Monday, May 10, 2010

LYNN REDGRAVE - AUTHOR, ACTRESS & PLAYWRIGHT: “FAREWELL GEORGY GIRL” March 8, 1943 – May 2, 2010

Lynn Redgrave was a two time Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-winning English actress, playwright born March 8th 1934 in Marylebone, London, England. Marylebone is an affluent, inner-city area of central London, located within the City of Westminster.

She was born into one of the British great acting dynasties. Her parents were critically acclaimed actors Sir Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson.

Her brother was the late English actor and political activist Corin Redgrave. Her sister is the Academy Award-winning English stage actress, screen and television, as well as a political activist Vanessa Redgrave. She is the aunt of the Joely Richardson and the late Tony Award-winning actress, Natasha Richardson.

Lynn Redgrave had been chosen in the 2002 Queen’s New Years Honors List for her services to drama, to be an officer of the Order of the British Empire. OBE is one of the highest honors a civilian in Great Britain can obtain, short of being knighted.

On March 19, 2002, she was accompanied by her three children, to Buckingham Palace for the ceremony of investiture, where Queen Elizabeth presented her the medal.

Lady Redgrave was trained in London's Central School and made her professional debut in a 1962 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Royal Court Theatre.

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 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 very busy. During that time, she appeared in films such as Tom Jones, Girl With Green Eyes and The Deadly Affair.

In 1966 at the age of 23, 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.

It wasn’t the theater that brought Lady Redgrave fame. It was the film ‘Georgy Girl,” that made her famous. She was billed as ‘the wildest thing to hit the world since the miniskirts’. She had to put on 14 pounds to play the title role: a previous generation’s Bridget Jones in the 60’s.

The film is about a free spirit, ugly duckling pudgy young Londoner surrounded by somewhat pathetic, bizarre characters. Her roommate Maredith treats her carelessly and can’t conceal a soul of a witch, but Georgy basks in her glamour.

Jos, a loveable, overgrown child; who is sometime Maredith’s boyfriend, who beds her beauty but seems to prefer Georgy’s company. In the movie, her father is a servant to a married middle-aged rich lonely employer who wants Georgy as his mistress. The movie "Georgy Girl" is a fascinating film, with terrific performances and vivid sense of London in the sixties.

On April 2, 1967, Lynn Redgrave lives have changed. She married British actor and director John Clark. They had three children, Benjamin born 1968, actress Pema on All My Children, born 1970, and Annabel Lucy Clark, born 1981, an author and professional photographer in Manhattan.

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.

Lynn Redgrave received Oscar nominations for her 1966 star-making turn in "Georgy Girl." She was also awarded the 1976 Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Guest Artist for her performance in the play, "Misalliance" at the Academy Festival Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.

She received Tony nominations for "Mrs. Warren's Profession," "The Constant Wife," and "Shakespeare for My Father" in 1993, for her performance in her one-woman show about her relationship with her father, Michael Redgrave.

She became well known in the United States after appearing in the 1979 -1982 CBS television series House Calls, for which she received an Emmy nomination.

She 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? in 1991. She made a return to films in the late 1990s in films such as Shine in 1996 and Gods and Monsters in 1998, for which she received another Academy Award nomination.

She played "Final Interview Subject" in Kinsey 2004 as well as "The Queen" In 2004, she also won the Barrymore Award honoring Philadelphia Theater for Outstanding Leading Actress in a Play for "Collected Stories." In 2005, she was nominated for the Tony Award in New York City for Actress in a Drama for "The Constant Wife". She also played “Queen Elizabeth I” in The Lost Colony Outdoor Drama in Summer of 2006 in Manteo, NC.

In recent years, she made appearances in the TV shows Ugly Betty, Law & Order and Desperate Housewives.

After her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, she wrote "Journal: A Mother and Daughter's Recovery from Breast Cancer" with her daughter, Annabel Clark, and Barron Lerner.

Lady Redgrave, was divorced from actor-director John Clark in December 2000. She is survived by her sister, her children and six grandchildren.

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