At first glance, we might think that Hollywood stars are living the dream, and everything in their lives is so perfect. Most of the time things might not be as we perceive them to be. The life of Grace Kelly, as we read from the interviews that reveal her personal life and biography books written about her, was not all moonlights and roses. Born to a wealthy family, became a world-renowned artist, married to the prince of Monaco… Let’s have an insight into what lies behind that beautiful, bright smile on her face.
- EARLY LIFE
She was born on November 12, 1929, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to a wealthy Irish Catholic family. Her father was an awarded oarsman, and her mother was an instructor of physical education for women. Grace had two sisters and a brother. As she later said, there was always competition in their house. They had to do their best to get recognition from their parents, but it was not easy.
Father favoured Grace’s older sister Peggy, and mother was not easy to please. She demanded obedience and she was abusive to her children as is claimed in the book Grace Kelly: Hollywood Dream Girl by Manoah Bowman and Jay Jorgensen. This was going to affect her parenting towards her children as well. There were lots of stress and high standards in their household, their life as a family was not a happy one.
- PURSUING THE DREAMS
While Grace was in school, she took place in school plays and with time got popular among the boys. Her uncle Walter Kelly was a vaudeville and film actor in 1930s. The other uncle George Kelly was a Pulitzer-prized playwright. Grace idolized them and she wanted to become just like Uncle Walter. The uncles were supportive and encouraging but her parents were not really into the idea of her acting, so they did not support her. She was going to be a ballerina but was too tall for it. And with that, Grace Kelly headed to acting.
After she enrolled in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, she started modelling to earn a living, and it was going well. She finally got financial freedom and a break from her strict Catholic family who were not happy with her career choices. With that, she was able to sustain herself while going to school. Her last performance in the academy was The Philadelphia Story and she was casted as ‘’Tracy Lord’’.
1949 was her debut on Broadway. She appeared on for stage with August Strindberg’s The Father. Kelly wanted a career on Broadway, but the directors said that her voice was not suitable for it. Her voice belonged to screen, as they suggested. In 1951, she made her big-screen-debut. She got a role in Henry Hathaway’s Fourteen Hours. In 1954, she won an Oscar for the best actress with her role in Country Girl.
All her works are precious, but the ones that she collaborated with Alfred Hitchcock are the most indelible ones. It is known in the field that she was Alfred Hitchcock’s muse, ‘’She was the perfect Hitchcock heroine.’’ Their first film together was Dial M for Murder in 1954.
- LOVE LIFE AND MARRIAGE
Before her marriage, she had lots of boyfriends, but the most remarkable ones were Clark Gable and Ray Milland. She dated so many of her co-stars as well. Even Bing Cosby proposed to her, but she was not in love with him so that she rejected.
After her affairs, in 1955 when she was at Cannes Film Festival, Grace Kelly met Prince Rainier of Monaco. Later the prince wanted to visit her and her family in Philadelphia. At first, she did not consent, but then she decided to give it a chance. With the time they spent alone together, they slowly fell in love and decided to marry. Marrying with the prince, she left her acting career behind. Their marriage was a big thing. Her films were banned in Monaco after she became their princess.
- THE ROYAL FAMILY
She gave birth to three children: Caroline, Albert, and Stephanie. She loved her children so much, but she really struggled with being a mom. It was mostly the nanny that took care of the children. Being a mother, a princess put so much pressure on her. This was not good for her health. She wanted to get back to her acting career, but her husband was not giving permission since it would be inappropriate for her and their family. So, she spent her time helping and supporting artists, art, and did charity work.
- THE TRAGIC LOSS
Unfortunately, Grace Kelly died in 1982, as she suffered a stroke while driving in France. Her car fell down a 45-foot embankment. Her daughter Stephanie was with her in the car, but she survived with just a few minor injuries. Grace Kelly died in the hospital due to the damage she got from the accident. But she is still in our memories with her ‘’grace’’ and beauty as a timeless icon.
Grace Kelly: Hollywood Dream Girl, by Manoah Bowman and Jay Jorgensen.