Grace Kelly's Pop Culture Legacy
Grace Kelly was born on Nov. 12, so we're celebrating the late actress this week with a look at her pop culture legacy. More than 30 years since her tragic death in a car accident, the world is still fascinated by the Academy Award winner turned princess. At the young age of 26, the American actress retired from acting to move to Monaco and join its royal family. She had met Prince Rainier, the sovereign of Monaco, in April 1955 while at the Cannes Film Festival. A year later, they were married in an event broadcast across Europe. Today, Grace Kelly still holds icon status. Thanks to her talented acting, timeless style, and intriguing personal life, she's left a lasting legacy, which can be seen in movies, books, and more. Source: The Weinstein Company, Getty
There's no denying that Kate Middleton channeled Grace Kelly's wedding dress on her big day. Grace's formfitting, lacy dress was sophisticated and timeless, just like the duchess's.
Grace Kelly Barbie
In 2011, Mattel released three Princess Grace collector Barbies. Her outfits included her dress from To Catch a Thief, pictured here, her wedding dress, and the dress she wore to the 1955 Cannes Film Festival, where she met her future royal husband.
Grace Kelly's classic style, like her eponymous scarf knot, still inspires modern designers. Here's Grace on the left and a recent D&G interpretation.
Mad Men Mentions
On Mad Men, January Jones's Betty Draper channels the beauty of her contemporary icon. In the episode "Shoot," Betty is recruited to model in a Coca-Cola ad because she's a dead ringer for Grace Kelly. Unfortunately, they decide to go with someone a little more "Audrey Hepburn."
The Kelly Bag
Hermès came out with its leather Sac à dépeches in 1935, but it was later named the "Kelly bag" after Princess Grace. It still carries that name today.
Before she was Her Serene Highness the Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly had another very impressive title: Oscar winner! She won the best actress Academy Award in 1954 for her role in The Country Girl. Much of her legacy lives on through her films, including Alfred Hitchcock classics like To Catch a Thief and Rear Window.
Grace Kelly stars in classic movies, but films have also been made about her. Most recently, Nicole Kidman starred in Grace of Monaco, and there's also the documentary Grace Kelly: American Princess, plus the 1980s-tastic made-for-TV movie The Grace Kelly Story.
Mika's 2007 hit "Grace Kelly" topped the UK charts. The song uses dialogue from her film The Country Girl, and lyrics go: "I try to be like Grace Kelly, but her looks were too sad." And we can't forget Madonna's "Vogue" — "Grace Kelly; Harlow, Jean. Picture of a beauty queen. Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire. Ginger Rogers, dance on air." Or Billy Joel's "Princess Grace" name drop in "We Didn't Start the Fire."
The book Grace Kelly: A Life in Pictures came out in 2007 to mark 25 years since her death. It's a photographic tribute of 160 images, which capture her early years, film career, and royal marriage. If you're looking for more words than pictures, check out Donald Spoto's 2010 book High Society: The Life of Grace Kelly, which draws on previously unreleased interviews with the princess and close friends and family to follow her life as New York model, successful television actress, Oscar-winning movie star, and royal.