Grace Kelly had short but celebrated movie career and retired at a young age to marry the Prince of Monaco.
Grace Kelly, one of the most beloved and successful actresses of the 1950’s, was born on November 12, 1929 in Philadelphia. She came from a wealthy family; her father was an Olympic gold medal winning athlete and operated a successful construction company, and her mother eventually became the first woman to head the physical education department at the University of Pennsylvania. While attending the prestigious girls’ school, Ravenhill Academy, Grace Kelly modeled at local fashion events and starred in her first play at the age of 12. After high school she was turned down by Bennington College in 1947. To the dismay of her parents, she decided to pursue a career in theater. She earned a spot at the American Academy for Dramatic Arts in New York and worked as a model while attending school.
Kelly got her big break when she was cast in a roll on television and then had her movie debut with a small role in the 1951 film Fourteen Hours. While this role did not attract the attention of critics, she did catch the eye of Gary Cooper who visited the movie set. She later starred with Cooper in 1952’s High Noon. She was given a seven-year contract with MGM and the relatively low salary of $850 a week.
Grace Kelly went on to quickly become of one the most popular stars of the 1950’s, appearing in many theatrical productions, television shows, and popular movies including Rear Window, Dial M for Murder, The Country Girl, To Catch a Thief, and High Society. She received numerous awards, including two Golden Globes, an Academy Award, and New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress. At the young age of 26 Grace Kelly retired from acting to marry Prince Rainier of Monaco, whom she met while at the 1955 Cannes Film Festival. The couple had three children, Caroline, Albert and Stephanie. Kelly died on September 13, 1982 after suffering a stroke while driving, which caused her to drive off the road and down the mountainside. Her daughter, Princess Stephanie, was also in the car but survived the crash. She left behind a lasting legacy in Hollywood and remains known not only for her acting but for her style, grace, and warm, generous spirit.