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Second Serve (1986)

TV Movie  |   |  Biography, Drama, Sport  |  13 May 1986 (USA)
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Fact-based story about tennis pro Renee Richards, whose player status was challenged in 1976 when it was revealed that she was a transsexual. Flashback to 1964 and meet Richard Radley, a ... See full summary »



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Title: Second Serve (TV Movie 1986)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Director: Eric Drath
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Radley / Renee Richards
Dr. Beck
Richard Venture ...
Dr. David Radley
Dr. Roberto Granato
Dr. Sadie M. Bishop
Dr. Harry Benjamin
Nina van Pallandt ...
Danielle (as Nina Van Pallandt)
Gene Scott
Nightclub singer
Ray Girardin ...


Fact-based story about tennis pro Renee Richards, whose player status was challenged in 1976 when it was revealed that she was a transsexual. Flashback to 1964 and meet Richard Radley, a successful New York doctor with a great lifestyle, a flashy girl friend, and a secret life. Seems like the good doctor likes to dress up in women's clothes and visit Manhattan. His psychiatrist mother refuses to deal with him and sends him to a colleague who diagnoses with a psychotic gender confusion, which he says can be unlearned. After a failed marriage and fatherhood, he gives in to the transsexual operation and becomes Renee for good with a new life in California. Written by John Sacksteder <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He made the most drastic change a man can make. He became a woman. This is his story and hers. See more »


Biography | Drama | Sport





Release Date:

13 May 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Change My Life  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film cast includes three Oscar winners: Vanessa Redgrave, Martin Balsam and Louise Fletcher. See more »


Referenced in Ugly Betty: Brothers (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

empowering and dignified
28 November 2003 | by (Brisbane, Australia) – See all my reviews

I've just read a local paper bemoaning the fact that very few films or books had been made with tennis as a central theme. I was waiting for the author to mention "Second Serve" - and the fact that he didn't proves that he must not have seen this movie.

It would be fully 15 years since it was shown here on TV, but I remember how superb Vanessa Redgrave is in the lead role (true to form - she is one of my all-time favourite actors).

Since becoming an activist in the local gay community, I have come to know personally several transgenders and to appreciate even more just how honest a representation "Second Serve" makes.

Significantly it is just this month that the Olympics governing body have declared that transgenders will be included in the next Games. I believe that Renee Richards personal strength and public honesty was the first step in achieving this statement of equity.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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