“As a matter of fact, I happened to be sitting next to Joseph Cotten’s wife at the premiere of Rear Window, and during the scene where Grace Kelly is going through the killer’s room and he appears in the hall, she was so upset that she turned to her husband and whispered, ‘Do something, do something!’” - Alfred Hitchcock (Hitchcock by Francois Truffaut)
“I think that I am quite nice looking, but that’s about it. Frankly, I’ve always hated being known for my looks. I’d much rather be known for my ability. One of my few regrets is that I wasn’t able to develop more fully as an actress. I stopped acting before I could do that. But that was my choice. I just hope that I have developed as a person instead. That’s what’s important to me – to fulfill my role as a wife and mother and princess - not to be beautiful, but whether I have more character than I used to have.” - HSH Princess Grace of Monaco.
Another significant facet of the Kelly personality, is that Grace never tells risqué stories. Now that I think of it, I don’t believe anyone ever considers telling her off-color jokes, either. Any more than you would tell one to Mrs. Eisenhower or Queen Elizabeth or any other real lady. This is not to say that she doesn’t have a sharp sense of humor.
‘Miss Marilyn Monroe calls to mind the bouquet of a fireworks display… as spectacular as the silvery shower of a Vesuvius fountain. She walks like an undulating basilisk, scorching everything in her path but the rosemary bushes. ‘Her voice, of a loin-stroking affection, has the sensuality of silk or velvet. The puzzling truth is that Miss Monroe is a make-believe siren, unsophisticated as a Rhine maiden, innocent as a sleepwalker. 'She is an urchin pretending to be grown up, having the time of her life in Mother’s moth-eaten finery, tottering about in high-heeled shoes and sipping ginger ale as though it were a champagne cocktail. 'She is strikingly like an over-excited child asked downstairs after tea. She romps, she squeals with delight, she leaps on to the sofa. It is an artless, impromptu, high-spirited, infectiously gay performance. It will probably end in tears.’
‘A photographic beauty is someone who photographs well. ’Grace Kelly is a case in point. If she did not photograph well, we would scarcely stop to look at her on the street… If both sides of her face were the same as the right half she wouldn’t be on the screen. That side is very heavy, like a bull calf, but the left side is intensely feminine and creates the counter-point. 'She has unerringly good taste and an unerring sense of comportment.’
‘She’s everything I dislike. I have always loathed the Burtons for their vulgarity, commonness and crass bad taste, she combining the worst of U.S. and English taste. 'I treated her with authority, told her not to powder her nose, to come in front of the cameras with it shining. 'She wanted compliments. She got none. “Don’t touch me like that,” she whined! Her breasts, hanging and huge, were like those of a peasant woman suckling her young in Peru. On her fat, coarse hands more of the biggest diamonds and emeralds… And this was the woman who is the greatest “draw”. In comparison everyone else looked ladylike.’
‘It is a rare phenomenon to find a young girl with such inherent “star” quality. Yet she has too much innate candour to take on the gloss of artificiality Hollywood is apt to demand of its queens. 'Her stance is a combination of an ultra-fashion plate and a ballet dancer. Her features show character rather than prettiness. Her voice is peculiarly personal, with its unaccustomed rhythm and sing-song cadence that develops into a flat drawl that ends in a childlike query. It has a quality of heartbreak. 'Intelligent and alert, wistful but enthusiastic, frank yet tactful, assured without conceit and tender without sentimentality.’ (Audrey Hepburn)
Julie Andrews, an almost unknown girl who had the talent and luck to land the whopper of the part of Eliza [Doolittle, in the Broadway version of My Fair Lady], was almost unbelievably naïve and simple. She was angelically patient at the many fittings of her clothes and never expressed opinion. 'One day, due to exhaustion at rehearsals, she keeled over in a dead faint while fitting her ball gown. 'A cup of cold water was enough to revive her and she reproached herself that her mother back home in Walton-on-Thames would be ashamed of her. “Oh, Mummie, what a silly girl I am,” she kept repeating.’
‘Most striking of her features is her whiteness, which would put the Moon or a white rabbit to shame.'She has, or has acquired, the necessary temperament of the film star; never in a hurry; her pace is slow, her perseverance phenomenal.'She will spend 12 hours being photographed in the studio, and, without regrets, tear up every proof next morning if they are not to her complete satisfaction.’ (Marlene Dietrich)
‘I was quivering to see the Astaires. They look so marvellous. Especially him. His head looks perfect. I was delirious with happiness all the time either of them were on the stage. She is so American and perfect, so slim and graceful. I adore her ugly face and the pearls tight around her neck. She is perfect and he is marvellous also. They are so clean and fresh and ripping. I thought that Adele Astaire was rather like Felix the Cat, but oh so much nicer. I did adore them and their dancing is just too extraordinarily marvellous to describe.’
‘Cecil Beaton: Portraits & Profiles’, edited by Hugo Vickers, by Frances Lincoln. (x)
“Over the years Joan Crawford, Lauren Bacall and Ava Gardner had incarnated the dangers, the frenzies of a passion that threatened male supremacy…Grace Kelly turned these images on their head: she represented a calm that concealed the storms. As one photographer put it:” She is the sort of woman that you place on a pedestal; you walk around her and then you go out of the museum!“