ABC News – Sept. 14, 1982 Grace Kelly Dies
The Princess of Monaco dies from injuries suffered in a car accident. Credit: http//www.abcnews.go.com.
Grace Kelly in High Society (1956).
Grace Patricia Kelly (November 12, 1929 – September 14, 1982) was an American actress who, in April 1956, married Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, to become Princess consort of Monaco, styled as Her Serene Highness The Princess of Monaco, and commonly referred to as Princess Grace.
After embarking on an acting career in 1950, at the age of 20, Grace Kelly appeared in New York City theatrical productions as well as in more than forty episodes of live drama productions broadcast during the early 1950s Golden Age of Television. In October 1953, with the release of Mogambo, she became a movie star, a status confirmed in 1954 with a Golden Globe Award and Academy Award nomination as well as leading roles in five films, including The Country Girl, in which she gave a deglamorized, Academy Award-winning performance. She retired from acting at 26 to enter upon her duties in Monaco. She and Prince Rainier had three children: Caroline, Albert, and Stéphanie. She also retained her American roots, maintaining dual US and Monégasque citizenships.
She died after suffering a stroke on September 14, 1982, when she lost control of her automobile and crashed. Her daughter, Princess Stéphanie, was in the car with her, and survived the accident.
Television producer Delbert Mann cast Kelly as Bethel Merriday, an adaptation of the Sinclair Lewis novel of the same name, in her first of nearly sixty live television programs. Success on television eventually brought her a role in a major motion picture. Kelly made her film debut in a small role in the 1951 film Fourteen Hours. She was noticed during a visit to the set by Gary Cooper, who subsequently starred with her in High Noon. Cooper was charmed by Kelly and said that she was “different from all these actresses we’ve been seeing so much of.”
Because of low mathematics scores, Kelly was rejected by Bennington College in July 1947. To the dismay of her parents—despite his brothers’ occupations, her father viewed acting as “a slim cut above streetwalker”—Kelly decided to pursue her dreams of a career in the theater. For an audition into the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York she used a scene from her uncle’s 1923 play The Torch-Bearers. Although the school had already selected its semester quota, Kelly obtained an interview with the school’s admission officer, Emile Diestel, and was admitted due to her uncle George. Living in Manhattan’s Barbizon Hotel for Women, a prestigious establishment which barred men from entering after 10 pm, and working as a model to support her studies, Kelly began her first term the following October. A diligent student, she would use a tape recorder to practice and perfect her speech. Her early acting pursuits led her to the stage, most notably a Broadway debut in Strindberg‘s The Father alongside Raymond Massey. At 19, her graduation performance was as Tracy Lord in The Philadelphia Story. Theater and televisionWhile attending Ravenhill Academy, a prestigious Catholic girls’ school, Kelly modeled fashions at local social events with her mother and sisters. In 1942, at the age of twelve, she played a lead in Don’t Feed the Animals, a play produced by the East Falls Old Academy Players. During high school, she acted and danced, graduating in May 1947 from Stevens School, a small private institution in a mansion on Walnut Lane in the Northwest Philadelphia neighborhood of Germantown. Her graduation yearbook listed her favorite actress as Ingrid Bergman and her favorite actor as Joseph Cotten. Written in the “Stevens’ Prophecy” section was, “Miss Grace P. Kelly – a famous star of stage and screen.”
However, her performance in Fourteen Hours was not noticed by critics, and did not lead to her receiving other film acting roles. She continued her work in the theater and on television, although she lacked “vocal horsepower” and would likely not have had a lengthy stage career. Kelly was performing in Colorado’s Elitch Gardens when she received a telegram from Hollywood producer Stanley Kramer, offering her a co-starring role opposite Gary Cooper in High Noon.