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Texts :: Biography
The son of British actor Roy Redgrave, Michael Redgrave attended Clifton College and Cambridge University. While teaching high school, Redgrave became involved with amateur theatricals. A professional by 1934, Redgrave made his London debut in Love's Labours Lost in 1936, and that same year appeared in an uncredited role in his first film, Hitchcock's The Secret Agent (1936).
It was thanks to his leading role in another Hitchcock effort, The Lady Vanishes (1938), that Redgrave achieved stardom.
He was excellent in several starring vehicles of the 1940s, and at his very best in his 20-minute turn as a paranoid ventriloquist in Dead of Night (1946). An attempt to become a Hollywood star via Mourning Becomes Electra (1947) was scuttled due to the film's poor box office take, though Redgrave did earn an Oscar nomination for his performance.
After starring in The Dam Busters, Britain's most popular 1955 movie release, Redgrave settled into film character roles, continuing all the while to headline on stage.
He also wrote and directed several theatrical productions throughout his career, and was the author of four books: the instructional The Actor's Ways and Means, the novel The Mountebank's Tale, and two autobiographies.
In 1959, Redgrave was knighted for his achievements in his chosen field. Long married to actress Rachel Kempson, who died in 2003, Michael Redgrave was the father of actors Vanessa, Corin and Lynn Redgrave; and the grandfather of actresses Jemma Redgrave, Natasha and Joely Richardson.
Throughout his life he wrestled with his bi-sexuality in a time where society wasn't really forgiving of anything other than hetrosexuality. It was something he could not deny or kill as he admits in his autobiography. The affairs led to arguments and fights with his long suffering wife.
He died in 1985, a cruel, painful death, ravaged by Parkinson's disease. But his memory lingers on and is a bright star in British stage and cinema history.
For me, he is up there with Sir Alec Guinness as the best or most watchable of British actors ever. Anything he appeared in was better because he was in it. I've seen him in a whole manner of films, from The Sea Shall Not Have Them to The Innocents (sadly he's in it all too briefly) and he holds every film together as if he was the glue that bound the film. Wonderful, wonderful actor.
Biography >> Michael Redgrave Film Poster Gallery >> Captive Heart >> Dam Busters >> Heroes of Telemark >> Oh! What a Lovely War >> Importance Of Being Earnest >> The Way to the Stars >> The Innocents Dvd >> The Innocents Blu-Ray >> The Innocents Exclusive Location Pictures >> Secret Beyond The Door >> The Years Between >> Advertise >> Michael Redgrave Dvds available @ amazon.com