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Grace, Princess of Monaco née Grace Patricia Kelly was an Academy Award-winning American film and stage actress who, upon marriage to Rainier III, Prince of Monaco in 1956, became Her Serene Highness The Princess of Monaco, but was generally known as Princess Grace of Monaco. Princess Grace maintained dual American and Monegasque citizenship after her marriage. The principality`s current Sovereign Prince, Albert II is the son of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace. The American Film Institute ranked Kelly #13 amongst the Greatest Female Stars of All Time.
Grace Patricia Kelly was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she grew up in the East Falls section, the third of four children to John Brendan Kelly, Sr., also known as Jack Kelly, and Margaret Katherine Majer Kelly. Grace`s siblings, in order of age, were Peggy, John Jr., and Lizzane. Her father was one of ten children of John Henry Kelly (1847-189F7) and Mary Costello in an Irish American Catholic family (originally from Kidney Lake, Newport, County Mayo, Ireland). Already a local hero as a triple Olympic-gold-medal-winning sculler at a time when the sport of rowing was most popular, John Kelly`s brick business grew to become the largest on the East Coast. The self-made millionaire and his family were introduced to Philadelphia society. Mr. Kelly`s large family included two uncles prominent in the arts: Walter Kelly, a vaudevillian, and George Kelly, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, who outside of Grace was assiduously looked down upon by the family because of his homosexuality.
In 1935, John Kelly ran for mayor of Philadelphia, losing by the closest margin for any Democrat in Philadelphia. He later served on the Fairmount Park Commission. During World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed him National Director of Physical Fitness, a post that allowed Kelly to use his fame to promote the virtues of physical fitness.
Grace`s mother, born to Lutheran German parents (Carl Majer and Margaretha Berg), converted to Catholicism upon marrying Mr. Kelly. Like her husband, Margaret Kelly was a proponent of health and fitness, studying Physical Education at Temple University, and later becoming the first woman to head the Physical Education Department at the University of Pennsylvania.
John B. Kelly, Jr., Grace’s brother, followed in the family`s athletic tradition: his rowing exploits were well chronicled. He won the James E. Sullivan Award in 1947 as the top amateur athlete in the country. As a wedding gift, John, Jr., gave his sister his bronze medal from the 1956 Summer Olympics. Kelly Drive in Philadelphia is named for John, Jr., who was a city councilman there.
Grace Kelly’s choice of career was reflected in her childhood experiences. While attending the prestigious Ravenhill Academy, Grace modeled fashions at local social events with her mother and sisters. She gained her first acting experience at the age of 12, when she played a lead role in Don`t Feed the Animals, a play produced by the Old Academy Players in East Falls. During high school, she acted and danced, graduating from Stevens School, a small private school in a mansion on Walnut Lane in Germantown, Philadelphia, in May 1947. Her graduation yearbook listed her favorite actress as Ingrid Bergman; her favorite actor, Joseph Cotten; her favorite summer resort, Ocean City; her favorite drink, a black and white chocolate milkshake; her favorite piece of classical music, Debussy`s "Clair de Lune"; her favorite orchestra, Benny Goodman; and her favorite female singer, Jo Stafford. Written in the "Stevens` Prophecy" section was, “Miss Grace P. Kelly - a famous star of stage and screen.”
The wedding consisted of two ceremonies. On April 18, a 40-minute civil ceremony took place in the Palace Throne Room, and was broadcast across Europe. To cap the ceremony, the 142 official titles (counterparts of Rainier`s) that Kelly acquired in the union were formally recited. The following day, the event concluded with the church ceremony at Monaco`s Saint Nicholas Cathedral. Grace`s wedding dress, designed by MGM`s Academy Award-winning Helen Rose, had been worked on by three dozen seamstresses for six weeks. The 600 guests included Hollywood stars David Niven and his wife Hjordis, Gloria Swanson, Ava Gardner, the crowned head Aga Khan, and Conrad Hilton. Frank Sinatra initially accepted the invitation to attend, but at the last minute decided otherwise, afraid of upstaging the bride on her wedding day. Queen Elizabeth flatly refused to attend on the grounds of there being "too many movie stars." The ceremony was watched by an estimated 30 million people on television. The prince and princess left that night for their 7-week Mediterranean cruise honeymoon on Rainier`s yacht, Deo Juvante II.
"Children and family"
Princess Grace gave birth to the couple's first child, Princess Caroline, nine months and four days afte
American Academy of Dramatic Arts, NYC
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Grace Patricia Kelly
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John Brendan Kelly Sr
Margaret Katherine Majer
John "Kell" Jr
Clark Gable, Ava Gardner, Frank Sinatra, Gwen Robyns, Harper Davies, Alfred Hitchcock, Rita Gam, Princess Diana, David Niven, Conrad Hilton, Gloria Swanson, Gregory Peck, Arlene Dahl
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Grace Patricia Kelly (November 12, 1929 – September 14, 1982) was an American actress who, after marrying Prince Rainier III, became the Princess of Monaco.
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Film actress and princess
Caroline Louise Marguerite (daughter), Albert II (son), Stephanie Marie Elisabeth (daughter)
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