As mentioned yesterday, Grace Kelly had a short career — lasting a mere six years, comprising a relatively meager 11 movies — that would seemingly undermine claims of her classic movie stardom. Yet fascination with her and her private life continues almost unabated.
Thus she easily warrants the lofty perch as the subject of our Monday Quiz.
Her career ended in 1956 when she married Prince Rainier of Monaco, that sunny place populated by shady people, and enfolded herself in motherhood combined with soft sell marketing of a tiny (population less than 35,000) principality surrounded by France.
Her life ended on Sept. 14, 1982, the day after her car veered off the treacherously twisting Corniche above Monaco. She had suffered a massive stroke. She was just two months shy of her 53 birthday.
Not for nothing is the royal part of her life cataloged yet again onscreen in French director Olivier Dahan’s glossy full-length feature film, Grace of Monaco, with Nicole Kidman in the title role. How many other actresses do you know of who inspire full fledged biopics 32 years after their death?
Well, how much do you know about Grace Kelly’s career? Check out today’s answers and see for yourself. (To review the questions, just scroll down to Monday’s blog below.) Our quiz was inspired by author Wendy Leigh’s True Grace: The Life and Times of an American Princess.
1) Answer: c) German. Although Grace’s hard-charging, self-made millionaire father, Jack Kelly, traded on his Irish ancestry (consider him a minor league Joe Kennedy), it was Grace’s German-American mother, Margaret Majer, who really molded her as a young girl. Grace’s character was far more Germanic than Irish, notes author Leigh, “one carefully engendered by her mother.” It helped that Grace’s maternal grandfather really was something of a German nobleman.
2) Answer: b) Probably false. Leigh’s description of Kelly’s teenage years is idyllic — she was popular and had tons of boyfriends — until Grace met Paul “Skinny” D’Amato. He was the mob’s front man who ran the infamous 500 Club in Atlantic City (where Jack Kelly liked to frequent), who “evoked disturbing emotions within her, the submissive teenager.” The much older D’Amato was not interested, however, so we suspect someone else actually claimed Grace’s virginity.
3) Answer: b) Twice. Kelly married Gary Cooper in High Noon and Bing Crosby in High Society.
4) Answer: b) 1956′s The Wrong Man. By the time that picture came out, Kelly was officially on her way to being deferred to as “Princess Grace.”
5) Answer: c) James Stewart. Grace had a habit of falling for her leading men, and she did so with Gary Cooper, Ray Milland, Bing Crosby and William Holden. She was flirtatious with Stewart, her Rear Window costar, but nothing more.
6) Answer: b) Ray Milland, Kelly’s costar in Dial M For Murder, and c) Crosby, her costar in High Society and The Country Girl. Although a veteran of many affairs with younger actresses, Milland managed to maintain a stable marriage with wife Muriel until he encountered Grace, who was 24 years his junior. The affair got serious and it almost wrecked his marriage. With Crosby, his romance with Grace nearly derailed his second and final marriage to Kathryn Grant.
7) Answer: b) Tony Curtis, who at the time was married to Janet Leigh.
8) Answer: a) Zsa Zsa Gabor and c) Hedy Lamarr. Zsa Zsa was said to have remarked that Grace had “more boyfriends in one month than I had in a lifetime.” Hedy remarked that Grace “slept around.” Pots calling the kettle black?
9) Answer: b) Grace won her best actress Oscar for 1954′s The Country Girl. She had also been nominated in the best supporting actress category for 1953′s Mogambo.
10) Answer: a) 1964′s Marnie. The leading role of a thief with deep psychological problems went to Tippi Hedren. The picture was not one of Hitchcock’s successes.