Guest Author - Carol Taller
Grace Patricia Kelly, Princess of Monaco and American actress, died in a car crash on September 14, 1982 at the age of 52. She was known as Princess Grace.
Kelly was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and raised Catholic by her parents, who were of Irish and German descent. She had three siblings.
At 12 years old Kelly had the lead in a school play, and in high school she acted and danced. After high school she auditioned for the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York and got accepted. Her first role was on television, and then she landed a film debut in 1951 in the film “Fourteen Hours.” Her role in this film went without notice.
Her next films, “Mogambo” and “High Noon”, helped her achieve notoriety. She starred with Cary Grant, Bing Crosby, and William Holden, and won awards including Academy Award for Best Actress, New York Film Critics Circle for best actress, as well as Golden Globe Awards.
In April of 1955 Kelly headed the US delegation at the “Cannes Film Festival”. There, she was invited to a film op at the Palace of Monaco with Prince Ranier III. Within a year, preparations for an extravagant wedding were underway. Kelly left New York with her family and friends, and was welcomed in Monaco by 20,000 people in the streets to greet their future princess.
Princess Grace gave birth to her first child nine months and four days after the wedding. Princess Caroline was born January 23, 1957, and was heir presumptive to the throne of Monaco. Albert II, Prince of Monaco, was born March 14, 1958, and Princess Stephanie was born February 1, 1965.
As a husband, Prince Ranier was controlling. He banned the screening of Kelly’s films, and forbid her from taking on several projects. The tabloids loved her and followed her with gossip most of her life. She is rumored to have had many love affairs, especially during her acting days.
It was on September 13 in 1982 that Kelly was driving with her daughter Stephanie to Monaco from their country home that Princess Grace drove off the winding mountainside road. The accident was reportedly caused by her car’s faulty brake system, but later reports claime that Kelly may have had a stroke while driving. Kelly and Stephanie were pulled from the wreckage, but Kelly had serious injuries and was unconscious.
The next day Kelly died with her husband and three children at her bedside. Prince Rainier died in 2005. He never remarried and was buried alongside Kelly.