Vanessa Redgrave

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About Vanessa Redgrave

She is an Academy Award-winning English actress of stage, screen and television, as well as a political activist.

She rose to prominence in 1961 playing Rosalind in As You Like It with the Royal Shakespeare Company and has since made more than 35 appearances on London's West End and Broadway, winning both the Tony and Olivier Awards. On screen, she has starred in more than 80 films; including Mary, Queen of Scots, Isadora, Mission: Impossible and Mrs Dalloway. Redgrave was proclaimed by Tennessee Williams to be "the greatest living actress of our times" and she remains the only British actress to ever have won the Oscar, Emmy, Tony, Cannes, Golden Globe and the Screen Actors Guild awards. She was also the recipient of the 2010 Bafta Fellowship for "Outstanding Contribution to Film".

A member of the Redgrave family of actors, she is the daughter of Sir Michael Redgrave, sister of the late Lynn Redgrave and Corin Redgrave, and the mother of Hollywood actresses Joely Richardson and the late Natasha Richardson.

Redgrave was born in London, the daughter of actors Sir Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson. Laurence Olivier announced her birth to the audience for a performance of Hamlet at the Old Vic, when he told them that Laertes played by Sir Michael had a daughter. She was educated at The Alice Ottley School, Worcester & Queen's Gate School, London before "coming out" as a debutante. Her late siblings, Lynn Redgrave and the equally outspoken Corin Redgrave, were also acclaimed actors.

Redgrave's daughters, Natasha Richardson (1963–2009) and Joely Richardson (b. 1965) from her 1962–67 marriage to film director Tony Richardson, also built respected acting careers. Redgrave's son Carlo Gabriel Nero (né Carlo Sparanero), by her relationship with Italian actor Franco Nero (né Francesco Sparanero), is a writer and film director. She met Nero while filming Camelot in 1967, the year in which she divorced her husband Tony Richardson, who left her for the French actress Jeanne Moreau.

In 1967, Redgrave was made a Commander (CBE) of the Order of the British Empire. It is understood that she declined a damehood in 1999.

From 1971 to 1986, she had a long-term relationship with actor Timothy Dalton, with whom she had starred in the film Mary, Queen of Scots. On 31 December 2006, Redgrave married Franco Nero. Her daughter, Tony Award-winning actress Natasha Richardson, died on 18 March 2009, following a skiing-related traumatic brain injury.On 6 April 2010, her brother Corin Redgrave died at age 70, in a South London hospital after suffering from an undisclosed illness; he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2000. On 2 May 2010, her younger sister Lynn died of breast cancer in Connecticut.

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Vanessa Redgrave's Timeline

January 30, 1937
May 11, 1963
London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
January 9, 1965
London, Middlesex, England UK
September 16, 1969
London, England (United Kingdom)