5 things you never knew about Grace Kelly
1. Charmed childhood
Grace Kelly was born with the proverbial silver spoon in her mouth, when she was entered the world in Philadelphia on 12 November 1929. Her father, John Brendan Kelly, Sr, was arguably the greatest American rower of his generation, winning three Olympic gold medals and 126 consecutive single skull victories. Her mother, Margaret Katherine Majer, was also an athletic type, teaching physical education and later becoming the first female coach of women’s sport at Penn State University. Rather than following her parents’ lead, Grace became interested in acting at a young age and worked as a theatre actress and model in New York before cracking into Hollywood.
2. The Hitchcock connection
“There are many leading women,” Alfred Hitchcock is quoted as saying. “But Grace Kelly is a leading lady.” While her early work garnered interest, it wasn’t until Kelly teamed up with director extraordinaire Alfred Hitchcock that her career was turned up a notch – or ten! First came Dial M for Murder and Rear Window, both released in 1954 and the latter of which heralded international fame and recognition for the young actress. “Mr. Hitchcock taught me everything about cinema,” she said. “It was thanks to him that I understood that murder scenes should be shot like love scenes and love scenes like murder scenes.”
3. Brief but illustrious film career
After a string of TV appearances, Kelly made her film debut as a 22-year-old in Fourteen Hours (1951). Her breakthrough role came the following year when she starred alongside Cary Grant in High Noon before her star-status was cemented in 1953’s Mogambo (with Clark Gable). In 1954 she could be seen in a number of films; Dial M For Murder, Rear Window, Country Girl, Green Fire and The Bridge at Toko-Ri. In 1955 she starred in To Catch A Thief, while her final two films were made in 1956 – The Swan with Alec Guinness and High Society with Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra – when she retired from the business abruptly and entirely.
4. Academy award winner
Despite her brilliant ‘Hitchcock’ performances, Grace Kelly won her first and only Best Actress Academy Award for the 1955 film The Country Girl, in which she starred alongside Bing Crosby. Additionally, Grace won three Golden Globes and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; not bad for a woman who stuck around Hollywood for only a handful of years.
5. We can lick the back of her head! (Kind of)
Kelly enjoys the title of first actress to have her likeness printed on a postal stamp, when a number of limited edition stamps were circulated in 1993 – 11 years after her death.
Republished with permission of Wyza.