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The Legacy of Grace Kelly

Being an icon does not mean you have to have an extensive career in order to keep yourself in the spotlight. Despite Grace Kelly’s short filmography of a totaled eleven films, Princess Grace made a distinct impact on film-goers with her beauty, charm, and talent before her early retirement in 1956 with “High Society.” After her retirement, her efforts to support charity functions and the performing arts solidified her legacy.

In her film career, Grace worked with some of Hollywood’s heavyweights including Gary Cooper in “High Noon” (1952), “The King” Clark Gable and Ava Gardner in “Mogambo” (1953). She also became one of Alfred Hitchcock’s trademark blondes in three of his films including “Dial “M” For Murder” (1954) opposite Ray Miland, “Rear Window” (1954) opposite Jimmy Stewart, and "To Catch A Thief" (1955) opposite Cary Grant.

Grace even managed to win an Academy Award for “Best Actress in a Starring Role” for her portrayal of “Georgie Elgrin” in “The Country Girl” (1954). Her Oscar win is still the topic of debate since Grace reportedly won by six votes over Judy Garland’s portrayal of “Vicky Lester/Esther Blodgett” in “A Star Is Born” (1954). Grace re-united with Bing Crosby for her final film, “High Society” (1956) -- the musical adaptation of the play “The Philadelphia Story.” After “High Society,” Grace auditioned for the role of “Leslie Benedict” in “Giant” (1956). She had her heart set on playing “Leslie Benedict” but actress Elizabeth Taylor (got) the role. After her rejection, Grace considered her film career to be over. She continued her preparations to marry Prince Rainier,
whom she wedded on April 19, 1956.

As royalty, Grace took on an even greater performance as wife, mother and Her Serene Highness, Princess of Monaco. While she was devoted mother and wife, Princess Grace also devoted her time to charity. In 1959, a scant three years of being royal, Princess Grace received the Medal of Merit from the Austrian government for aiding Hungarian refugees who escaped Russian invasion. In 1963, Princess Grace established AMADE (Association mondiale des Amis de l'Enfance). It is a non-profit organization to help educate and protect at-risk children around the world. Currently, the organization is established in Africa, the Philippines and twenty-five different countries.

After Princess Grace’s death in 1982, her family continued her legacy. They established “The Prince Grace Foundation” which deals in grants, internships and scholarships to further support theater and the performing arts in America. Grace’s eldest daughter and Princess of Hanover, Caroline, continued the work of her mother by founding Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, a classical ballet company Grace was planning at the time of her death. Caroline is also the president of "The Princess Grace Foundation" and AMADE.

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