Princess Grace: Pictures of a Beauty Queen

Grace Kelly, Princess Grace of Monaco, would have turned 88 years old today.

Instead, she passed away September 14, 1982, the day after a minor stroke caused her to crash the car she was driving from Roc Agel to Monaco.

Her daughter, Princess Stéphanie, was in the car with her, but could not right the vehicle before it plunged down a mountainside.

Check out this brief bio, along with some of Grace Kelly's most eye-popping magazine covers!

As Grace Kelly, she had enjoyed a whirlwind career in Hollywood, making just 11 films and 40 appearances on episodic TV, but ending her career to marry Prince Rainier of Monaco (1923-2005).

In her short time in Hollywood, Kelly won the Oscar for The Country Girl (1954) and appeared in the classic Hitchcock (1899-1980) films Dial M for Murder (1954), Rear Window (1954) and To Catch a Thief (1955).

She had become known as one of the most beautiful and elegant leading ladies ever to grace the medium of film, and she exited on top — and (almost) never looked back.

After her retirement from acting, Kelly did flirt with returning. She was offered the lead in Hitchcock's Marnie (1964), a film that would have found a royal entity playing a klepto nympho. That was a bridge too far for Monaco, so Kelly passed.

She was also wooed for The Turning Point (1977), but her husband was unenthusiastic.

Finally, Kelly and Rainier starred in a 33-minute indie film entitled Rearranged. It premiered in Monaco and attracted the interest of ABC, which wanted it expanded to an hour. Before that could happen, she passed away, and the film remains under lock and key.

Princess Grace's final appearance on film was her narration of Family Theater Productions' Easter special. Cary Grant (1904-1986) provided additional narration a few short years before his own demise:

It is tantalizing to speculate what might have happened had Kelly continued to push to return to acting — what film roles might she have taken on? What would her role in the world have been politically when it comes to hot-button topics like gay rights?

The last portraits of Princess Grace, shot by Scavullo (Images © Francesco Scavullo)

We'll never know.

Her final magazine cover was the one above — she was photographed by Francesco Scavullo (1921-2004) to appear on and in the September 1982 issue of Harper's Bazaar.

Its cover date coincided with her untimely death.

2 Responses

  1. Great collection of covers! Although I believe the Vogue cover is fake, cuz Vogue was Bi/monthly then, and the $2,00 price would be around $15, and that picture was taken by Bud Fraker in 1954.

    • I guess it was taken down? If so, good catch!
      I own all but one of those magazines. I never look at them, they’re just taking up room. But they were so fun at first, like time travel.

      Whoever did the horrid makeup in the Scavullo shots didn’t understand Grace Kelly. Or that some of us look older or clownish wearing so much makeup “at a certain age”. She was happiest in comfy clothes, was never into fashion… I hear her called a “style icon”, then every example is Grace from a film. 🙂

      Nice article, thank you! Everyone watch a Grace movie and drink her fave – champagne! I suggest “Rear Window” which cannot be watched too many times.

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