Actress of both the English and American stage and screen, Lynn Redgrave was born in London, England to one of the world's most famous acting dynasties. Daughter of Sir Michael Redgrave and sister of Vanessa Redgrave and Corin Redgrave, surprisingly her early aspirations were to become an equestrienne or a chef and it wasn't until the age of 15 that she became more and more involved in acting and her father's stage performances.
Attending London's Central School of Music and Drama, she made her stage debut in 1962 and began film work a year later. It wasn't until her lovable role as the ugly-duckling in Georgy Girl (1966), that she was taken notice and, as a result, won both the Golden Globe, New York Film Critics Circle Award and a nomination for the coveted Best Actress at the 1967 Academy Awards. Despite this promising performance, Lynn struggled to find promising follow-up work, she played the lead in the fluffy Smashing Time (1967) and The Virgin Soldiers (1969), low-key films that were relevant at the time of London's swinging 60s, but very quickly became largely forgotten. She married stage actor/director John Clark and her sister, Vanessa Redgrave, who was also Oscar-nominated the same year for Morgan! (1966), was also gaining exposure and critical success if not surpassing Lynn, on both the British stage and films and was largely considered the leading face of England's breakout actresses of the '60s alongside 'Julie Christie' and other high-profile actresses.
Becoming the label of Vanessa Redgrave's younger and chubbier sister "that did that film a few years ago" didn't sit well with Lynn and, as a result, she lost considerable weight and permanently settled in the U.S. in 1974 to distance herself from this. Primarily based in southern California, she regularly commuted to New York and became notable particularly on the Broadway stage, and had successful runs in "Black Comedy/White Lies" (1967), "My Fat Friend" (1974), "Mrs. Warren's Profession" (1976), "Knock Knock" (1976), "Saint Joan" (1977-1978), "Aren't We All" (1985) and "Sweet Sue" (1987). She was prolifically hired by major networks to appear on a variety of TV talk and game shows and held the position of co-host for a few seasons of "Not for Women Only" (1968), while acting on prime-time TV, whether it was guest spots, mini-series or short-lived TV series. For over 20 years, Redgrave's film career was infrequent and admittedly "terrible" by the actress herself, she notoriously played the title character in the critically-bashed, The Happy Hooker (1975), and the all-star cast misfire, The Big Bus (1976), and, in the 1980s, she focused in a different direction, becoming a spokesperson and commercial actress for "Weight Watches". This coincided with the release of her well- received book: "This Is Living: How I Found Health and Happiness", that detailed her weight issues and eating binges, it was also revealed that for years she suffered bulimia. In the mid-to-late '90s, Redgrave had somewhat of a resurgence in her career, from 1993-1994, she spent over 8 months on Broadway, as well as touring across the world, performing her own personally written show of "Shakespeare for My Father", that explored the bisexuality, aloof persona and intimidating resume of her father. In 1996, Scott Hicks reignited her film career after many years of inactivity by casting her in the Australian Oscar-winning hit, Shine (1996), in which she gave a short yet tender performance as "Gillian", the woman Geoffrey Rush's character falls in love with. Another Golden Globe win/Oscar nomination followed (this time in the supporting category) for her role as the Hungarian housekeeper in Gods and Monsters (1998). Her marriage abruptly ended in 1999, when infidelity was discovered on her husband's behalf and a nasty divorced followed, they produced three children Benjamin, Kelly Clark and Annabel Clark.
Continually working her way through film, television and stage performances in the '00s, recently awarded the OBE, Lynn Redgrave was shocked to discover lumps on her body and was diagnosed with breast cancer. As a result, she took time to write "Journal: A Mother and Daughter's Recovery from Breast Cancer" with her youngest daughter, Annabel Clark, in 2003 and tragically lost her 7-year battle on 2 May 2010 (aged 67) in her family home, surrounded by her loved ones. Her diagnosis led her to realise the beauty and simplicities of life, and she was quoted as saying: "there isn't any such thing as a bad day. Yes, bad things happen. But any day that I'm still here, able to feel and think and share things with people, then how could that possibly be a bad day?".
|John Clark||(2 April 1967 - 22 December 2000) (divorced) 3 children|
Granddaughter of Roy Redgrave
Became a naturalized U.S. citizen.
She was awarded an OBE (Officer of the Order of British Empire) in the 2002 Queen's New Years Honours List for her services to drama.
Both she and her sister, Vanessa Redgrave, were nominated for the 1966 Best Actress Academy Award. Lynn was nominated for Georgy Girl (1966), and Vanessa was nominated for Morgan! (1966). They both lost out to Elizabeth Taylor, who won for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966).
Was one of the judges in the 1972 Miss Universe pageant.
Has twice been nominated for Broadway's Tony Award as Best Actress (Play): in 1976 for George Bernard Shaw's "Mrs. Warren's Profession;" and seventeen years later, in 1993, for "Shakespeare for My Father," her one-woman show about her relationship with her father, Michael Redgrave.
Won the 2004 Barrymore Award (honoring Philadelphia theater) for Outstanding Leading Actress in a Play for "Collected Stories."
Played "Final Interview Subject" in Kinsey (2004) as well as "The Queen" in Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask (1972), which was inspired by the sex manual by Dr. David Reuben, "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask)" (1969), three years after the Masters & Johnson study Human Sexual Response.
Played Queen Elizabeth I in The Lost Colony Outdoor Drama in Summer of 2006 in Manteo, NC.
After her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment she wrote "Journal: A Mother and Daughter's Recovery from Breast Cancer" with her daughter, Annabel Clark, and Barron Lerner.
Sister-in-law of Franco Nero.
She was awarded the 1976 Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Guest Artist for her performance in the play, "Misalliance", at the Academy Festival Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.
Nominated for the 2005 Tony Award (New York City) for Actress in a Drama for "The Constant Wife".
Suffered from bulimia in the 70s.
Was laid to rest at St. Peter's Cemetery in Lithgow, New York, the same place her mother Rachel Kempson and her niece Natasha Richardson were buried. Present at Lynn's funeral were her sister Vanessa Redgrave, her niece Joely Richardson, Brendan Fraser and Liam Neeson. [April 9th, 2010]
Appeared as an illustration on the cover of Time magazine (March 17, 1967) with sister Vanessa Redgrave. Both sisters had just been respectively Oscar-nominated for Georgy Girl (1966) and Morgan! (1966).
Named for actress Lynn Fontanne.
Has the curious distinction of being awarded the "anti-EGOT." She has been nominated for each of the four major show-business awards but never won. She lost the Oscar in 1966 and 1998; the Tony in 1976, 1993, and 2006; the Primetime and Daytime Emmy(s) in 1981 and 1983, respectively; and the Grammy in 2007.
She died less than a month after her elder brother Corin Redgrave.
Looking at my horrible ugly bulk on a huge screen was the turning point in my life.
(May 2004) With her photographer daughter Annabel Clark, she published "Our Journal" in The New York Times, detailing the ups and downs of her recovery from mastectomy in 2003. The book "Journal: A Mother and Daughter's Recovery from Breast Cancer" will be released in October 2004 by Umbrage Editions.
(December 2006) Redgrave now resides in rural Litchfield County, Connecticut.
(January 2009) Kent, Connecticut
(February 2009) Millburn, NJ at the Paper Mill Playhouse as Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Ernest.
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