ONCE UPON A TIME: Behind the Fairy Tale of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier

J. Randy Taraborrelli, Author . Warner $25.95 (512p) ISBN 978-0-446-53164-1
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The "happily ever after" marriage of Grace Kelly to Prince Rainier III of Monaco is explored and demythologized in this fascinating, compelling and well-researched royal biography. After failed romances with married co-stars (Ray Milland and William Holden) and turning down a marriage proposal from Oleg Cassini, Kelly met Rainier, the prince of a popular Mediterranean resort town who was searching for a princess he hoped would become "the manifestation of all that we hope for and dream about in Monaco." Nine months after what was called "the wedding of the century" (watched by 30 million TV viewers) in 1956, Grace gave birth to the first of their three children. Never planning to stop making films, she bowed to her husband's wishes and soon her loneliness and boredom were replaced by severe depression. The prince encouraged her to accept Alfred Hitchcock's offer of the lead in Marnie. But the subjects of Monaco objected and forced her to withdraw. Before her tragic car accident death in 1982, Grace found contentment in the life she chose. As he demonstrated in his 2002 bestseller, Jackie, Ethel, Joan: Women of Camelot, Taraborrelli is adept at illuminating political intrigue and complex family dynamics. He smoothly weaves together hundreds of exclusive interviews (in fast-paced, short chapters) to create vivid, full-blooded portraits. This is the definitive book on a marriage that started as an arrangement but ended as a love story. 16 pages of b&w photos. Agent, Jonathan Hahn.(Apr.)

Forecast:A three-city author tour hits L.A., New York and Grace Kelly's hometown of Philadelphia. Thanks to previous bestselling biographies— Call Her Miss Ross (on Diana Ross), Michael Jackson: The Magic and the Madness, Sinatra: A Complete Life and Madonna: An Intimate Biography—Taraborrelli is a familiar commentator on TV bio shows. This should follow the rest of his books up the bestseller list.

Reviewed on: 04/14/2003
Release date: 04/01/2003
Genre: Nonfiction
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