High Society: The Life of Grace Kelly
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Drawing on his unprecedented access to Grace Kelly, bestselling biographer Donald Spoto at last offers an intimate, honest, and authoritative portrait of one of Hollywood’s legendary actresses.
In just seven years–from 1950 through 1956–Grace Kelly embarked on a whirlwind career that included roles in eleven movies. From the principled Amy Fowler Kane in High Noon to the thrill-seeking Frances Stevens of To Catch a Thief, Grace established herself as one of Hollywood’s most talented actresses and iconic beauties. Her astonishing career lasted until her retirement at age twenty-six, when she withdrew from stage and screen to marry a European monarch and became a modern, working princess and mother.
Based on never-before-published or quoted interviews with Grace and those conducted over many years with her friends and colleagues–from costars James Stewart and Cary Grant to director Alfred Hitchcock–as well as many documents disclosed by her children for the first time, acclaimed biographer Donald Spoto explores the transformation of a convent schoolgirl to New York model, successful television actress, Oscar-winning movie star, and beloved royal.
As the princess requested, Spoto waited twenty-five years after her death to write this biography. Now, with honesty and insight, High Society reveals the truth of Grace Kelly’s personal life, the men she loved, the men she didn’t, and what lay behind the façade of her fairy-tale life.
From the Hardcover edition.
affair continued intensely over almost two years. “It came as no surprise when she asked permission to bring him home for the weekend,” Lizanne recalled. “The visit was in April 1949, and it was a disaster. At the dinner table, the sound of knives and forks was deafening. The silence was virtually absolute. Every now and then, somebody tried to start up a conversation, but it didn’t last. Mr. Richardson, for his part, was racking his brain for any topic of conversation that was not theatre.
Devereaux and Dorothy Stickney. This rather wan comedy, To Be Continued, opened at the Booth Theatre on April 23 and closed, after thirteen performances, on May 2. Grace knew the play was troubled when she accepted the role of Janet (“a very dignified, attractive young lady,” according to the text), the daughter of a philanderer. But every theatre credit was important toward her goal—even a part that kept her onstage for less than three minutes. Her only function in the play was to dissuade her
husband’s director), she begins calmly and builds the emotion: GEORGIE. Can you stand him up on his feet, Mr. Dodd? Because that’s where all my prayers have gone—to see that one holy hour when he can stand alone! And I might forgive even you, Mr. Dodd, if you can keep him up long enough for me to get out from under! All I want is my own name and a modest job to buy sugar for my coffee! You can’t believe it, can you—you can’t believe that a woman has to be crazy-out-of-her-mind to live
marriage will be in Monte-Carlo, not in the United States.” [The reporter made a common error: the rituals were not scheduled to be held in Monte-Carlo, but in the palace and in the cathedral, both in Monaco-Ville.] JANUARY 17 [The story in its entirety]: “Rainier Wedding Date Not Set.” Mrs. John B. Kelly, mother of Grace Kelly, said today that the time and place of her daughter’s marriage to Prince Rainier III of Monaco had not been decided.” Things were becoming ridiculous. FEBRUARY 2:
The acting profession isn’t looked on in Monaco as it is in the United States. In America, performers can have public and private lives and keep them apart. But as the wife of Prince Rainier, I can have but one public life—that of being his princess.” In July 1982: “I’m flattered that people could think I could go back to the theatre or making pictures. But that would be a very difficult decision to make after twenty-six years of being away from it all…. It’s all changed very much. I’m not sure