As we continue our series celebrating what would have been Princess Grace’s 90th birthday, we take a look at her Hollywood career as she became a star.
Grace’s first acting role came on Broadway where she had a part in Strindberg’s The Father while studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. Her hard work and studying while at the Academy led to her being cast in a live television show Bethel Merriday as the main character.
Theatre World would call her “[a] most promising personality of the Broadway stage of 1950.” She would star in several theatre productions, and her time on television helped her score roles in motion pictures as time went on.
She was given a small role in Fourteen Hours to begin her film career. The camera and public loved her, and the highly popular Grace Kelly Fan Club was created shortly after the movie’s release. Thus, a star was born, but she still had not truly hit it big in Hollywood as her role in the film did not convince directors to cast her in more films. So, she continued in theatre and television for the time being.
While performing theatre in Colorado, she was offered a role in High Noon alongside Gary Cooper. It was released in 1952 and has gone down as one of the greatest movies of all time. It also garnered four Academy Awards. After its release, Grace returned to New York City for acting lessons to help hone her skills to get more roles.
Grace signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1952 for just $850 a week, and two months later, she began filming Mogambo in Africa alongside Clarke Gable. Her role opposite Gable resulted in her nomination for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress, as well as her first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
MGM would loan Kelly out to allow her to work with famed director Alfred Hitchcock on movies like Dial M for Murder, To Catch a Thief and Rear Window.
Later on, Grace would be offered the role of Georgie Elgin, the wife of Bing Crosby’s character, in The Country Girl. It was a Paramount film meaning MGM had to loan her out once again. She was determined to appear in the film and threatened MGM with leaving the studio and returning to New York. MGM gave in and allowed her to appear in the movie.Embed from Getty Images
The Country Girl would give Grace Kelly the prize of the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1954, and in 1955, Kelly would win a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama. She really had finally hit it big.
Grace Kelly was a Hollywood star and household name.