Monday, May 03, 2010

RIP Lynn Redgrave

So sad this morning to read of the passing of the actress, after a valiant fight against breast cancer and atop recent family misfortunes. Despite her fair share of accolades she never quite had the same career as her sister Vanessa, but she was always more likable--and I have to say a better stage actress, much less inclined to dominate or impress. (I enjoyed her Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest at BAM, was delighted by her Drama Desk-winning turn in Alan Bennett's Talking Heads, and last saw her Off Broadway in a religious drama, Grace.) That unpretentious quality sustained her through everything from Shakespeare to The Happy Hooker, and she left an indelible mark in Swinging Sixties culture in Georgy Girl. Her other Oscar nomination came for the marvelous Gods and Monsters, as the thickly accented housekeeper (pictured), a figure that bridges the fact and fiction of James Whale's life. (She spent some time bridging the fact and fiction of her family's life, too, enacting episodes from its storied history onstage in several plays, including the Tony-nominated Shakespeare Round My Father.)

'''Vanessa was the one expected to be the great actress,'' Lynn Redgrave told The Associated Press in 1999. ''It was always, 'Corin's the brain, Vanessa the shining star, oh, and then there's Lynn.''' Nice to have known you, Lynn.

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