‘Tis the season of Grace Kelly. Or is it?
Sure, she 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. But what movies: 1952’s High Noon, three Alfred Hitchcock beauties with a John Ford safari picture thrown in.
It all ended (professionally) 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 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.
Grace Kelly rightly or wrongly is remembered today as one of America’s most inspiring movie actresses. She certainly is remembered for being among the most beautiful. 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.
The picture was the opening presentation at this year’s Cannes Film Festival in May where it received enthusiastic drubbings from critics — “a fantastically silly melodrama” intoned The Telegraph of the U.K. Be that as it may, 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? Please take today’s Monday Quiz to find out.
As they say in Monaco, bonne chance. Our quiz was inspired by author Wendy Leigh’s True Grace: The Life and Times of an American Princess. (Answers tomorrow.)
1) Question: Grace Kelly was popularly thought of as an Irish-American princess from Philadelphia. But which parental nationality really molded her character as a child? a) Danish; b) Russian Jewish; c) German; or d) Swedish.
2) Question: Kelly’s lost her virginity to an Atlantic City gangster. a) True; b) False.
3) Question: Kelly was most famously married once in her life. But how many times did she get married onscreen? a) 5; b) 2; c) 7; or d) never.
4) Question: Which of these Alfred Hitchcock movies did Kelly NOT star in? a) Rear Window; b) The Wrong Man; c) To Catch A Thief; or d) Dial M For Murder.
5) Question: Which of her leading men did Kelly NOT fall in love with? a) Bing Crosby; b) Gary Cooper; c) James Stewart or d) William Holden.
6) Question: As a super attractive single actress, Kelly often had the effect of disrupting the private lives of her male costars. Which of the following had serious marital fallout from their romances with her? a) Clark Gable; b) Ray Milland; c) Bing Crosby; or d) Jean-Pierre Aumont.
7) Question: Which one of the following, married at the time to a famous actress, had an affair with Kelly, and described her as a “hot and horny Philadelphia girl…not as fancy as everyone thought she was?” a) Burt Bacharach; b) Tony Curtis; c) Gary Merrill; or d) Frank Sinatra.
8) Question: Which of the following screen sirens, with sexy pasts of their own, complained publicly about Kelly’s supposed promiscuity? a) Zsa Zsa Gabor; b) Ava Gardner; c) Hedy Lamarr; or d) Lana Turner.
9) Question: Which one of her movies provided Kelly with a best actress Oscar win. a) The Bridges of Toko-Ri; b) The Country Girl; c) High Society; or d) Mogambo.
10) Question: Alfred Hitchcock famously tried to lure Kelly out of her Monaco retirement to star in which one of his movies? a) Marnie; b) Torn Curtain; c) Family Plot; or d) The Birds.