The beautiful and talented Grace Patricia Kelly was born into an Irish Catholic family in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She knew early on that she wanted to be an actress, and after graduating from high school, she moved to New York to pursue her career. She studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Art and made her professional stage debut in 1949 performing in a revival of "The Torch Bearers", written by her Pulitzer Prize-winning uncle, George Kelly.
Shortly thereafter, Grace moved to Hollywood to try her luck in the movies. She had the luck of strong early roles in popular films across from well-known actors such as Gary Cooper, Clark Gable, and Ava Gardner. Her stardom was cemented when Alfred Hitchcock cast her in "Dial M for Murder" (1954), and in the same year, opposite Jimmy Stewart in "Rear Window" (1954). Perhaps her most famous role, however, was with Cary Grant in Hitchcock's "To Catch A Thief" (1955), in which one scene has her driving at breakneck speeds around the seaside cliffs of Monaco.
Grace Kelly made her film debut in "Fourteen Hours" (1951). Other notable films include "High Noon" (1952), "Mogambo" (1953), and "High Society" (1956).
While in Europe, Grace met and married Prince Ranier III of Monaco, effectively giving up her acting career to focus on her family and royal duties. In 1982 at the age of only 52, Grace Kelly died in a tragic accident when her car careened off the very cliffs she had driven in her screen life, 26 years earlier.
The US Postal Service and the Principality of Monaco jointly issued commemorative stamps on March 24, 1993, in Hollywood, California, and Monaco, to honor Grace Kelly.
The US and Monaco stamps were based on a photograph of Grace Kelly from the film "Country Girl" (1954), the film that won her an Academy Award. The stamps are identical except for the denomination, country name, and inscription. The 29-cent US stamp inscription reads, "Grace Kelly." Monaco's stamp reads, "Princesse Grace," and sold for 5 francs ($1.00 US currency at that time).
Reference: Postal Bulletin (March 4, 1993)
Scott Catalogue USA: 2749
Copyright United States Postal Service. All rights reserved.
Museum ID: 1999.2004.905