Lynn Redgrave: 1943-2010

Rest in peace, Ms. Redgrave.

by | May 3, 2010 | Comments

Stage and screen veteran Lynn Redgrave, star of multiple productions and a two-time Academy Award nominee, passed away in her Connecticut home on Sunday, following a seven-year battle with breast cancer. A member of a family of highly regarded actors, Redgrave was surrounded with multi-generational talent — her grandparents acted on the stage and in silent film, her parents followed suit, her older sister Vanessa was an Oscar winner, and her niece, Natasha Richardson, enjoyed her own measure of acclaim before dying unexpectedly in 2009. Among all these stars, Lynn Redgrave managed to attract her own spotlight with notable appearances in a variety of mediums, including film, television, the stage, and as an author.

Redgrave made her professional debut in 1962, but it was with 1966’s Georgy Girl that she made her earliest bid for stardom; though she’d already filmed roles in movies such as Tom Jones and The Deadly Affair, her performance in the title role of Silvio Narizzano’s bittersweet comedy netted her an Oscar nomination as well as a Golden Globe and a New York Film Critics Award. Despite this early acclaim, Redgrave didn’t concentrate solely on film roles; for most of the ’70s and ’80s, she balanced movies like The Happy Hooker with stage productions such as My Fat Friend and Mrs. Warren’s Profession. In the mid-to-late ’90s, she enjoyed an increased profile thanks to roles in highly regarded films like Shine and Gods and Monsters; she earned her second Oscar nomination for her work in the latter.

Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002, Redgrave pursued her career with renewed vigor, starring in a pair of one-woman plays (Shakespeare for My Father, which earned her a Tony nomination, and Nightingale, which she wrote), writing a book about her experiences with the disease, and speaking openly about her struggles with cancer and bulimia.

Redgrave, who was 67, died surrounded by her children. Her family issued a statement saying “”She lived, loved and worked harder than ever before. The endless memories she created as a mother, grandmother, writer, actor and friend will sustain us for the rest of our lives. Our entire family asks for privacy through this difficult time.”