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Lynn Redgrave
Redgrave at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival
Born(1943-03-08)8 March 1943
Marylebone, London, England
Died2 May 2010(2010-05-02) (aged 67)
Kent, Connecticut, U.S.
Cause of deathBreast cancer
Resting placeLithgow, New York, U.S.
CitizenshipBritish, American
Years active1962–2009
SpouseJohn Clark (m. 1967–2000, divorced)
  • Michael Redgrave (1908–1985)
  • Rachel Kempson (1910–2003)
  • Vanessa Redgrave (sister)
  • Corin Redgrave (brother)
  • Natasha Richardson (niece)
  • Joely Richardson (niece)
  • Carlo Gabriel Nero (nephew)
  • Jemma Redgrave (niece)

Lynn 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[1] 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[]

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.



Redgrave at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival

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.[2] 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, Not Dieting!". She wrote a book of her life experiences with the same title,[3] 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 1993, she voiced The Narrator and one of the characters on the cartoon christmas movie Precious Moments Timmy's Special Delivery.

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.[4] 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.[5]

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.[6]

Voice work[]

Redgrave narrated approximately 20 audiobooks, including Prince Caspian: The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis for Harper Audio[7] and Inkheart by Cornelia Funke for Listening Library.[8]

Personal life[]

On 2 April 1967, Redgrave married English actor John Clark.[9][10] 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).[11] 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.[12][13] The divorce proceedings were acrimonious and became front page news, with Clark alleging that Redgrave had also been unfaithful.[14][15]

Redgrave was appointed OBE in 2001. She was a naturalised citizen of the United States.[16]


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.[17] She died from breast cancer[18] in her Kent, Connecticut, home[19] on 2 May 2010, aged 67.[20] 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 is survived by her three children, her six grandchildren and her elder sister Vanessa.[21]

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 her niece, Natasha Richardson, are also interred.[22]

In 2012, the Folger Shakespeare Library acquired Redgrave's collection of personal papers and photographs.[23]


In 2013, the Lynn Redgrave Theater was opened Off-Broadway in New York City; it was previously known as the Bleecker Street Theater.[24][25]



Year Title Role Notes
1963 Tom Jones Susan
1964 Girl with Green Eyes Baba Brennan
1966 Georgy Girl Georgy
1966 The Deadly Affair Virgin
1967 Smashing Time Yvonne
1969 The Virgin Soldiers Phillipa Raskin
1970 Last of the Mobile Hot Shots Myrtle Kane
1971 Long Live Your Death Mary O'Donnell AKA, Don't Turn the Other Cheek!
1972 Every Little Crook and Nanny Miss Poole
1972 Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) The Queen
1973 The National Health Nurse Betty Martin
1975 The Happy Hooker Xaviera Hollander
1976 The Big Bus Camille Levy
1980 Sunday Lovers Lady Davina Segment: "An Englishman's Home"
1987 Morgan Stewart's Coming Home Nancy Stewart
1989 Getting It Right Joan
1989 Midnight Midnight
1996 Shine Gillian
1998 Gods and Monsters Hanna
1998 The Hairy Bird Miss McVane AKA, All I Wanna Do
1999 Touched Carrie
1999 The Annihilation of Fish Poinsettia
2000 The Simian Line Katharine
2000 The Next Best Thing Helen Whittaker
2000 Deeply Celia
2000 How to Kill Your Neighbor's Dog Edna
2000 Lion of Oz Wicked Witch of the East (voice)
2001 Venus and Mars Emily Vogel
2001 My Kingdom Mandy
2002 Spider Mrs. Wilkinson
2002 Unconditional Love Nola Fox
2002 The Wild Thornberrys Movie Cordelia Thornberry (voice)
2002 Hansel and Gretel Woman / Witch
2002 Anita and Me Mrs. Ormerod
2003 Charlie's War Grandma Lewis
2003 Peter Pan Aunt Millicent
2004 Kinsey Final Interview Subject
2005 The White Countess Olga Belinskya
2007 The Jane Austen Book Club Mama Sky
2009 My Dog Tulip Nancy / Greengrocer's Wife (voice)


Year Title Role Notes
1965 Sunday Out of Season Elaine TV film
1966 Comedy Playhouse Sheila Episode: "The End of the Tunnel"
1966 Love Story Rosemarie Episode: "Ain't Afraid to Dance"
1966 Armchair Theatre Polly Barlow Episode: "Pretty Polly"
1967 Armchair Theatre Ivy Toft
Episode: "I Am Osango"
Episode: "What's Wrong with Humpty Dumpty?"
1968 Love Story Mary Downey Episode: "The Egg on the Face of the Tiger"
1971 Play of the Month Helena Episode: "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
1973 Play of the Month Eliza Doolittle Episode: "Pygmalion"
1974 Vienna 1900 Berta Garlan Episode: "The Spring Sonata"
1974 The Turn of the Screw Miss Jane Cubberly TV film
1976 Kojak Claire Episode: "A Hair-Trigger Away"
1978 Disco Beaver from Outer Space Dr. Van Helsing TV film
1978–1979 Centennial Charlotte Buckland Seccombe TV miniseries
1979 Sooner or Later The teacher TV film
1979 Beggarman, Thief Kate Jordache TV miniseries
1979–1981 House Calls Ann Anderson Main role (41 episodes)
1980 Gauguin the Savage Mette Gad TV film
1980 The Seduction of Miss Leona Miss Leona de Vose TV film
1982 Rehearsal for Murder Monica Welles TV film
1982 CBS Schoolbreak Special Sarah Cotter Episode: "The Shooting"
1982 The Love Boat Patti White 1 episode
1982–1983 Teachers Only Diana Swanson Main role (21 episodes)
1983 Hotel Cathy Knight Episode: "Relative Loss"
1983 Antony and Cleopatra Cleopatra TV film
1984 Fantasy Island Kristen Robbins 1 episode
1984 The Fainthearted Feminist Martha TV series
1984 Murder, She Wrote Abby Benton Freestone Episode: "It's a Dog's Life"
1985 The Bad Seed Monica Breedlove TV film
1986 My Two Loves Marjorie Lloyd TV film
1986 Hotel Audrey Beck Episode: "Restless Nights"
1988 A Woman Alone The Woman TV film
1989 Screen Two Pauline Williams Episode: "Death of a Son"
1989 Chicken Soup Maddie Peerce Main role (12 episodes)
1990 Silent Mouse Narrator TV film
1990 The Great American Sex Scandal Abby Greyhouwsky TV film
1991 What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Jane Hudson TV film
1993 Calling the Shots Maggie Donnelly
1997 Toothless Rogers TV film
1997 Indefensible: The Truth About Edward Brannigan Monica Brannigan TV film
1998 White Lies Inga Kolneder TV film
1998–2001 Rude Awakening Trudy Frank Main role (55 episodes)
1999 Different Amanda Talmadge TV film
1999 A Season for Miracles Hon. Judge Nancy Jakes TV film
2001 Varian's War Alma Werfel-Mahler TV film
2002 My Sister's Keeper Helen Margaret Chapman TV film
2003 The Wild Thornberrys Cordelia (voice) Episodes: "Sir Nigel: Parts 1 & 2"
2006–2007 Eloise: The Animated Series Nanny (voice) Regular role (6 episodes)
2007 Desperate Housewives Dahlia Hainsworth Episode: "Dress Big"
2007 Nurses Peggy Rice TV film
2009 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Emily Huntford Episode: "Folie a Deux"
2009 Ugly Betty Olivia Guillemette Episode: "The Butterfly Effect: Part 1"


Year Title Role House Notes
1962 A Midsummer Night's Dream Helena Royal Court
1962 Billy Liar Dundee
1962 The Tulip Tree Haymarket
1963 The Recruiting Officer Rose National
1963 Andorra Barblin National
1963 Hamlet
1964 Hay Fever Jackie National
1965 Much Ado About Nothing Margaret National
1965–1966 Love for Love
1967 Black Comedy / The White Liars Carol Melkett National
1970 The Two of Us
1971 Slag
1974 My Fat Friend Vicky
1976 Mrs. Warren's Profession Vivie Warren
1976 Knock Knock Joan Replacement
1976 Misalliance
1977–1978 Saint Joan Joan
1985 Aren't We All? Hon. Mrs. W. Tatham
1987 Sweet Sue Susan Too
1989–1990 Love Letters Melissa Gardner Replacement
1992 A Little Hotel on the Side Angelique Pinglet
1992 The Master Builder Mrs. Aline Solness
1993–1994 Shakespeare for My Father Performer
1995–1996 Moon Over Buffalo Charlotte Hay Replacement
2001 Noises Off
2002 Company Joanne
2005 The Constant Wife Mrs. Culver
2009 The Importance of Being Earnest Lady Bracknell Touring

Awards and nominations[]

Year Award Category Production Result
1965 BAFTA Film Award Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles Girl with Green Eyes Nominated
1966 NYFCC Award Best Actress Georgy Girl Won
1967 BAFTA Film Award Best British Actress Nominated
1967 Golden Globe Award Most Promising Newcomer - Female Nominated
1967 Golden Globe Award Best Motion Picture Actress - Musical/Comedy Won
1967 Academy Award Best Actress in a Leading Role Nominated
1967 Laurel Awards Female New Face Nominated
1968 KCFCC Award Best Actress Georgy Girl Won
1976 Tony Award Best Actress in a Play Mrs. Warren's Profession Nominated
1981 Golden Globe Award Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series - Musical/Comedy House Calls Nominated
1981 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
1983 Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Performer in Children's Programming CBS Afternoon Playhouse Nominated
1993 Tony Award Best Actress in a Play Shakespeare for My Father Nominated
1997 BAFTA Film Award Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role Shine Nominated
1997 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Cast Nominated
1998 Gemini Award Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Dramatic Program or Miniseries White Lies Nominated
1999 Satellite Award Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture - Drama Gods and Monsters Nominated
1999 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
1999 BAFTA Film Award Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role Nominated
1999 Independent Spirit Awards Best Supporting Female Won
1999 Academy Award Best Actress in a Supporting Role Nominated
1999 Golden Globe Award Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture Won
2000 ALFS Award British Supporting Actress of the Year Won
2003 Palm Springs International Film Festival Career Achievement Award Won
2006 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award Best Solo Performance Nightingale Won
2006 Tony Award Best Actress in a Play The Constant Wife Nominated
2007 Grammy Award Best Spoken Word Album for Children The Witches Nominated

In 2001, Lynn Redgrave received a LIVING LEGEND honor at The WINFemme Film Festival and The Women's Network Image Awards but had to tape her acceptance speech because she won a film role and missed attending her ceremony.[26]


  1. Potter, Steve (3 August 2016). "City Scene: Gone but not forgotten". The Telegraph (Alton, Illinois). Civitas Media. Retrieved 30 November 2016. ...Actress Lynn Redgrave...credited as the only person to have been nominated for all of the “Big Four” awards...without ever winning any of them.
  2. 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.
  3. Redgrave, Lynn. This Is Living, Dutton, May 1991. ISBN 978-0-87923-333-4.
  4. Eleanor Charles (27 March 2005). "A Redgrave in Four Roles". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 April 2008.
  8. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke at
  9. "Lynn Redgrave Wed to John Clark". The New York Times. 3 April 1967. Retrieved 2 August 2010.
  10. "Newsfronts: New actor in the cast of Redgraves". Life. 7 April 1967. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
  11. Daily Mail obituary: "Actress Lynn Redgrave dies at 67 after losing battle with breast cancer"
  12. 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". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 2 August 2010.
  13. Coveney, Michael (3 May 2010). "Lynn Redgrave obituary". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2 August 2010.
  14. "Lynn Redgrave obituary". The Daily Telegraph. London. 3 May 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010.
  15. "Lynn Redgrave obituary". The Times. London. 4 May 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010.
  16. Lynn Redgrave profile at
  17. notice of Redgrave's death at age 67
  18. "Actress Lynn Redgrave dies at 67"
  19. Vanessa Redgrave says final goodbye to sister Lynn as family gathers for Connecticut funeral
  20. AP report on Notice of Lynn Redgrave's death
  21. "Vanessa Redgrave says final goodbye to sister Lynn as family gathers for Connecticut funeral". Daily Mail. London.
  22. "Family, friends say goodbye to Redgrave", CBC News, 8 May 2010
  23. Washington Post
  24. The New York Times
  26. "Elizabeth Taylor, Selena Gomez Honored at WIN Awards". Look to the Stars. Retrieved 6 December 2015.

External links[]