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"I don't generally approve of these odd balls she goes out with," grumps brother Kell, who is still national sculling champion and works for his father's company between workouts on the Schuylkill. "I wish she would go out with the more athletic type. But she doesn't listen to me anymore." Some of Grace's admirers fear that M-G-M may do to her what the studio did to Deborah Kerrlash her down to "lady" roles and keep her there. Even after The Country Girl, the best M-G-M could think of was to assign Grace to Green Fire (which she did as her part of the bargain on Country Girl} and then offer her Quentin Durward. Grace, who sees the satin-lined trap as clearly as anyone, refused the Durward part after reading the script. "All the men can duel and fight, but all I'd do would be to wear 35 different costumes, look pretty and frightened. There are eight people chasing me: the old man, robbers, the head gypsy and Durward. The stage directions on every Daie of the script say: 'She clutches her jewel box and flees.' I just thought I'd be so bored. . . ." Reluctant Scenery. While waiting for M-G-M to think again, Grace retired to her three-room apartment in a huge, modern building in Manhattan (masonry by Kelly). where she lives alone with her poodle puppy Oliver. Her amusements range from photography (she develops her own negatives, sloshing around her bathroom in the dark) to word games. A favorite game is one devised by Alfred Hitchcock when he met Lizabeth Scott and got to wondering what would happen if other people dropped the first letter of their names: Rank Sinatra, Scar Hammerstein, Reer Garson. Orgie Raft, Ickey Rooney.
Four times a week she puts her hair up into a pony tail, dons a leotard, and goes off to classes in modern dancing and ballet. Wandering near Broadway, she avoided the Broadway theater where M-G-M publicized Green Fire with a huge poster of a bosomy girl in sexy green drapery with Grace's head but another girl's body. "It makes me so mad," says Grace. "And the dress isn't even in the picture." Last week MGM's Production Boss Dore Schary summoned Grace to Hollywood to propose a new picturea western with Spencer Tracy scheduled to costar. After two days' of talk, Grace was still noncommittal; she would wait, she said coolly, until she had seen the completed script.
It is possible that Grace might yet win an Oscar for her Country Girl performance, and even M-G-M would have a hard time turning an Oscar-winning actress into a road-company Greer Garson.
Furthermore, Actress Kelly is determined that that will not happen to her. Says she, setting her beautiful chin: "I don't want to dress up a picture with just my face. If anybody starts using me as scenery, I'll do something about it." If all else fails, Grace could conceivably break her contract and return to television. Or she could try the stage, where acting talent counts for more, and the competition is tougher. She could always give up the whole thing for the role of wealthy young socialite. But if her studio mentors are wise, and if Grace is as wary as she has so far proved to be, the young beauty from Philadelphia may yet become an authentic jewel in Hollywood's tinsel crown.