By Daniel Kelley
PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - The once-stately childhood home of American actress Grace Kelly, who starred in the 1950s films "Rear Window" and "High Society" and later became Princess of Monaco, was raided this week after animal welfare officials saw evidence of animal abuse.
Law enforcement officials from the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals seized 14 cats and one dog from the home occupied by an elderly woman in Philadelphia's East Falls neighborhood. One dead cat was also found.
Linda Torelli, a spokeswoman for the PSPCA, said the organization had been receiving numerous complaints about the home for at least a decade, but its occupant, 81-year-old Marjorie Bamont, had never opened her door to investigators.
That changed on Wednesday. After an officer spotted a dead cat inside the home, officials were able to obtain a search warrant and enter the premises on Thursday.
Torelli described the interior as flea-infested and covered in feces.
Bamont, who has lived there since 1973, was taken for psychiatric evaluation. Charges are pending, Torelli said.
"She was involved in cat rescue, but she got in over her head," Torelli said. "That's the irony. She actually got into this with the best of intentions."
Grace Kelly was born into a prominent Philadelphia family in 1929. Her father, John Brendan Kelly Sr., won three Olympic gold medals for rowing and went on to become a wealthy construction executive. Kelly Drive, one of the Philadelphia's most scenic roads, is named for her brother, John Brendan Kelly Jr., also an Olympic medalist and politician.
Grace Kelly played opposite leading men such as Cary Grant, James Stewart and Bing Crosby. She won an Academy Award for best actress in 1954's "The Country Girl," in which she played a dowdy housewife married to an alcoholic.
She married Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956. Princess Grace died in a car accident in 1982.
(Editing by Scott Malone and Gunna Dickson)