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Lynn Rachel Redgrave, OBE (born 8 March 1943) is an English actress.

A member of the Redgrave family of actors, Lynn Redgrave 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 Broadwaymarker debut and has since performed in several stage productions in New York, while continuing to make frequent returns to the London West End. She has performed with her sister Vanessa in Three Sisters in London, and in the title role in a television production of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?.

Redgrave 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.

In recent years, she has discussed her health problems associated with bulimia, and breast cancer which resulted in a mastectomy.

Early life and theatrical family

Redgrave was born in London, Englandmarker, the daughter of actors Sir Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson. Her brother is Corin Redgrave and her sister is Vanessa Redgrave. She is the aunt of Joely Richardson, Carlo Nero, Jemma Redgrave and Natasha Richardson (1963-2009).


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. Following a tour of Billy Liar and repertory work in Dundeemarker, she made her West Endmarker 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 Theatremarker for its inaugural season at the Old Vicmarker, working with such directors as Laurence Olivier, Franco Zeffirelli and Noel 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, Girl With Green Eyes and The Deadly Affair. In 1966, she appeared in the title role in Georgy Girl, which earned her the New York Film Critics Award, the Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination.

In 1967 she made her Broadwaymarker 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 Greenwichmarker.

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. Outside New York, she was in Misalliance in Chicagomarker 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 Hollywoodmarker 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 Theatremarker, 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 movie career also include The National Health, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, The Happy Hooker and Getting It Right. For American television she was seen in the series 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 premiere 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.

In 1993 she was elected President of The Playersmarker, the famous theatrical club and historic bastion of American theatre history. 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 OJ Simpson case. In 1993 she appeared on Broadway in the one-woman play Shakespeare For My Father, which John Clark produced and directed. She was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play.

In 2005, Redgrave appeared at Quinnipiac Universitymarker and Connecticut Collegemarker in the play Sisters of the Garden, about the sisters Fanny and Rebekka Mendelssohn and Nadia and Lili Boulanger. She was also reported to be writing a one-woman play about her battle with breast cancer and her 2002 mastectomy, based on her book Journal: A Mother and Daughter's Recovery from Breast Cancer with photos by Annabel Clark (Redgrave and Clark's youngest daughter) and text by Redgrave herself.

In September 2006, she appeared in Nightingale, the U.S. premier of her new one-woman play based upon her maternal grandmother Beatrice, at Los Angelesmarker' Mark Taper Forummarker. She also performed the play in May 2007 at Hartford Stagemarker in Hartford, Connecticutmarker. In 2007, Redgrave appeared in an episode of Desperate Housewives as Dahlia Hainsworth.

Personal life

In 1967, Lynn Redgrave married and professionally partnered the British/Canadian/American actor and director John Clark. Together they had three children, Benjamin (1968-), Kelly (1970-), and Annabel Lucy (1981-), a professional photographer in Manhattan. The marriage ended in divorce in December, 2000.

Redgrave became well known in the United Statesmarker after appearing in the television series House Calls. Following that, she appeared in a long-running series of television commercials for Heinz Foods, 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, which included a selection of Weight Watcher recipes. The autobiographical section later became the basis of her one-woman play Shakespeare For My Father.

Redgrave was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2001. She is a naturalized citizen of the United Statesmarker.

Her niece, actress Natasha Richardson, died on March 18, 2009 following head injuries sustained from a skiing accident in Canada.

Voice work

Redgrave narrated the audiobook Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis for Harper Audio, and Inkheart by Cornelia Funke for Listening Library.


Year Film Role Notes
1963 Tom Jones Susan, Upton Inn
1964 Girl with Green Eyes Baba Brennan
1966 Georgy Girl Georgy
The Deadly Affair Virgin (in "Edward II")
1967 Smashing Time Yvonne
1969 The Virgin Soldiers Phillipa Raskin
1970 Last of the Mobile Hot Shots Myrtle
1971 ¡Viva la muerte... tua! Mary O'Donnell
1972 Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex The Queen
Every Little Crook and Nanny Nanny
1973 The National Health Nurse Sweet/Nurse Betty Martin
1975 The Happy Hooker Xaviera Hollander
1976 The Big Bus Camille Levy
1978 Centennial Charlotte Buckland Seccombe Television mini-series
1980 Sunday Lovers Lady Davina (segment "An Englishman's Home")
1987 Morgan Stewart's Coming Home Nancy Stewart
1989 Midnight Midnight
Getting It Right Joan
1996 Shine Gillian
1997 Toothless Rogers (1997)
1998 Gods and Monsters Hanna
White Lies
Strike! Miss McVane
1999 Touched Carrie
The Annihilation of Fish Poinsettia
2000 Lion of Oz The Wicked Witch of the East (voice)
The Simian Line Katharine
The Next Best Thing Helen Whittaker
Deeply Celia
How to Kill Your Neighbor's Dog Edna
2001 Venus and Mars Emily Vogel
My Kingdom Mandy
2002 Spider Mrs. Wilkinson
Unconditional Love Nola Fox
The Wild Thornberrys Movie Cordelia Thornberry (voice)
Hansel & Gretel Woman/Witch
Anita and Me Mrs. Ormerod
2003 Charlie's War Grandma Lewis
Peter Pan Aunt Millicent
2004 Kinsey Final Interview Subject
2005 The White Countess Olga Belinskya
2007 The Jane Austen Book Club Mama Sky
2009 Confessions of a Shopaholic Drunken Lady at Ball
My Dog Tulip

Television Appearances

  1. "Teachers Only" .... Diana Swanson (21 episodes, 1982-1983)
  • Chicken Soup (1989) Maddie Peerce (12 episodes, 1989-1990)
"Rude Awakening" .... Trudy Frank (55 episodes, 1998-2001)


  2. IMDB - "Desperate Housewives - Dress Big"
  3. Redgrave, Lynn. This Is Living, Dutton, May 1991. ISBN 978-0879233334.
  4. Lynn Redgrave Biography (1943-)

External links

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