Grace Kelly

Duration: 1st November – 30th November 2019
Number of books: 8
Hosted by: Crazy Challenge Connection

I’m a big fan of old Hollywood. And while I adore many actresses for their acting, there are only two actresses that come to mind when thinking of poise and elegance, Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly. It happens to be Princess Grace’s birthday in November (she would have been 90), and so the challenge based on her life. To finish, read a book to fit each task.

1. Grace Patricia Kelly was born on November 12, 1929, at Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to an affluent and influential family. Her father, Irish-American John B. Kelly Sr., had won three Olympic gold medals for sculling and owned a successful brickwork contracting company that was well known on the East Coast. His brother Walter C. Kelly was a vaudeville star, who also made films for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Paramount Pictures, and another named George was a Pulitzer Prize–winning dramatist, screenwriter, and director. Kelly’s mother, Margaret Katherine Majer, had German parents. Margaret had taught physical education at the University of Pennsylvania and had been the first woman to coach women’s athletics at the institution.
🎭 Read a book whose main character has well-off parents -or- read a book with a professional athlete character.China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan

2. After she was rejected by Bennington College because of her low math scores, Kelly decided to pursue her dreams of becoming an actress. Her father was particularly displeased with her decision; he viewed acting as “a slim cut above streetwalker”. To start her career, she auditioned for the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, using a scene from her uncle George Kelly’s The Torch-Bearers. Although the school had already met its semester quota, she obtained an interview with the admissions officer, Emile Diestel, and was admitted through the influence of George. Her early acting pursuits led her to the stage, and she made her Broadway debut in Strindberg’s The Father, alongside Raymond Massey. At 19, her graduation performance was as Tracy Lord in The Philadelphia Story.
🎭 Read a book with a number in its title (cardinal or ordinal) -or- read a book that is marked ‘Humor’ or ‘Romance’ on the main GR page. – Mate Set by Laurann Dohner

3. Television producer Delbert Mann cast Kelly as Bethel Merriday in an adaptation of the Sinclair Lewis novel of the same name; this was her first of nearly 60 live television programs. Success on television eventually brought her a role in a major motion picture. Impressed by her work in The Father, the director Henry Hathaway offered her a small role in the film Fourteen Hours. Following the release of this film, the “Grace Kelly Fan Club” was established. It became popular all over the United States, with local chapters springing up and attracting many members. Kelly referred to her fan club as “terrifically amusing”. Her first major film role was Stanley Kramer’s High Noon opposite Gary Cooper.
🎭 Read a book that has been made into a TV series (not a film) -or- read a book whose author you are a huge fan of.The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket

4. After filming High Noon, Kelly returned to New York City and took private acting lessons, keen to be taken seriously as an actress. Director John Ford noticed Kelly in a 1950 screen test, and his studio flew her out to Los Angeles to audition for the film Mogambo in September 1952. Ford said that Kelly showed “breeding, quality, and class”. She was given the role, along with a seven-year contract at the relatively low salary of $850 a week. Director Alfred Hitchcock, who had also seen the 1950 screen test, would become one of Kelly’s last mentors. She was loaned by her studio MGM to work on several Hitchcock films, later appearing in Rear Window and To Catch a Thief.
🎭 Read a mystery that has at least one Hitchcockian property (tell us which) -or- read a book with a poised character (tell us who). – The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman (Antonina)

5. Kelly played the role of Bing Crosby’s long-suffering wife, Georgie Elgin, in The Country Girl, after a pregnant Jennifer Jones bowed out. Already familiar with the play, Kelly was highly interested in the part. To do it, MGM would have to lend Kelly to Paramount. Kelly was adamant, and threatened the studio, saying that if they did not allow her to do the film, she would pack her bags and leave for New York for good. MGM relented, and the part was hers. In the film, Kelly plays the wife of a washed-up, alcoholic singer, played by Crosby. Her character becomes torn emotionally between her two lovers, played by Bing Crosby and William Holden. Kelly was nominated for and ultimately won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the film. Her main competitor was Judy Garland for her performance in A Star Is Born.
🎭 Read a book with a love triangle -or- read a book that has won a prominent award (tell us the award).At Grave’s End by Jeaniene Frost

6. Kelly headed the U.S. delegation at the Cannes Film Festival in April 1955. While there, she was invited to participate in a photo session with Prince Rainier III, the sovereign of the Principality of Monaco, at the Prince’s Palace, about 55 kilometers away from Cannes. After a series of delays and complications, she met him at the Prince’s Palace of Monaco on May 6, 1955. At the time of her initial meeting with him, she was dating the French actor Jean-Pierre Aumont. After a year-long courtship described as containing “a good deal of rational appraisal on both sides”, Prince Rainier married Kelly in 1956. The Napoleonic Code of Monaco and the laws of the Roman Catholic Church necessitated two ceremonies – both a civil ceremony and a religious wedding. The 16-minute civil ceremony took place in the Palace Throne Room of Monaco on April 18, 1956. The following day, the church ceremony took place at Monaco’s Saint Nicholas Cathedral. The wedding was estimated to have been watched by over 30 million viewers on live television and was described by biographer Robert Lacey as “the first modern event to generate media overkill”. Her wedding dress, designed by MGM’s Academy Award-winning Helen Rose, was worked on for six weeks by three dozen seamstresses. The couple had three children: Princess Caroline, Prince Albert (the current Prince of Monaco) and Princess Stéphanie.
🎭 Read a book with royalty -or- read a book with a beautiful dress on the cover (post the cover). – Larceny and Lace by Annette Blair

7. Hitchcock offered Princess Grace the lead in his film Marnie in 1962. She was eager, but public outcry in Monaco against her involvement in a film where she would play a kleptomaniac made her reconsider and ultimately reject the project. Director Herbert Ross tried to interest her in a part in his film The Turning Point (1977), but Rainier quashed the idea. Later that year, she returned to the arts in a series of poetry readings on stage and narration of the documentary The Children of Theater Street. She also narrated ABC’s made-for-television film The Poppy Is Also a Flower (1966). Grace and Rainier worked together in a 33-minute independent film called Rearranged in 1979, which received interest from ABC TV executives in 1982 after premiering in Monaco, on the condition that it be extended to an hour. Before more scenes could be shot, Grace died and the film was never released or shown publicly again.
🎭 Read a book written by a husband and wife pair -or- listen to an audiobook (tell us the narrator).Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews

8. On September 13, 1982, Kelly was driving back to Monaco from her country home in Roc Agel when she had a stroke. As a result, she lost control of her 1971 Rover P6 3500, and drove off the steep, winding road and down the 120 foot mountainside. Her daughter Stéphanie, who was in the passenger seat, tried but failed to regain control of the car. Kelly was taken to the Monaco Hospital with injuries to the brain and thorax. She died the following night at 10:55 p.m. after Rainier decided to take her off life support. Kelly’s funeral was held at the Cathedral of Our Lady Immaculate, on September 18, 1982. After a Requiem Mass, she was buried in the Grimaldi family vault. Rainier, who did not remarry, was buried alongside her in 2005.
🎭 Read a book in which the main character is involved in an accident -or- read a book with a car or a mountain on the cover (post the cover).The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells

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