Why I Loved Lynn Redgrave


She was such a fine actress and esteemed wit–one of those people you wanted to have around forever, to elevate the culture just by entering a room.

Finding her own niche within one of the most illustrious acting dynasties of all time, Lynn exploded in 1967’s Georgy Girl, in which she was the plump, searching gal who was “always window shopping but never stopping to buy.”

Her engaging performance would have surely won the Oscar if it weren’t for Liz Taylor‘s eye-popping turn as an even blowsier babe in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? that year.

But Lynn went on to delight, even in movies that were less than box office magic–like the mod London romp Smashing Time (which I adore, especially when she gleefully belts the spoofy anthem “I Can’t Sing, But I’m Young”) and the bizarre Southern fried comedy Last of the Mobile Hot-Shots, which Lynn once laughingly told me seemed good on paper, considering mega-names like Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal, and Sidney Lumet were involved.

Well, my offbeat-movie club thinks the crazy result was just fine!

But there was higher ground for Lynn to trod. In the ’90s, she redefined her career with attention-getting turns in quality films like Shine and Gods and Monsters, as the world realized that her place was as a character actress extraordinaire and always had been.

And all the while she was devoted to theater, shining in witty revivals like The Constant Wife and in one-person shows in which she filled the stage detailing the history of her culturally exalted family relations.

Has there ever been a loving daughter, sister, and mother more deserving of her own accolades?