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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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Richard Radley / Renee Richards
...
Dr. Beck
...
Josh
...
Gwen
...
Meriam
Richard Venture ...
Dr. David Radley
...
Dr. Roberto Granato
...
Dr. Sadie M. Bishop
...
Dr. Harry Benjamin
...
Bill
Nina van Pallandt ...
Danielle (as Nina Van Pallandt)
...
Gene Scott
...
Ross
...
Nightclub singer
Ray Girardin ...
Grigsby
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Storyline

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 <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Vanessa Redgrave stars as Dr. Renee Richards. The man who became a champion female tennis player. A true story. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

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Release Date:

13 May 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Change My Life  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
excellent made for television movie
27 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Second Serve" is a stunning made for TV movie done at a time when TV films seemed to have a little more thought put into them than they do now. In later years, they have descended into true crime and women in crisis, drawing largely from the headlines. This film is drawn from the headlines, too, but a different kind. It's the story of Richard Radley, who becomes Renee Richards. Back in 1986, these stories were uncommon - there were no MSNBC documentaries on sex changes, no true stories shown on The Learning Channel. Renee Richards, of course, is a tremendously accomplished woman, an ophthalmologist and tennis pro, who gains a great deal of publicity by suing the tennis association for discrimination.

I found this to be a very uplifting story of a brave person who fought for what she believed in so that she and others like her could have a better life. Vanessa Redgrave is perfect in the role - tall and big-boned, she has an androgeny that she can turn on when a role calls for it, and of course, she is a great actress. I saw her several years ago in "Long Day's Journey into Night" and was blown away, as I was when I saw her in this 19 years ago. If you get a chance to see this, it's beautifully done.


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