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Creator / Vanessa Redgrave

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"You can't do what you've been asked to do unless you do the best you can. And roughly speaking, the best you can do is to be very available as a character and actor to the people you're acting with. That's equally important, whether the camera's on the other person or on you."

Dame Vanessa Redgrave DBE (born 30 January 1937 in Blackheath, London) is an English actor of stage, screen and television, as well as a political activist. She's well-known over her membership in the far-left Workers' Revolutionary Party and her advocacy of a purist Trotskyism. This was often mercilessly parodied by satirists, but it was noted this did not make her difficult to work with and she was always professional in her acting, having enough of a sense of humour to, for instance, appear as a guest with Morecambe and Wise. Vanessa stood for Parliament several times, unsuccessfully, on a WRP ticket. note  She has been vocal in advocating for the Palestinians (including the PLO, which stirred great controversy), along with refugees generally, criticizing the War on Terror and human rights violations committed by her native UK along with the US.


Born to British actors Sir Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson, and part of a distinguished acting family, she is the sister of actors Lynn Redgrave and Corin Redgrave, the aunt of Jemma Redgravenote , and the mother of Natasha Richardson, Joely Richardson and Carlo Nero.

Appearances with pages on this wiki:

Tropes in her work include:

  • What Could Have Been:
    • Vanessa was supposed to serve as a live action reference model for Disney's Alice in Wonderland. But because she had started to sleep walk at home, her parents refused to send her. Alice's voice actor Kathryn Beaumont then did the modelling instead.
    • The stage version of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie was set to have Maggie Smith as the lead. But when she became unavailable, Vanessa got the part. She was also meant to play Jean in the film version, but this time she herself was unavailable, and Maggie Smith came on board.
    • She was offered the role of Margaret Moore in A Man for All Seasons but was too busy to take it on, and Susannah York signed on instead. Vanessa cameo'd for free as Anne Boleyn in the film.
    • Vanessa signed on to play Eleanor of Aquitaine in Robin Hood (2010). But after the sudden death of Natasha Richardson, she dropped out, and Eileen Atkins came on board.
    • Dropped out of The Magdalene Sisters to care for her mother, and the role of Sister Bridget went to Geraldine McEwan.