Born on November 12 1929 in Philadelphia PA to John and Margaret Kelly, Grace was the third of four children. Her father was a rich bricklayer, so money was never a problem. After graduating from high school, Grace moved to New York to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts there. While in school Grace did several modeling jobs. After graduating from the academy, Grace appeared in many television programs and theater productions.
Grace's first movie was Fourteen Hours (1951) where she had a very little part. The first major picture for her was High Noon (1952). She played the young bride of a sherrif ( played by Gary Cooper ). Her next movie required her to sign a studio contract with MGM. The movie was Mogambo (1953), co-starring Clark Gable.
By now she had caught the eye of the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. Grace Kelly would star in three consecutive films for him. They were, Dial M for Murder (1954) with Ray Milland, Rear Window (1954) with James Stewart and To Catch A Theif (1955) with Cary Grant.
1954 was a busy year for Grace. Not only did she film the two Hitchcock films but she also did The Country Girl where Grace won the Best Actress Award at the Oscars for 1954. The movie also starred Bing Crosby. There was also Green Fire with Stewart Granger and The Bridges of Toko-ri with William Holden. Five films in one year with all leading roles is awesome for an actor these days!
After filming for To Catch a Thief (which was entirely filmed in the South of France) was over, Grace had to fly back to America to accept her award for Best Actress at the Oscars. Later Grace flew to France to attend the Cannes film festival. During the festival Grace was invited to meet the Prince Rainier of Monaco (her future husband). In the middle of 1955, Grace was preparing for the role of Alexandra in The Swan which was released in 1956. By the end of the year it was announced that Grace Kelly was engaged to Prince Rainier.
In early 1956 Grace started filming High Society which also starred Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. Grace's last film as Grace Kelly was a remake of the 1940 film The Philadelphia Story. The movie was a musical comedy. Grace earned a Gold Record for her duet with Bing Crosby in the song "True Love". Her wedding was schedualed for April, so after the filming for High Society was over, Grace tied ends with America and "set sailed" to France where her fiance was waiting.
Grace's engagement had created quite a stir with the media. With her rising popularity as an actress, her marriage and quiting films for life had boosted her popularity sky high! Her wedding was dubbed "The Wedding of the Century"! On April 4th, 1956 Grace her family and fifty of her friends boarded the USS Constitution which was headed for Monaco. On April 12th, 1956 the USS Constitution's trip to Monaco had stopped. Prince Rainier's yacht came out of the harbour to pick up Grace from the USS Constitution. When the yacht returned, Monaco had their first real glimps of their future Princess. Needless to say the media was all over!
On April 18, 1956 in the throne room of the palace of Monaco, Grace went through the first part of her marriage, the civil ceremony, which was required by Monegasque law. On April 19, 1956 the wedding took place in the St. Nicholas Church. As an agreement with MGM, Grace and Rainier's wedding was to be filmed and then release as a movie back in America. The agreement was made because Grace had to break her 7 year contract with MGM. To say the least the wedding was beautiful, despite the cameras and high powered lights. Although it's said that Grace herself hated every moment of her wedding, she still looked stunning! After the wedding there was a garden party in the grounds of the palace. Then at 5 'o clock that evening Prince Rainier's yacht (the same that came to pick Grace up when she first arrived) set sailed for their honeymoon. Grace Kelly was now officially Her Serene Highness Princess Grace of Monaco!
When Grace arrived back from her honeymoon, she learned that she was pregnant. It was a difficult time for her; alone in a strange country and pregnant for the first time. But Princess Grace persisted. She made most of the decisions for the renovations of the palace, and she created the nursury for her children. Princess Caroline was born on January 23, 1957. Grace was delighted with her new baby. Monaco was delighted to hear they had a heir to secure the principality. A year later, on March 14, 1958 Prince Albert was born. Seven years later, on February 1, 1965 the baby, Princess Stephanie was born. Grace loved her children, maybe she loved them too much, but that never got in the way when it came to disciplining them. Grace was fair. She tried hard to have her children grow up as normal as any child. Vacation time was usually spent back in Philadelphia and for several years Prince Albert attended summer camp with his american cousins.
To keep herself busy as Princess, Grace was President for The Red Cross , Monaco's masthead charity. With Grace's Hollywood connections, Monaco's Red Cross Ball brought in many movie stars and performers such as Frank Sinatra and Cary Grant. In her first year as Princess she started a yearly Christmas party for the children of Monaco, no parents were allowed. She became the honerary president of AMADE. AMADE helped underdevelopped countries with medicine and education. She also had an active part in La Leche League. La Leche League was an organization that encouraged breast feeding. Near the end of her life Grace took up the art of dried flower arrangements. She even had her art dispalyed in a Paris gallery and sold some of her pieces as well (the money went to charity of course).
In 1978, Princess Grace's eldest child, Caroline got married. Needless to say the marriage didn't last. Not much of a surprise for Grace or Rainier who were quite against the whole thing from the beginning. Grace's relationships with her children, mostly her daughters, had changed a little. Caroline was a beautiful young woman who liked to go out late in Paris. She was no longer interested in school. Princess Stephanie always tended to get her way which made her sometimes difficult to get along with. Like her sister, she was turning into a very beautiful woman. Prince Albert had turned into a handsome young man. He later attended school in America.
Around 1978 Grace started reading poetry. She attended many poetry reading recitals. Also around the same year, Princess Grace worked closely with Robert Dornhelm on two films. The Children of Theater Street was a film where Grace narrated. The second film was Rearranged, where she played herself.
On September 13, 1982 Princess Grace and Princess Stephanie were involved in a terrible car accident when their car careened off the winding roads of France leading to Monaco. Princess Stephanie was able to get out of the car when it finally stopped rolling but she suffered a few injuries. Princess Grace wasn't so lucky. Unfortunatly, she had suffered a very mild stroke which caused her to lose control of her vehicule. After the car had stopped rolling down the cliff, Grace was found unconscious. The next day, on September 14, 1982 Princess Grace of Monaco, Grace Kelly, had died. She is never to be forgotten.