Picks and Pans Review: Once upon a Time Behind the Fairy Tale of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier

updated 05/26/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/26/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

By J. Randy Taraborrelli

Princess Grace was one Cinderella who thought about leaving her Prince Charming, claims celebrity biographer Taraborrelli (Madonna: An Intimate Biography). Depressed by personal sacrifices she made for Prince Rainier of Monaco, whom she had married in 1956, and feeling cooped up in her 220-room palace, Grace once consulted a lawyer about a divorce but resigned herself to the marriage, this bio reports.

Grace, who died in a 1982 car wreck, had difficult times with men; when she was single she was involved with William Holden and Ray Mil-land, both married. And Rainier, now 79, reportedly pressured her to give up acting. In encyclopedia-style prose, Taraborrelli revels in unhappy moments, but sharp details (Grace had good-luck pennies sewn into her wedding slippers) make a legend breathe. (Warner, $25.95)

BOTTOM LINE: Gloomy but competent bio

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