Lynn Redgrave

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Lynn Redgrave
Born(1943-03-08)8 March 1943
Marylebone, London, England
Died2 May 2010(2010-05-02) (aged 67)
Kent, Connecticut, U.S.
Cause of death
Breast cancer
Resting place
Lithgow, New York, U.S.
Years active1962–2009
Spouse(s)John Clark (m. 1967–2000, divorced)
ParentsMichael Redgrave (deceased)
Rachel Kempson (deceased)
RelativesVanessa Redgrave (sister)
Corin Redgrave (brother)
Natasha Richardson (niece)
Joely Richardson (niece)
Carlo Gabriel Nero (nephew)
Jemma Redgrave (niece)
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Lynn Redgrave
Born(1943-03-08)8 March 1943
Marylebone, London, England
Died2 May 2010(2010-05-02) (aged 67)
Kent, Connecticut, U.S.
Cause of death
Breast cancer
Resting place
Lithgow, New York, U.S.
Years active1962–2009
Spouse(s)John Clark (m. 1967–2000, divorced)
ParentsMichael Redgrave (deceased)
Rachel Kempson (deceased)
RelativesVanessa Redgrave (sister)
Corin Redgrave (brother)
Natasha Richardson (niece)
Joely Richardson (niece)
Carlo Gabriel Nero (nephew)
Jemma Redgrave (niece)

Lynn Rachel Redgrave, OBE (8 March 1943 – 2 May 2010) was an English actress.

A member of the Redgrave family, Lynn trained in London before making her theatrical debut in 1962. By the mid-1960s she had appeared in several films, including Tom Jones (1963), and Georgy Girl (1966) which won her a New York Film Critics Award and nominations for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award.

In 1967, she made her Broadway debut, and performed in several stage productions in New York while making frequent returns to London's West End. She performed with her sister Vanessa in Three Sisters in London, and in the title role of Baby Jane Hudson in a television production of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? in 1991. She made a return to films in the late 1990s in films such as Shine (1996) and Gods and Monsters (1998), for which she received another Academy Award nomination. Redgrave is the only person[citation needed] to have been nominated for all of the 'Big Four' American entertainment awards (Grammy, Emmy, Oscar, and Tony) without winning any of them.

Early life and theatrical family[edit]

Main article: Redgrave family

Redgrave was born in Marylebone, London, to actors Sir Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson. Her sister is actress Vanessa Redgrave; her brother was actor and political activist Corin Redgrave. She was the aunt of writer/director Carlo Gabriel Nero and actresses Joely Richardson, Jemma Redgrave and Natasha Richardson and the sister in law of the director Tony Richardson, the Italian actor Franco Nero and the actress Kika Markham. Her grandfather was silent screen leading man Roy Redgrave .


After training in London's Central School of Speech and Drama, Redgrave made her professional debut in a 1962 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Royal Court Theatre.[1] Following a tour of Billy Liar and repertory work in Dundee, she made her West End debut at the Haymarket, in N. C. Hunter's The Tulip Tree with Celia Johnson and John Clements.

She was invited to join The National Theatre for its inaugural season at the Old Vic, working with such directors as Laurence Olivier, Franco Zeffirelli, and Noël Coward in roles such as Rose in The Recruiting Officer, Barblin in Andorra, Jackie in Hay Fever, Kattrin in Mother Courage, Miss Prue in Love for Love, and Margaret in Much Ado About Nothing which kept her busy for the next three years.

During that time she appeared in films such as Tom Jones (1963), Girl with Green Eyes (1964), The Deadly Affair (1966) and the title role in Georgy Girl (also 1966, and which featured her mother, Rachel Kempson). For the last of these roles she gained the New York Film Critics Award, the Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination.

In 1967 she made her Broadway debut in Black Comedy with Michael Crawford and Geraldine Page. London appearances included Michael Frayn's The Two of Us with Richard Briers at the Garrick, David Hare's Slag at the Royal Court, and Born Yesterday, directed by Tom Stoppard at Greenwich in 1973.

In 1974, she returned to Broadway in My Fat Friend. There soon followed Knock Knock with Charles Durning, Mrs Warren's Profession (for a Tony nomination) with Ruth Gordon, and Saint Joan. In the 1985-86 season she appeared with Rex Harrison, Claudette Colbert and Jeremy Brett in Aren't We All? and with Mary Tyler Moore in A. R. Gurney's Sweet Sue.

In 1983, she played Cleopatra in an American television version of Antony and Cleopatra opposite Timothy Dalton. She was in Misalliance in Chicago with Irene Worth, (earning the Sarah Siddons and Joseph Jefferson awards), Twelfth Night at the American Shakespeare Festival, California Suite, The King and I, Hellzapoppin', Les Dames du Jeudi, Les Liaisons Dangereuses and The Cherry Orchard. In 1988 she narrated a dramatised television documentary, Silent Mouse, which told the story of the creation of the Christmas carol Silent Night. In the early winter of 1991 she starred with Stewart Granger and Ricardo Montalban in a Hollywood production of Don Juan in Hell.

With her sister Vanessa as Olga, she returned to the London stage playing Masha in Three Sisters in 1991 at the Queen's Theatre, London, and later played the title role in a television production of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, again with her sister. Highlights of her early film career also include The National Health, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask), The Happy Hooker and Getting It Right. In the United States she was seen on such television series as Teachers Only, House Calls, Centennial and Chicken Soup.

She also starred in BBC productions such as The Faint-Hearted Feminist, A Woman Alone, Death of a Son, Calling the Shots and Fighting Back. She played Broadway again in Moon Over Buffalo (1996) with co-star Robert Goulet, and starred in the world premier of Tennessee Williams' The Notebook of Trigorin, based on Anton Chekhov's The Seagull. She won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play for her performance in Talking Heads.

Redgrave became well known in the United States after appearing in the television series House Calls, for which she received an Emmy nomination. She was sacked from the show after she insisted on bringing her child to rehearsals so as to continue a breast-feeding schedule. A lawsuit ensued but was dismissed a few years after. Following that, she appeared in a long-running series of television commercials for H. J. Heinz Company, then the manufacturer of the weight loss foods for Weight Watchers, a Heinz subsidiary. Her signature line for the ads was "This Is Living". She wrote a book of her life experiences with the same title,[2] which included a selection of Weight Watcher recipes. The autobiographical section later became the basis of her one-woman play Shakespeare for My Father.

In 1993 she was elected President of the Players' Club. In 1989 she appeared on Broadway in Love Letters with her husband John Clark, and thereafter they performed the play around the country, and on one occasion for the jury in the O. J. Simpson case. In 1993 she appeared on Broadway in the one-woman play Shakespeare for My Father, which Clark produced and directed. She was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play.

In 2005, Redgrave appeared at Quinnipiac University and Connecticut College in the play Sisters of the Garden, about the sisters Fanny and Rebekka Mendelssohn and Nadia and Lili Boulanger.[3] She was also reported to be writing a one-woman play about her battle with breast cancer and her 2003 mastectomy, based on her book Journal: A Mother and Daughter's Recovery from Breast Cancer with photos by her daughter Annabel and text by Redgrave herself.[4]

In September 2006, she appeared in Nightingale, the U.S. premiere of her new one-woman play based upon her maternal grandmother Beatrice, at Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum. She also performed the play in May 2007 at Hartford Stage in Hartford, Connecticut. In 2007, she appeared in an episode of Desperate Housewives as Dahlia Hainsworth.

She also appeared on an episode of ABC's TV series Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives as Dahlia, the mother of Susan Delfino's boyfriend Ian Hainsworth, and an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

In 2009, she was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.[5]

Voice work[edit]

Redgrave narrated approximately 20 audiobooks, including Prince Caspian: The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis for Harper Audio[6] and Inkheart by Cornelia Funke for Listening Library.[7]

Personal life[edit]

On 2 April 1967, Redgrave married English actor John Clark[8][9] Together they had three children, airline pilot Benjamin Clark (born 1968), singer-songwriter Pema (originally Kelly) Clark (born 1970), and author and photographer Annabel Lucy Clark (born 1981).[10] The marriage ended in 2000 after Clark revealed to Redgrave that he had fathered a child with her personal assistant, who later married (and subsequently divorced) their son Benjamin.[11][12] The divorce proceedings were acrimonious and became front page news, with Clark alleging that Redgrave had also been unfaithful.[13][14]

Redgrave was appointed OBE in 2001. She was a naturalised citizen of the United States.[15]


She discussed her health problems associated with bulimia and breast cancer. She was diagnosed with the latter in December 2002, had a mastectomy in January 2003, and chemotherapy.[16] She died from breast cancer[17] in her Kent, Connecticut, home[18] on 2 May 2010, aged 67.[19] Her brother, actor Corin Redgrave, who had also been a cancer patient in his last years, had died less than one month previously, on 6 April, aged 70. She was survived by her three children, her six grandchildren and her elder sister Vanessa.[20]

Redgrave's funeral was held on 8 May at the First Congregational Church in Kent, Connecticut. She was interred in St. Peter's Episcopal Cemetery in the hamlet of Lithgow, New York, where her mother, Rachel Kempson, and niece, Natasha Richardson, are also interred.[21]



1963Tom JonesSusan
1964Girl with Green EyesBaba Brennan
1966Georgy GirlGeorgy
1966Deadly Affair, TheThe Deadly AffairVirgin
1967Smashing TimeYvonne
1969Virgin Soldiers, TheThe Virgin SoldiersPhillipa Raskin
1970Last of the Mobile Hot ShotsMyrtle Kane
1971Long Live Your DeathMary O'DonnellAKA, Don't Turn the Other Cheek!
1972Every Little Crook and NannyMiss Poole
1972Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)The Queen
1973National Health, TheThe National HealthNurse Betty Martin
1975Happy Hooker, TheThe Happy HookerXaviera Hollander
1976Big Bus, TheThe Big BusCamille Levy
1980Sunday LoversLady DavinaSegment: "An Englishman's Home"
1987Morgan Stewart's Coming HomeNancy Stewart
1989Getting It RightJoan
1998Gods and MonstersHanna
1998Hairy Bird, TheThe Hairy BirdMiss McVaneAKA, All I Wanna Do
1999Annihilation of Fish, TheThe Annihilation of FishPoinsettia
2000Simian Line, TheThe Simian LineKatharine
2000Next Best Thing, TheThe Next Best ThingHelen Whittaker
2000How to Kill Your Neighbor's DogEdna
2000Lion of OzWicked Witch of the East (voice)
2001Venus and MarsEmily Vogel
2001My KingdomMandy
2002SpiderMrs. Wilkinson
2002Unconditional LoveNola Fox
2002Wild Thornberrys Movie, TheThe Wild Thornberrys MovieCordelia Thornberry (voice)
2002Hansel and GretelWoman / Witch
2002Anita and MeMrs. Ormerod
2003Charlie's WarGrandma Lewis
2003Peter PanAunt Millicent
2004KinseyFinal Interview Subject
2005White Countess, TheThe White CountessOlga Belinskya
2007Jane Austen Book Club, TheThe Jane Austen Book ClubMama Sky
2009My Dog TulipNancy / Greengrocer's Wife (voice)


1965Sunday Out of SeasonElaineTV film
1966Comedy PlayhouseSheilaEpisode: "The End of the Tunnel"
1966Love StoryRosemarieEpisode: "Ain't Afraid to Dance"
1966Armchair TheatrePolly BarlowEpisode: "Pretty Polly"
1967Armchair TheatreIvy Toft
Episode: "I Am Osango"
Episode: "What's Wrong with Humpty Dumpty?"
1968Love StoryMary DowneyEpisode: "The Egg on the Face of the Tiger"
1971Play of the MonthHelenaEpisode: "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
1973Play of the MonthEliza DoolittleEpisode: "Pygmalion"
1974Vienna 1900Berta GarlanEpisode: "The Spring Sonata"
1974Turn of the Screw, TheThe Turn of the ScrewMiss Jane CubberlyTV film
1976KojakClaireEpisode: "A Hair-Trigger Away"
1978Disco Beaver from Outer SpaceDr. Van HelsingTV film
1978-1979CentennialCharlotte Buckland SeccombeTV miniseries
1979Beggarman, ThiefKate JordacheTV miniseries
1979-1981House CallsAnn AndersonMain role (41 episodes)
1980Gauguin the SavageMette GadTV film
1980Seduction of Miss Leona, TheThe Seduction of Miss LeonaMiss Leona de VoseTV film
1982Rehearsal for MurderMonica WellesTV film
1982CBS Schoolbreak SpecialSarah CotterEpisode: "The Shooting"
1982Love Boat, TheThe Love BoatPatti White1 episode
1982-1983Teachers OnlyDiana SwansonMain role (21 episodes)
1983HotelCathy KnightEpisode: "Relative Loss"
1983Antony and CleopatraCleopatraTV film
1984Fantasy IslandKristen Robbins1 episode
1984Fainthearted Feminist, TheThe Fainthearted FeministMarthaTV series
1984Murder, She WroteAbby Benton FreestoneEpisode: "It's a Dog's Life"
1985Bad Seed, TheThe Bad SeedMonica BreedloveTV film
1986My Two LovesMarjorie LloydTV film
1986HotelAudrey BeckEpisode: "Restless Nights"
1988Woman Alone, AA Woman AloneThe WomanTV film
1989Screen TwoPauline WilliamsEpisode: "Death of a Son"
1989Chicken SoupMaddie PeerceMain role (12 episodes)
1990Silent MouseNarratorTV film
1990Great American Sex Scandal, TheThe Great American Sex ScandalAbby GreyhouwskyTV film
1991What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?Jane HudsonTV film
1993Calling the ShotsMaggie Donnelly
1997ToothlessRogersTV film
1997Indefensible: The Truth About Edward BranniganMonica BranniganTV film
1998White LiesInga KolnederTV film
1998-2001Rude AwakeningTrudy FrankMain role (55 episodes)
1999DifferentAmanda TalmadgeTV film
1999Season for Miracles, AA Season for MiraclesHon. Judge Nancy JakesTV film
2001Varian's WarAlma Werfel-MahlerTV film
2002My Sister's KeeperHelen Margaret ChapmanTV film
2003Wild Thornberrys, TheThe Wild ThornberrysCordelia (voice)Episodes: "Sir Nigel: Parts 1 & 2"
2006-2007Eloise: The Animated SeriesNanny (voice)Regular role (6 episodes)
2007Desperate HousewivesDahlia HainsworthEpisode: "Dress Big"
2007NursesPeggy RiceTV film
2009Law & Order: Criminal IntentEmily HuntfordEpisode: "Folie a Deux"
2009Ugly BettyOlivia GuillemetteEpisode: "The Butterfly Effect: Part 1"


1962Midsummer Night's Dream, AA Midsummer Night's DreamHelenaRoyal Court
1962Billy LiarDundee
1962Tulip Tree, TheThe Tulip TreeHaymarket
1963Recruiting Officer, TheThe Recruiting OfficerRoseNational
1964Hay FeverJackieNational
1965Much Ado About NothingMargaretNational
1965-1966Love for Love
1967Black Comedy / The White LiarsCarol MelkettNational
1970Two of Us, TheThe Two of Us
1974My Fat FriendVicky
1976Mrs. Warren's ProfessionVivie Warren
1976Knock KnockJoanReplacement
1977-1978Saint JoanJoan
1985Aren't We All?Hon. Mrs. W. Tatham
1987Sweet SueSusan Too
1989-1990Love LettersMelissa GardnerReplacement
1992Little Hotel on the Side, AA Little Hotel on the SideAngelique Pinglet
1992Master Builder, TheThe Master BuilderMrs. Aline Solness
1993-1994Shakespeare for My FatherPerformer
1995-1996Moon Over BuffaloCharlotte HayReplacement
2001Noises Off
2005The Constant WifeMrs. Culver
2009Importance of Being Earnest, TheThe Importance of Being EarnestLady BracknellTouring

Awards and nominations[edit]

1965BAFTA Film AwardMost Promising Newcomer to Leading Film RolesGirl with Green EyesNominated
1966NYFCC AwardBest ActressGeorgy GirlWon
1967BAFTA Film AwardBest British ActressGeorgy GirlNominated
1967Golden Globe AwardMost Promising Newcomer - FemaleGeorgy GirlNominated
1967Golden Globe AwardBest Motion Picture Actress - Musical/ComedyGeorgy GirlWon
1967OscarBest Actress in a Leading RoleGeorgy GirlNominated
1967Laurel AwardsFemale New FaceNominated
1968KCFCC AwardBest ActressGeorgy GirlWon
1981Golden Globe AwardBest Performance by an Actress in a TV Series - Musical/ComedyHouse CallsNominated
1981Primetime Emmy AwardOutstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy SeriesHouse CallsNominated
1983Daytime Emmy AwardOutstanding Performer in Children's ProgrammingCBS Afternoon PlayhouseNominated
1997BAFTA Film AwardBest Performance by an Actress in a Supporting RoleShineNominated
1997Screen Actors Guild AwardOutstanding Performance by a CastShineNominated
1998Gemini AwardBest Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Dramatic Program or MiniseriesWhite LiesNominated
1999Satellite AwardBest Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture - DramaGods and MonstersNominated
1999Screen Actors Guild AwardOutstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting RoleGods and MonstersNominated
1999BAFTA Film AwardBest Performance by an Actress in a Supporting RoleGods and MonstersNominated
1999Independent Spirit AwardsBest Supporting FemaleGods and MonstersWon
1999OscarBest Actress in a Supporting RoleGods and MonstersNominated
1999Golden Globe AwardBest Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion PictureGods and MonstersWon
2000ALFS AwardBritish Supporting Actress of the YearGods and MonstersWon
2003Palm Springs International Film FestivalCareer Achievement AwardWon


  1. ^ The production was not well reviewed in general, but Bernard Levin, writing in the London Daily Express under the headline Are there any more at home like Lynn Redgrave?, wrote that her performance was "an outrageous and unforgivable atrocity on the poor Bard, and it is utterly delightful and almost wholly successful. And this astonishing infant is only 18 vears old!" (25 January 1962). The fact that the critic Levin was actively courting Lynn Redgrave's older sister Vanessa may have been significant.
  2. ^ Redgrave, Lynn. This Is Living, Dutton, May 1991. ISBN 978-0-87923-333-4.
  3. ^ Eleanor Charles (27 Mar 2005). "A Redgrave in Four Roles". New York Times. Retrieved 24 Apr 2008. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Inkheart by Cornelia Funke at
  8. ^ "Lynn Redgrave Wed to John Clark". The New York Times Company. 3 April 1967. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  9. ^ Newsfronts: New actor in the cast of Redgraves. TIME. 7 April 1967. Retrieved 5 November 2010. 
  10. ^ Daily Mail obituary: "Actress Lynn Redgrave dies at 67 after losing battle with breast cancer"
  11. ^ Boshoff, Alison (8 May 2010). "The love child who broke Lynn Redgrave's heart: In the week the actress died, her ex-husband tells of his shame and regret". London: Associated Newspapers Limited. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  12. ^ Coveney, Michael (3 May 2010). "Lynn Redgrave obituary". London: Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  13. ^ "Lynn Redgrave obituary". London: Telegraph Media Group Limited. 3 May 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  14. ^ "Lynn Redgrave obituary". London: Times Newspapers Limited. 4 May 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  15. ^ Lynn Redgrave profile at
  16. ^ notice of Redgrave's death at age 67
  17. ^ "Actress Lynn Redgrave dies at 67"
  18. ^ Vanessa Redgrave says final goodbye to sister Lynn as family gathers for Connecticut funeral
  19. ^ AP report on Notice of Lynn Redgrave's death
  20. ^ "Vanessa Redgrave says final goodbye to sister Lynn as family gathers for Connecticut funeral". Daily Mail (London). 
  21. ^ "Family, friends say goodbye to Redgrave", CBC News, 8 May 2010

External links[edit]