On this day in 1956, American movie star Grace Kelly made quite a choice when she married Prince Rainier III of the tiny principality of Monaco and became "Her Serene Highness" Princess Grace.
Born Grace Patricia Kelly (1929-1982) to a wealthy family from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, her father was an Olympic gold-medal winner in sculling. She left for New York right after high school, then made her way to Hollywood.
Her first role was a small one in Fourteen Hours (1951). Her second was huge-- the role of Quaker wife Amy Kane in the Western classic High Noon (1952).
"You never meet anyone in Hollywood except by appointment," she once said.
The aloof but passionate Kelly made only 11 films in her five years in Hollywood, but left an indelible memory with such Alfred Hitchcock classics as Rear Window (1954, w/Jimmy Stewart), and Dial M for Murder (1954).
Known for elegance and style, she was paired with the top leading men of her day and won the Best Actress Oscar in 1954 for her role as the troubled wife of an alcoholic in The Country Girl (w/Bing Crosby). In her last role, as a chic fashiion editor in High Society (1956), Kelly again starred with Crosby (and Gene Kelly).
About media attention, she explained, "The freedom of the press works in such a way that there is not much freedom from it."
She met Rainier while filming To Catch a Thief (1955, w/Cary Grant) on the French Riviera. Amazingly, her movies were banned in Monaco by order of her husband. After they wed, she turned down all film offers. She explained, "One cannot do everything."
"I work hard in social work, public relations, and raising the Grimaldi heirs."
The joy of life comes in the choices you are given.