Grace Kelly, the lovely American actress, had a brief but brilliant career, appearing in only eleven films. She made hay with most of her leading men while the sun was shining, according to most reports.
Her supporters contend that she was really looking for a father substitute to compensate for her own father’s aloofness, and that she was neither promiscuous nor a nymphomaniac as some have claimed.
Those who grew up in the 1950s remember her as a glacial goddess, Hollywood’s best attempt at cinematic royalty who became an actual princess in her own right – an ice princess, a virgin queen, the genteel, ultra-British-mannered lady who seemed stratospherically above reproach, despite flashes in those magnificent arctic blue-gray eyes that spoke of fire beneath the ice.
Grace’s charming image, on the other hand, has been destroyed for good in an explosive book that reveals the actress’s darker side.
Her new biography paints her as a s-x obsessed cheater who would go to any length to achieve what she desired. Wendy Leigh alleges in True Grace: The Life And Times Of An American Princess that the actress had a number of steamy flings both before and after she married.
Grace chased her leading men, the most of whom were married, as a rising star. David Niven, William Holden, Ray Milland, Gary Cooper, Bing Crosby, Oleg Cassini, and other older, married men were among them, according to some reports.
Grace was a continuous menace to irritated Hollywood wives. One remarked, “I have nothing good to say about her. She had an affair with my best friend’s husband, Ray Milland!”
Grace, the widow of prominent filmmaker Henry Hathaway, said when asked how many men she had seduced: “Everybody. Yes, she wore white gloves but she was no saint!”
James Spada said in his book In Grace: The Secret Lives of a Princess that Bing Crosby and Grace used to meet at the Ladds’ residence, citing Robert Slatzer, a friend of Mrs. Alan Ladd. “Alan was very upset with Bing, and he’d say to Sue (Mrs. Ladd): ‘Doesn’t he know any place else where he can go at night? There must be hotels or motels.’ ”
Grace’s sister Lizanne, according to Spada, claimed, “Grace called me up one night and said, ‘Bing has asked me to marry him.’ But she wasn’t in love with him. She loved him, but she was not in love with him.”
About four months before she met Prince Rainier for the first time, Grace made a disappointing picture with Stewart Granger. She would become Princess Grace of Monaco eighteen months later.
Grace’s career was cut short after this. She didn’t have a choice. Monaco’s citizens would never tolerate their princess appearing on TV in any role other than that of their sovereign. The prince wouldn’t either.
An interviewer questioned George Jacobs, Frank Sinatra’s personal valet from 1958 until 1968, if Frank and Grace were lovers. ‘He did a movie with her, and he dated her, but I don’t know,’ he said, adding that Sinatra had visited Monaco a few times ‘to support her charity work.’ According to Jacobs, he was also a close buddy of Prince Rainier.
Rainier was completely ignorant of his fiancée’s prior relationship with Bing Crosby, her other co-star in High Society. He married Grace with the belief that she was a virgin. When his medical team discovered her hymen was damaged, she claimed it was due to a school hockey mishap!