Grace Kelly first influenced fashion with her look as a glamorous Hollywood star and then as Princess of Monaco. To this day, she continues to inspire women and designers around the world. Her commitment to her family, the people of Monaco and her legacy as a gifted humanitarian makes her even more beautiful and beloved.
On November 12, 1929, Grace Patricia Kelly was born into a loving American family from Philadelphia. Her parents were Margaret and self-made millionaire, John B. Kelly. In addition to being a successful businessman, her father was a two-time Gold Olympic medalist in rowing as well as a politician. Both her parents encouraged a strong work ethic and expected achievement for their children. Grace’s brother Jack following in his father’s footsteps became an Olympic Gold rowing champion and public figure. Her sisters, Peggy and Lizanne were outgoing and vivacious and Grace was considered the gentler one.
By age 18, Grace used her determination to leave home and study acting in New York City. Her uncle George Kelly was a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and became a resource for Grace as she found her own way. Soon offers from Hollywood followed her work from modeling, live TV, Broadway shows and stock theater. From 1951 through 1956 her films with top directors such as John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, and Stanley Kramer brought her fame and work with established stars. Her leading men included Gary Cooper, James Stewart, Bing Crosby, Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Alec Guinness, William Holden, and Frank Sinatra. However, it was her outstanding role in "The Country Girl" that would make her an Academy Award Winner and proved to the world that she was much more than a glamorous movie star, Grace was now an accomplished actress.
Grace would never forget what it meant to have the support and guidance of her uncle George Kelly as she developed her career. Once she became successful, for the rest of her life she made sure she found ways to help young aspiring talented performing artists who were in need of financial assistance and advise. This is now the mission of the Princess Grace Foundation-USA, to carry on her legacy by providing scholarships, apprenticeships, and fellowships to emerging artists in theater, dance, and film.