HE readers paid little attention to this 7.16.21 piece about Grace Kelly, and then I paywalled it. So I’m giving it another go:

The thing I’ve always loved about the young Grace Kelly isn’t just her ice-queen beauty, but the blend of her Philadelphia blue-blood lineage and refinement with the many stories (however true or untrue) that suggest she was seriously promiscuous.

Am I allowed to say that Kelly was slutty, or at least that I love the stories that suggest she was? I don’t mean this in a derogatory way — I mean it in the most delicious way imaginable. Kelly in the sack = the stuff that dreams are made of.

Kelly’s father, John B. Kelly, was a hound and so, apparently or reputedly, was she. No shame. It has been my experience that very few women are Grace Kelly-like — they might be randy but they lack the looks and breeding, or they have said qualities but are hesitant and ambivalent when it comes to this or that opportunity. Kelly was reputedly focused and fearless.

I’m not suggesting anything new here. We’ve all read the stories. Whatever the actual truth of things, Kelly is believed to have been right up there with the voracious Tallulah Bankhead, Elizabeth Taylor, Mary Astor, Gene Tierney and Lupe Velez, and the mostly older (and mostly married) fellows Kelly allegedly got down with were all famous, wealthy, top-of-the-line…Frank Sinatra, Gary Cooper, Ray Milland, Clark Gable, Marlon Brando, Bing Crosby, William Holden, (allegedly) JFK, Oleg Cassini.

There were almost certainly more, or at least I hope so.

If you’re delighted by the idea of Kelly tearing at the belt buckles of almost every older guy she costarred with during her five-year film career (between ’52 and ’56), you don’t want to read Donald Spoto‘s “High Society: The Life of Grace Kelly” (’09), as he pours water on just about every sexual allegation and anecdote anyone’s ever shared about her.

You start to get the idea that the more stories about Kelly’s sexual life that Spoto is able to debunk, the better he feels. He doesn’t seem to like the idea of catting around in the slightest.

Whatever the truth of it, Robert Lacey‘s “Grace” (’94) delivers what I want to hear. During a discussion of Kelly’s affair with the married Ray Milland during the shooting of Alfred Hitchcock‘s Dial M For Murder, Skip Hathaway, wife of director Henry Hathaway, who directed Kelly in Fourteen Hours, a 1951 suicide-watch drama, says the following:

“Grace Kelly was a conniving woman. She almost ruined my best friend Mal’s [i.e., Muriel Frances Weber, Milland’s wife of many decades] marriage. Grace Kelly fucked everything in sight. She was worse than any woman I’d ever known.”

Please. Yes. More of this. God.

And yet it appears that Kelly didn’t have it off with her To Catch A Thief costar Cary Grant, or her Rear Window leading man James Stewart. It doesn’t add up but there it is.

Kelly starred or costarred in 11 films between Fourteen Hours (’51) and High Society (’56). Six of them are goodHigh Noon, Dial M for Murder, Rear Window (her best overall effort), The Country Girl, The Bridges at Toko-Ri and To Catch A Thief.

But you can’t really count Toko-Ri as Kelly’s screen time in that 1954 Korean War film comes to only 12 or 14 minutes, give or take. Her performance as William Holden’s wifey-wifey classes the joint up, but she wasn’t given any scenes that would qualify as meaty or even semi-substantial.