High Society: The Life of Grace Kelly

High Society: The Life of Grace Kelly

by Donald Spoto
3.4 40

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Overview

High Society: The Life of Grace Kelly by Donald Spoto

Drawing on his unprecedented access to Grace Kelly, bestselling biographer Donald Spoto at last offers an intimate, honest, and authoritative portrait of one of Hollywood’s legendary actresses.


In just seven years–from 1950 through 1956–Grace Kelly embarked on a whirlwind career that included roles in eleven movies. From the principled Amy Fowler Kane in High Noon to the thrill-seeking Frances Stevens of To Catch a Thief, Grace established herself as one of Hollywood’s most talented actresses and iconic beauties. Her astonishing career lasted until her retirement at age twenty-six, when she withdrew from stage and screen to marry a European monarch and became a modern, working princess and mother.

Based on never-before-published or quoted interviews with Grace and those conducted over many years with her friends and colleagues–from costars James Stewart and Cary Grant to director Alfred Hitchcock–as well as many documents disclosed by her children for the first time, acclaimed biographer Donald Spoto explores the transformation of a convent schoolgirl to New York model, successful television actress, Oscar-winning movie star, and beloved royal.

As the princess requested, Spoto waited twenty-five years after her death to write this biography. Now, with honesty and insight, High Society reveals the truth of Grace Kelly’s personal life, the men she loved, the men she didn’t, and what lay behind the façade of her fairy-tale life.


From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307462510
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 11/03/2009
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 422,736
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

DONALD SPOTO is the author of twenty-five books, including bestselling biographies of Alfred Hitchcock, Tennessee Williams, Laurence Olivier, Marlene Dietrich, Ingrid Bergman, and Audrey Hepburn. He earned his Ph.D. degree from Fordham University. Spoto is married to the Danish school administrator Ole Flemming Larsen; they live in a quiet village, an hour’s drive from Copenhagen.


From the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

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High Society 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
MichiganJoe More than 1 year ago
I will address the previous reviews as well as add in my own throughout this writing. I thought the book was well written. Mr. Spoto writes is a way that keeps the reader intrigued and allows for a fast read. Other misinterpret this as writing on a 4th grade reading level. I look at it as it is written to spell out the facts as they were, and allow the reader to get through it hard and fast. I also do not understand why biographers of these Hollywood stars find it so important to plainly write about the subjects sexuality as far as when they lose their virginity or who they had sexual relations with. I have read other authors' books on other Hollywood stars particularly of the golden era of Hollywood and they all insist on talking about the subjects virginity and sexual habits. I find it not only repulsive but out of place. What does it matter when any of these stars lose their virginity? Or whom they had sexual relations with? I also am repulsed that these authors lead the reader to believe they have the facts on these subject matters but they readily admit they have no factual evidence of the conclusions they bring the reader to. One of the reviews said that Mr. Spoto did not spend enough time in this book on the time Ms. Kelly was Princess of Monaco. I disagree. The book was written for the Grace Kelly we Americans know her as. The time she spent as Princess is not going to be of interest to most of the readers who pick up the book in my opinion. Not only that, but that time she spent as Princess was pretty boring compared to her Hollywood life. We all know what a Princess such as Grace Kelly, or Princess Diana of Whales was doing during their time as royalty. There is no need to go into great detail on it in a book about Ms. Kelly's life. Mr. Spoto highlighted the finer points of her life during the time she spent as Princess. There was one other review that picked apart that this portrait of Ms. Kelly's life is not accurate enough about faults she had. I argue the contrary. It highlighted very well that Ms. Kelly struggles with her image of herself and her looks. It was pointed out repeatedly that although she enjoyed fashion and modeling she never saw herself as pretty or beautiful... she thought she was OK looking. It was pointed out over and over that she kept searching for love and slipped into moments of depression both as an actress and as princess for reasons that had to do with her love life. It is true that her parents never thought much of her because she was not an Olympian athlete like they and Grace's siblings. And anyone associated with theater for a choice of living in the mid 19th century was looked at as "weird" or "odd". I think the rightful conclusion is drawn that because of Grace's life being both unapproved and not understood by her parents she struggled with finding True love. She dated many men both in and out of Hollywood and fell deeply in love with a few of them. She struggled as he siblings and all of her friends became married and started family's because she so dearly wanted to find her true love and to mother children. Of course that all changed after her first meeting with Prince Ranier of Monaco. But even in their marriage it is written that there was a period where The Prince and Princess were "not together". They were not legally separated but they definitely hit a bumpy road in their marriage. Mr. Spoto also talks about the
roc-elle More than 1 year ago
I found this book quite compelling. I think Spoto's 1st person access to Kelly was a great asset & the sections about her film career were thorough... my only criticisms would be 1) that it's unabashedly biased towards presenting her in a positive light; the reader can certainly draw conclusions about her faults, but i didn't really find much critical analysis of Grace... not that i want to tear her down, but the narrative veers on gushing. to be fair, the theme of her cold family upbringing does remain evident & can be attributed to much of her adult behavior... even that though leads to a depiction of Grace as a victim. 2) i wish there had been more than a peremptory glimpse of her post-Hollywood life... Spoto does explore her regrets and sorrow at the flip-side of becoming royalty in the last chapter, but she spent fully half her life as the Princess of Monaco! i suppose i will just have to look elsewhere for a deeper study of that period... overall a quite engaging read! i certainly wish the world had seen more of Grace's talent!!! seems she was a stand-up gal~
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GRACE KELLY LIVED FOR 52 YEARS. OF THAT, ABOUT 10 YEARS WAS SPENT ACTING. MR SPOTO DEVOTES ALMOST 75% OF THIS BOOK TO THE SYNOPSIS AND CRITIQUE OF GRACE KELLY'S FILMS. I WOULD HAVE LIKED MORE OF HER YOUTH AND HER LIFE AND FAMILY IN MONACO.
Classic_J More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. Thought it was well written.. My only complaint would have to be that it focused too much time on her film career  and not enough time on her life after Hollywood as Princess Grace. 
alc1967 More than 1 year ago
I was disappointed in this book because I believed the description that said it was an "intimate, honest, and authoritative portrait" of Grace Kelly's life. I would say that 80% of the book is about her very short career as an actress. In fact, it was so detailed that there was even dialogue from some of the movies that was used to show what a good actress she was or that her talent was underrated. Very little was said about her life after she left Hollywood and married. In fact, I didn't know that her parents had to pay a two million dollar dowery until I read the Wikipedia article. That seems like a big thing to leave out of an "authoritative" portrayal. I got the impression the author was just such a huge fan of Grace Kelly that he couldn't really see anything negative. In fact, if you believe that this story is all there is to say about Ms. Kelly, you would think she was really a very pretty Mother Teresa. I felt like there was a lot that was left out or glossed over to paint Ms. Kelly in such a way that she comes out as a very one dimensional person without much depth or thought. And, I don't think that was the case, but the author seemed so enamored of her that he just couldn't bring himself to paint a picture of a real human being. Her family does come off as rigid, uncaring, judgmental, and disapproving of Ms. Kelly in pretty much everything since she was born. I felt sorry for her in some ways and, even though the book tried to paint her marriage as one of love, I got the impression that it was one of convenience for both Prince Ranier (to secure an heir) and Ms. Kelly (to get out of the rat race of Hollywood, get married and have children, and escape her parents.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this author's style very easy and comfortable to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Long, drawn out recitation of her film career. On and on about Alfred Hitchcock...not a good read about the subject
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting, in that I discovered some facets of Grace Kelly's life I did not know, my only regret is that her life was too short!
Patricia Vyskocil More than 1 year ago
The background information about the beautiful Grace Kelly is interesting and informative. The relationship between her and Ranier is somewhat strange, and I wish there were more details in the book. It almost seems it was a "marriage of convenience", and I never would have thought that. Perhaps I misinterpret what is in the book. It is certainly a worthwhile read, but I will search for another book about her life to compare with this one
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Really great book!looking forward to owning it
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Outstanding Biography on the life on Grace Kelly!
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