Childhood & Early Life
Lynn Rachel Redgrave was born on 8th March 1943, in Marylebone, London, in the UK. She belonged to the Redgrave family of actors. Her parents, Sir Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson, were actors.
She had two siblings, Vanessa Redgrave and Corin Redgrave. Her grandfather, Roy Redgrave, was also a well-known actor, and the first member of the Redgrave acting dynasty. Lynn studied acting at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama.
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Lynn Redgrave began her professional acting career, in 1962, in Royal Court Theatre’s production of the famous Shakespearean play ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. She continued to act in various other plays such as ‘Billy Liar’, ‘The Recruiting Officer’, ‘Hamlet’ and ‘Much Ado About Nothing’.
Her first work on the big screen was a minor role in ‘Tom Jones’, a British comedy film, which was adapted from a classic novel by Henry Fielding. The film received a lot of appreciation. It was nominated for ten Oscars, and won in four categories, including Best Picture. The film has also been listed by the British Film Institute as the 51st greatest British film of the 20th century. It was directed by Tony Richardson.
In 1963, she appeared in the film ‘Girl with Green Eyes’, which was adapted from the novel ‘The Lonely Girl’ by Edna O’Brien. She played the role of Baba Brennan, one of the main characters. The film was directed by Desmond Davis. In 1965, she also made her television debut with a role in the television film ‘Sunday Out of Season’.
She gained international fame for her lead role of Georgina Parkin, in the 1966 British romantic comedy film ‘Georgy Girl’. The film was directed by Silvio Narizzano, and was based on a novel by Margaret Forster. For her outstanding performance, Redgrave was nominated for an Oscar, in the ‘Best Actress’, category. She also won the Golden Globe award and the New York Film Critics Circle Awards for her performance.
Over the next three decades, she continued to appear in numerous movies, though most of them were not very successful. Some of these films include ‘The Family Way’ (1966), ‘Long Live Your Death’ (1971), ‘The Happy Hooker’, (1975), ‘The Big Bus’ (1976), and ‘Midnight’ (1989).
Over the years, she also appeared in several TV films. Some of them are ‘Sooner or Later’ (1979), ‘Rehearsal for Murder’ (1982), ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ (1983), and ‘The Bad Seed’ (1985). In 1978 and 1979, she also appeared in the miniseries ‘Centennial’. Between 1979 and 1981, she was seen in the TV series ‘House Calls’, in a main role. She played a main role in another series ‘Teachers Only’ in 1982 and 1983.
Her next important work was the 1996 Australian biopic ‘Shine’. It was based on the life of pianist David Helfgott, who had suffered a mental breakdown and had to spend years in institutions. The film was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture. It was a critical as well as a commercial success, earning over $ 35 million on a budget of $ 6 million.
Lynn Redgrave next appeared in the period drama film ‘Gods and Monsters’. The film was directed by Bill Condon. The film was based on a novel named ‘Father of Frankenstein’, by Christopher Bram. The film won an Oscar in the ‘Best Adapted Screenplay’ category. Redgrave earned an Oscar nomination as well in the ‘Best Supporting Actress’, category. She won the Golden Globe award in the same category.
Over the next ten years, she continued to appear in several other films such as ‘The Annihilation of Fish’, (1999), ‘How to Kill Your Neighbor’s Dog’ (2000)(4), ‘Hansel and Gretel’ (2002), ‘Peter Pan’ (2003) and ‘The White Countess’ (2005). Between 1998 and 2001, she was also seen in the TV sitcom ‘Rude Awakening’, in the role of Trudy Frank.
In 2009, she appeared in a minor role in the romantic comedy film ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’, which was directed by P J Hogan. Her life’s last work was the animated film ‘My Dog Tulip’, which released the same year. It was directed by Paul Fierlinger.
Lynn Redgrave became popular for her role in the British film ‘Georgy Girl’, which was based on a novel of the same name by Margaret Forster. The film was directed by Silvio Narizzano. The film was a critical and commercial success, and won several awards and nominations, including four Oscar nominations. Redgrave was nominated for the Oscar in the ‘Best Actress’ category, and she also received a Golden Globe Award, in the category of ‘Best Actress in a Motion Picture’.
She played one of the major roles in the biopic ‘Shine’. Directed by Scott Hicks, the film revolved around the life of David Helfgott, a pianist, who had to spend years in psychiatric institutions, after having a mental breakdown. The film was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture. Geoffrey Rush, who played the lead role of Helfgott, won an Oscar in the ‘Best Actor’ category.