Grace Patricia Kelly from Philadelphia Misfit to Princess Consort of Monaco
Bob Brown adds a welcome soothing, sensitive touch as he narrates this account of the life and career of Grace Patricia Kelly, from her 1929 birth, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the third of four children of Margaret Katherine Majer Kelly and the Olympic Gold Medal-winning Jack Kelly, Sr., who often refers to his timid second daughter as family misfit, as his other children pursue athletic regiments.
Grace attends Ravenhill Academy, a Roman Catholic girl's school, and Stevens School, also in Philadelphia, before attending American Academy of Dramatic Arts, in New York City, at which she is urged to practice diction lessons, to transform her Philadelphian accent into a semi-British sounding speech pattern.
While residing at Manhattan's Barbizon Hotel for Women, Grace seems to break a few rules, which begins a series of family-mandated chaperons to be sent Grace's way to guard her conduct around impatient suitors.
One of Grace's theatre appearances mentioned here, by the way, her performances in "The Father" (1949), unfortunately, endures a very brief run.
After Grace receives national recognition by appearing in some sixty television productions in New York City, chaperoning continues, when her father learns of Grace's playfulness in Summer Stock in Denver, Colorado, at which she is spotted by MGM talent scouts and whisked to Hollywood for a screen test.
When Actor Gary Cooper spots Grace in one production, he requests her for a co-starring role in the forthcoming film "High Noon" (1952), which begins Grace's reportedly finding herself attracted to a series of leading men, who return the mutual infatuation. While nothing comes of any Kelly/Cooper romance, some of her leading men to follow may not be as safe as Gary.
And when word would reach the Kelly family that Grace becomes involved in an impulsive romance with her next leading man, sister Lizanne would be sent to chaperon until Grace decides to share an apartment with fellow actress Rita Gam, who serves the purpose.
This episode follows Grace's rise to international prominence through her film career, for which she maintains her desire to improve her acting skills, and finds her attending the Cannes Film Festival in 1955, after which she participates in a photo session at the Palace of Monaco with Prince Rainier III, with whom she discusses potential marriage within a brief period of time, some 24 hours later.
The overly-protective Jack Kelly, Sr., is said to have been shocked to learn that the Academy would award Grace's acting talents, but pleased to approve of Prince Rainier upon Grace's inviting him to a family gathering in Philadelphia.
But according to many around her, Grace Kelly's life to follow, as Grace, Princess consort of Monaco, may resemble anything but a happily-ever-after fairy tale....
Interview Guests for this episode consist of Sister Francis Joseph (Teacher), Alice Godfrey Waters (Schoolmate), Fleur Cowles (Editor, Friend), Rita Gam (Actress, roommate), Gwen Robyns (Biographer: "Princess Grace: A Biography"), James Spada (Biographer: "Grace"), Jay Kanter (Agent), Oleg Cassini (Fashion Designer, suitor), Andrew Sarris (Film Critic), and Robert Dornhelm (Director).
Archive Interview Guests consist of Grace Kelly (Self, 1977 and 1982), Alfred Hitchcock (Director, 1977), William Holden (Actor, 1977), and Caroline, Princess of Hanover (1985).
Still Photographs include Grace Kelly, Lizanne Kelly Le Vine, and Stefano Casiraghi.
Archive film footage includes Grace Kelly, Jack Kelly, Sr., Margaret Kelly, Jack Kelly, Jr., Peggy Kelly, Gary Cooper, Clark Gable, Alfred Hitchcock, Ray Milland, James Stewart, William Holden, Cary Grant, Prince Rainier III of Monaco, Bing Crosby, Caroline, Princess of Hanover, Princess Stéphanie of Monaco, and Philippe Junot.
Film Clips consist of High Noon (1952), Mogambo (1953), Dial M for Murder (1954), Rear Window (1954), The Country Girl (1954), To Catch a Thief (1955), High Society (1956), The Children of Theatre Street (1977), plus a 1956 Newsreel with Grace Kelly's boarding the USS Constitution for Monaco.
Television Clips include a glimpse of Grace Kelly through the years, in scenes from "The Philco Television Playhouse: Rich Boy" (1952), a commercial featuring Grace Kelly, a fashion show featuring Grace's modeling, The 27th Annual Academy Awards (1955), news coverage of the births of Princess Caroline (1957) and Prince Albert (1958), plus Grace's Edinburgh Playhouse poetry reading (circa 1976), in addition to her interviews (1977 and "20/20," 1982).
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