36 Stunning Vintage Photos of Grace Kelly in the 1950s

Grace Patricia Kelly (November 12, 1929 – September 14, 1982) was an American actress who, after starring in several significant films in the early to mid-1950s, became Princess of Monaco by marrying Prince Rainier III in April 1956.

Kelly was born into a well-known Catholic family of Irish and German origin in the U.S. city of Philadelphia. After graduating from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1949, Kelly began appearing in New York City theatrical productions and over 40 live drama productions broadcast in early 1950s Golden Age of Television. She gained stardom from her performance in John Ford’s adventure-romance Mogambo (1953), for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the drama The Country Girl (1954). Other notable works include the western High Noon (1952), the romantic comedy High Society (1956), and three consecutive Alfred Hitchcock suspense thrillers: Dial M for Murder (1954), Rear Window (1954), and To Catch a Thief (1955). Kelly worked with some of the most prominent leading men of the era, including Gary Cooper, Clark Gable, Ray Milland, James Stewart, Bing Crosby, William Holden, Cary Grant, Alec Guinness, and Frank Sinatra.

Kelly retired from acting at age 26 to marry Rainier, and began her duties as Princess of Monaco. Hitchcock hoped that she would appear in more of his films that required an “icy blonde” lead actress, but he was unable to coax her out of retirement. The Prince and Princess had three children: Princess Caroline, Prince Albert, and Princess Stéphanie. Kelly retained her link to America by her dual U.S. and Monégasque citizenship. Her charity work focused on young children and the arts, establishing the Princess Grace Foundation to support local artisans in 1964. Her organization for children’s rights, AMADE Mondiale, gained consultive status within UNICEF and UNESCO. Her final film contribution was in 1977 to the documentary The Children of Theatre Street directed by Robert Dornhelm, where she served as the narrator. The documentary was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Kelly died at the age of 52 at Monaco Hospital on September 14, 1982, from injuries sustained in a car crash the previous day. She is listed 13th among the American Film Institute’s 25 Greatest Female Stars of Classical Hollywood Cinema. Her son, Prince Albert, helped establish the Princess Grace Awards in 1984 to recognize emerging performers in film, theatre, and dance. (Wikipedia)

Here, we’re looking back at the life of the icon in the 1950s through 37 glamorous photos…

Grace Kelly on the set of ‘Mogambo,’ directed by John Ford.
Grace Kelly attended the 26th Academy Awards in an embroided dress and fur coat, posing next to her was Clark Gable.
Grace Kelly backstage.
Grace Kelly wardrobed by Moss Marby in the Hitchcock-directed ‘Dial M for Murder.’
Grace Kelly with James Stewart on the set of ‘Rear Window,’ directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
Grace Kelly, Alfred Hitchcock and James Stewart at the premiere of ‘Rear Window.’
Grace Kelly wardrobed for ‘The Green Fire,’ costume designed by Helen Rose.
Grace Kelly with designer Oleg Cassini at the premiere of ‘The Last Time I Saw Paris.’
Best Leading Actress winner Grace Kelly and Best Supporting Actor winner Edmond O’Brien at the 27th Academy Awards in Los Angeles. Kelly’s ice-blue gown was designed by the legendary Edith Head.
Grace Kelly congratulated on her Best Leading Actress win for ‘The Country Girl’ by Marlon Brando at the 27th Academy Awards in Los Angeles.
1955, May. Grace Kelly wore a red dress and fur stole at a Cannes Film Festival premiere.
1955, May. Grace Kelly posed in a pair of Capri pants at the Cannes Film Festival.
Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor and Lorraine Day at the New York International Airport.
On-set portrait of Grace Kelly. 1955
Grace Kelly on the set of ‘To Catch a Thief,’ directed by Alfred Hitchcock. 1955
Original caption: 1/5/56-Philadelphia, PA: Prince Rainier III of Monaco and lovely Grace Kelly, reigning “Queen” of the American screen, pose for photographers at the home of Miss Kelly’s parents after the pair’s engagement was announced Jan 5, 1956. The wedding plans were disclosed to more than 40 American and European reporters and 25 photographers and cameramen at a news conference in the Kelly’s red brick home. The couple announced they would be married shortly after Easter.
Prince Rainier III and Grace Kelly attended a banquet after announcing their engagement in New York. 1956
1956, February. Grace Kelly won the World Film Favorite Actor (Female) at the 13th Golden Globe Awards.
1956, March. Presenters Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly waited backstage at the RKO Pantages Theatre during the 28th Academy Awards in Los Angeles. (Photo by Allan Grant)
Grace Kelly and director Charles Windsor on the set of ‘The Swan.’ 1956
Grace Kelly in her famous bathing outfit from the film ‘High Society,’ directed by Charles Walters. 1956
Grace Kelly wore her diamond engagement ring from Prince Rainier III. 1956
1956, March. Grace Kelly with her pet poodle Oliver in her New York apartment before departing to Monaco.
1956, April 12. Prince Rainier III and Grace Kelly greeted each other as she arrived in Monaco. (Photo by Howell Conant)
1956, April 19. Grace Kelly on her wedding day to Prince Rainier III of Monaco. Her dress was designed by Helen Rose.
1956, April 19. Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III on their wedding day. The Wedding in Monaco was watched by over 30 million viewers on live television.
1956, April 19. Grace Kelly prayed during her wedding to Prince Rainier III of Monaco.
1956, November 17. Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace on board of the Constitution before they got off in Cannes. (Photo by Dominique Berretty)
1956 Grace Kelly shielded her pregnant belly by the Hermès ‘Sac à dépêches’ bag. It was officially renamed the ‘Kelly bag’ in honour of the Princess in 1977.
1957. Grace Kelly with her mother in the Monaco Palace gardens.
1957, December. Princess Grace and Prince Rainier in the Monaco Palace. She was pregnant with her son at the time.
1958, March 17. Prince Albert Alexandre Louis Pierre of Monaco, son and heir of Prince Rainier III, in the arms of his mother, Princess Grace.
1958, April. The royal couple stood on the balcony of the palace with their daughter Princess Caroline and son Prince Albert II shortly after his birth.
1958, November. The couple smiled for the camera as they arrived at JFK in New York.
1959. Princess Grace and her husband went shopping in London during a visit to the capital.
1959, October. The royal family posed for photographs as they left their hotel in Saulieu, France.

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