Actress Lynn Redgrave Has Died at Age 67
May 5, 2010
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NEW YORK – Lynn Redgrave, an introspective and independent player in her family’s acting dynasty who became a 1960s sensation as the unconventional title character of Georgy Girl and later dramatized her troubled past in such one-woman stage performances as Shakespeare for My Father and Nightingale, has died. She was 67.
Her publicist Rick Miramontez, speaking on behalf of her children, said Redgrave died peacefully Sunday night at her home in Kent, Conn. Children Ben, Pema and Annabel were with her, as were close friends.
“Our beloved mother Lynn Rachel passed away peacefully after a seven year journey with breast cancer,” Redgrave’s children said in a statement Monday. “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.”
Redgrave was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2002, had a mastectomy in January 2003 and underwent chemotherapy.
Her death comes a year after her niece Natasha Richardson died from head injuries sustained in a skiing accident and just a month after the death of her older brother, Corin Redgrave.
The youngest child of Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson, Lynn Redgrave never quite managed the acclaim — or notoriety — of elder sibling Vanessa Redgrave, but received Oscar nominations for Georgy Girl and Gods and Monsters, and Tony nominations for Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Shakespeare for My Father and The Constant Wife. In recent years, she also made appearances on TV in Ugly Betty, Law & Order and Desperate Housewives.
In theater, the ruby-haired Redgrave often displayed a sunny, sweet and open personality, much like her ebullient offstage personality. It worked well in such shows as Black Comedy — her Broadway debut in 1972 — and again two years later in My Fat Friend, a comedy about an overweight young woman who sheds pounds to find romance.
“She was adored by audiences, and although she embarked on a medical treatment as previews began, she never missed a show and gave magnificent performances eight times a week,” said Lynne Meadow, artistic director of MTC.
“We admired her strength, her talent, her courage and her enormous good heart. There wasn’t a stage hand, a press rep, a box office person who didn’t worship Lynn. She was true theatre royalty.”
Lynn Redgrave is survived by six grandchildren, her sister Vanessa, and four nieces and nephews.
A private funeral with be held later this week.