Grace Patricia Kelly (November 12, 1929 – September 14, 1982) was an American actress who became Princess of Monaco after marrying Prince Rainier III, in April 1956.
After embarking on an acting career in 1950, at age 20, Kelly appeared in New York City theatrical productions and more than 40 episodes of live drama productions broadcast during the early 1950s Golden Age of Television. In October 1953, she gained stardom from her performance in the film Mogambo, which won her a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination in 1954. Subsequently, she had leading roles in five films, including The Country Girl (1954), for which her deglamorized performance earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress. Other films include High Noon (1952) with Gary Cooper, Dial M for Murder (1954) with Ray Milland, Rear Window (1954) with James Stewart, To Catch a Thief (1955) with Cary Grant, and High Society (1956) with Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby.
Kelly retired from acting at the age of 26 to marry Rainier and began her duties as Princess of Monaco. They had three children: Caroline, Albert II, and Stéphanie. Kelly retained her American roots, maintaining dual U.S. and Monégasque citizenship. She died on September 14, 1982, a day after suffering a stroke while driving her car, which caused a crash.
She is also known as Grace Patricia Kelly, Princess consort of Monaco, The Princess of Monaco and Princess Grace of Monaco.
On September 13, 1982, Kelly was driving back to Monaco from her country home in Roc Agel when she had a stroke. As a result, she lost control of her 1971 Rover P6 3500 and drove off the steep, winding road and down the 120 foot (37 m) mountainside. Her daughter, Stéphanie, who was in the passenger seat, tried, but failed, to regain control of the car. When paramedics arrived at the accident site (43°43′35″N 7°24′10″E / 43.72639°N 7.40278°E / 43.72639; 7.40278), Kelly was alive but unconscious and in critical condition. She and Stéphanie were transported to the Monaco Hospital (later named the Princess Grace Hospital Centre). At the hospital, doctors attempted to resuscitate Grace but because of the extent of her brain injury and injuries to her thorax and a fractured femur, they were unable to save her life. Doctors believed that she had suffered a minor stroke that may have caused the car to veer off the road causing the accident. She died the following night at 10:55 p.m., age 52, after Rainier chose to take his wife off life support.
Stéphanie's original diagnosis was mild, with only minor bruising and a light concussion. However, after receiving X-ray results, she was found to have suffered a hairline fracture on the seventh cervical vertebra. She was unable to attend her mother's funeral because of her injuries.