Hourglass Figures: Princess Time With Grace Kelly and Devon Radziwill (Plus Bonus Leven Rambin)

by SUSANNAH LONG · April 12, 2010

    Blondes and royals and movies, oh  my! Grace Kelly, Devon Radziwill, and Leven Rambin have more in common than their fair hair and photo savvy. A new Hourglass Figures is glittering like a tiara and awaiting your attention, below:-

    [Image from Vanity Fair]


    [Temper Tantrum Temptresses Lola Montez and Ali Wise] [Outspoken Queen Bees Nan Kempner and Tinsley Mortimer] [Fashion Queens Eleanor Lambert and Carine Roitfeld] [Urban Executives Amanda Burden and Ivanka Trump] [Consuelo Vanderbilt and Elettra Rossellini Wiedemann]

    Grace Kelly

    November 12, 1929 – September 14, 1982

    Aliases: Princess Grace, Her Serene Highness The Princess Of Monaco

    The child of prominent Philadelphians, Grace escaped a life of Catholic girls' schools and ballet lessons at age 18 and lit out for an acting career. By age 23, she was a movie star. A year later she went the now-established fug-it-up-for-an-Oscar route and won the little gold man for a deglamorized role in The Country Girl. (It must be noted that "deglamorized" on the Grace Kelly spectrum is still glamorous by any other standard.) Her rise did not sit too well with fellow nominee Judy Garland, who was later quoted as saying, “I didn't appreciate Grace Kelly taking off her makeup and walking away with my Oscar."

    [Image from Vanity Fair]

    Despite her Hollywood It Girl status, Grace was a fervent New York transplant: her contract with MGM stipulated that she have time off from movies to work in theater, and that she be able to live in NYC at the Manhattan House. She flitted between coasts as she filmed High Noon, Mogambo, Dial M For Murder, Rear Window, and To Catch A Thief. Grace was bold and decisive in her professional life, proving to be a savvy contract-negotiator and an opinionated project-chooser. She was one of Alfred Hitchcock's favorites, and he was one of hers - Grace rejected On The Waterfront to play the career-woman girlfriend in Rear Window, sacrificing a role that netted replacement Eva Marie Saint an Academy Award. Further proof of her ballsiness: she indignantly objected to the mistreatment of black performers, embracing Josephine Baker and storming out of the Stork Club with her entire retinue when the singer/dancer was denied entry.

    The girl knows how to handle herself (and a pair of scissors).

    By many accounts, Miss Kelly was as formidable in love affairs as she was in show business: She was, by many accounts, both a lady and a tramp. Though she was often the picture of elegance and class, she also proved that one can project slick glamor without sacrificing a wild streak. As Gore Vidal claimed, "Grace almost always laid the leading man . . . She was famous for that in this town." According to some sources, Grace carried on a scandalous flirtation with her married Dial M costar, and bedded both Gary Cooper and director of Fred Zinnemann on the set of High Noon. Beneath that fitted satin gown beat a Mae West heart.


    For such an iconic movie star, the graceful (see what we did there?) blonde made few films, and retired from acting at age 26, following her marriage. That marriage arguably forms a larger part of Grace's legacy than her acting career: the movie princess became a real-life one when she wed Prince Rainier III of Monaco. The ceremony was a blowout: repainted palace, 400 reporters clamoring to sail with the bridal party, hordes of fans queuing at every possibly moment, and a television broadcast seen by an estimated 30 million fans worldwide. Following the ceremony and a seven-week Mediterrenean cruise, Grace proved to be a good Catholic girl at heart: She raised three children, established various philanthropic enterprises, and, at the Prince's request, abandoned acting for good.

    [First Image from Vanity Fair]

    Sure, it's nice to see Grace wearing a crown, but we can't help but wish the princess had continued acting and gallivanting after he nuptials. Prince Rainier, with his adorable and very distracting mustache,  would've made a good sidekick. At least one person, though, thought Grace's new life was a natural extension of her screen presence: Hitchcock remarked that he was "very happy that Grace has found herself such a good part."

    And now?

    Things get complicated. In the fashion-plate princess category, we have to give a shout out to Devon Radziwill nee Schuster, the wife of Phillip Radziwill.

    [Photos from PMc]

    She's blonde, she's cute, she oozes charm, she wears pretty, pretty gowns, and her husband is a dashing noble whose grandfather was Polish Prince Stanislaw Albrecht "Stash" Radziwill. The wedding was held high in the Swiss Alps this winter, and, predictably, was lavish and chic. Perhaps the happy couple will also name their firstborn "Stash."

    [Image from Vanity Fair] All brides look alike, but these two look more similar than most.

    Tragically, Devon doesn't act. She works at Vogue. Pfft. Vogue cannot compare to getting strangled by hitmen, menaced by wife-killers, and glared at by Ava Gardner in the middle of the jungle. Luckily, there's another pretty blonde social who's having onscreen adventures at the moment: Leven Rambin. Levin's Terminator: SCC exploits show she's not afraid of fight scenes on celluloid (just as the delicate-looking Grace didn't shy away from movie violence), and her recent casting in ABC's Virginia Madsen- vehicle Scoundrels proves her career is on the rise.

    Another Leven-Grace parallel: both have youtube tribute videos, and though the tones of the actresses' respective odes are somewhat different, the cinematic quality is equal.

    Thus, Devon and Leven must glom together into a two-headed DevLev monster in order to rival Grace Kelly's status. Someone's probably going to write fanfic about that, and we're probably going to read it.