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She did, however, possess the determination to succeed in other spheres and at 18, having been inspired by a playwright uncle, she went to drama school in New York.

For three years as a student she supported herself financially with modelling assignments – her wholesome, fresh face proving ideal for marketing everything from beer to insect spray advertisements.

A power cut at her hotel had meant that the harried star could not dry her hair, so she had improvised a pulled-back coiffure.

Unable to iron a dress, she had donned her only unwrinkled outfit – a floral silk taffeta dress that was quite different from her usual sleek, understated ensembles.

Edith Head, the legendary eight-times Oscar-winning costume designer, described Grace as ‘perhaps a little too short-waisted and long-legged’.

In 1953 MGM loaned Grace to Warner Brothers for Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder.

The revered director mentored the young actress, helping to mould her image and, she later recalled, giving her confidence in herself.

‘Not because of make-up or clothes, but because she plays a character from the inside out.

There is no one like her.’Although visibly exquisite, Grace was not without imperfections.

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