July 18, 2011

A Picture of Grace

by Matt Stevens

A horror auteur was obsessed with her. A European prince fell in love with her. And millions of fans were captivated by her remarkable film career and fairytale life. We still are.

Grace Kelly — even her birth name was synonymous with elegance and style — seemed destined for a charmed life. Raised by wealthy parents, the stunning Philly beauty found modeling and stage work at a young age before grabbing Hollywood’s attention. After only a bit part in a 1951 film, she won a starring role opposite Gary Cooper in High Noon.

Yes, movie stars are partly (to paraphrase a certain pop star) born that way, blessed with looks, talent, and luck. But they’re also made, via relationships with studios and visionary filmmakers. Initially, Kelly’s MGM bosses didn’t know what to do with their classy contract player. In an era when most screen goddesses were blatant bombshells, Kelly was the cool, sophisticated blonde.

Fortunately, Alfred Hitchcock cast her in three masterpieces — Dial M for Murder, Rear Window, and To Catch a Thief. Their collaboration was a perfect fit for Kelly’s fire-under-ice persona, since the master of suspense was also a master of sly innuendo. Hitchcock was reportedly so smitten with his muse that he fashioned other leading actresses after her.

It’s been said that a lady knows when to leave the party. At the height of her popularity and success, Kelly retired from Hollywood and married Prince Rainier of Monaco. So she not only lived out our dreams of glamour, fame, and royalty; the lady left us wanting more. Much more.

That’s why I’m thrilled Barbie Collector is honoring Grace Kelly with three exquisite new dolls. The first, inspired by To Catch a Thief, celebrates her classic performance opposite Cary Grant — and captures the timeless beauty and enduring allure of this award-winning actress, fashion icon, and true-life princess.

What’s your favorite Grace Kelly movie? Post your responses below.

Matt Stevens is a twice-published author and sold screenwriter who specializes in movies and pop culture. A former producer for E! Entertainment Television, he now writes about film for their website, E! Online, and contributes to numerous new-media outlets. Since his first games-writing gig for Barbie.com, Matt has been tickled pink to work on BarbieGirls.com and MyScene.com before joining the BC blogger team.

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