Back in the old days only kings, queens, presidents and military leaders got to have their images on postage stamps.

It is believed that the first woman on a stamp was Queen Victoria, sometime in the mid 1800s.

But today many of Hollywood luminaries are featured on stamps. Perhaps the first Hollywood star to grace a postage stamp was Grace Kelly. It was, of course, a stamp from the principality of Monaco.

Kelly had a short career — lasting a mere six years, comprising a relatively meager 11 movies. But what movies: 1952’s High Noon, three Alfred Hitchcock beauties with a John Ford safari picture (Mogambo) thrown in.

It all ended for her (professionally) in 1956 when she married Prince Rainier and became the Princess 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 Monaco stamp (above) came out back in 1957. The U.S. didn’t get around to putting Grace on a stamp (below) until 1993.

Kelly’s life ended literally 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. But thanks to her movies and her stamps, she lives on.

 

The first real Hollywood figure to be featured on a U. S. stamp was probably Walt Disney. That was back in the 1968. Lucille Ball has appeared on three stamps (so far).

The first with then husband Desi Arnaz, celebrating I Love Lucy in 1999; the second, all on her own, in 2001; and the third with Lucy co-star Vivian Vance in 2009.

 

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