Good Graces: The Legacy of Grace Kelly
Motion picture archivist, Hollywood historian, and writer Mary Mallory’s newest book, Living with Grace: Life Lessons From America’s Princess, published June 30 by Lyons Press, is the latest volume about a national fashion icon, and a real princess who grew up near the Eastern Atlantic shores in toney East Falls, Pennsylvania. With American Meghan Markle’s new title as Duchess of Sussex confirming that royal titles are not quite the forbidden territory they once seemed to be, Mallory’s new book may provide even more insight in how to prepare for a royal life even if the reader has no regal ambitions.
Evolving the tale of Grace Kelly’s rise to stardom and stylishness finds Mallory’s narrative revealing the more important aspects of Kelly’s personal and professional trajectory while including glossy images accompanied by timely quotes offset in pink type like:
“She was the least self-conscious actress I ever met,” Celeste Holm
Discussing Kelly’s style while including relevant images from all facets of her professional life illuminates how her persona transformed through her years as a young actress and model, to her more definitive, well-developed sense of what ensemble complemented the characters she played. Comments from former fiancé and couturier Oleg Cassini, and cinematic fashion designers Edith Head and Helen Rose reveal their admiration for her style and distinctive good taste. Those who would dismiss Kelly as a two-dimensional Disney princess exclude her life legacies as a dedicated actress, wife and mother who always tried to focus on kindness, professionalism, and civility.
Kelly’s acting colleagues, like director George Seaton or actor William Holden from The Country Girl, Clark Gable from Mogambo, James Stewart from Rear Window or friends Rita Gam and Judy Balaban Quine are just a sampling of the highlighted comments or quotes found nestled among the narrative. The photographs reminding readers or enchanting new fans continue to reveal how Kelly’s unobtrusive style-setting demeanor and lack of pretension helped her become a popular actress and a perpetually respected princess. Mallory also reveals Kelly’s playfulness and sense of humor off and on famous sound stages and proscenium arches.
The comments by Grace herself, some of which are not readily found anywhere else in published articles or books, breathe fresh sighs of tribute to the legacy of such a lovely actress, mother, wife, and princess.
I heartily recommend such a lovely book to look at, read, and enjoy. I’ll be ordering several as gifts for friends and family, and others might want to do the same.
Hollywood Celebrates The Holidays: 1920-1970
Hollywood At Play: The Lives of The Stars Between Takes
Living With Grace: Life Lessons From America’s Princess : Amazon Page
Amazon Author Page: Mary Mallory
THELMA RITTER: HOLLYWOOD’S FAVORITE NEW YORKER, University of Mississippi Press, 2019