After embarking on an acting career in 1950 when she was 20, Kelly appeared in New York City theatrical productions and more than 40 episodes of live drama productions broadcast during the early 1950s Golden Age of Television. From 1952 to 1956 she starred in several critically and commercially successful films, usually opposite male romantic leads 25 to 30 years older than her. In October 1953, she gained stardom from her performance in director John Ford's African-filmed adventure-romance Mogambo, starring Clark Gable and Ava Gardner, which won her a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. In 1954 she won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her deglamorized performance in the drama The Country Girl with Bing Crosby. Other noteworthy films she starred in include the western High Noon (1952), with Gary Cooper; the romance-comedy musical High Society (1956), with Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra; and three Alfred Hitchcock suspense thrillers in rapid succession: Dial M for Murder (1954), with Ray Milland; Rear Window (1954), with James Stewart; and, To Catch a Thief (1955), with Cary Grant.