Specializing in comedic roles, Lynn Redgrave made significant contributions to her illustrious family's five-generation-long reputation for producing fine British actors. The daughter of actors Sir Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson and the sister of actors Corin and Vanessa Redgrave, the London-born Redgrave studied acting at the Central School of Music and Drama. She first appeared on-stage in a 1962 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Royal Court Theatre. She was next invited by Sir Laurence Olivier to become one of the first members in Britain's National Theatre. There she appeared in Hamlet opposite her father and Peter O'Toole for three years as well as in many other prestigious productions. Redgrave made her feature-film debut in Tony Richardson's ribald Tom Jones (1963). She then had a starring role in The Girl With Green Eyes (1964), but did not become an international star until she played the plump and pathetic protagonist in Georgy Girl (1966). Her work earned her an Oscar nomination and a Best Actress award from the New York Film Critics and led to her playing leading roles in a number of films on both sides of the Atlantic. In 1974, Redgrave immigrated to the U.S. She eventually lost a lot of weight and became a fine comic actress, noted for her unabashed naughty sense of humor. For a while, she was a popular guest on the television talk show/game show circuit as well as a popular spokesperson for the Weight Watchers diet organization. Her '70s film appearances ran the gamut from Woody Allen's Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, But Were Afraid to Ask (1972) to playing the title role in The Happy Hooker (1975). Redgrave also appeared in television movies and in the series House Calls (1979-1981), Teachers Only (1982-1983), and Chicken Soup (1989). In the late '90s, Redgrave staged a successful one-woman show, Shakespeare for My Father. In 1996, Redgrave won acclaim for her portrayal of the loving astrologer who married troubled pianist David Helfgott in Scott Hicks' Shine. Redgrave died of breast cancer at age 67 in May 2010.
by Sandra Brennan biography