagement ring, because she is playing a divorced woman who is preparing for her second wedding.
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