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Vanessa Redgrave

Real name: Vanessa Redgrave
Birthdate: January 30, 1937
Status: N/A
Partner: N/A

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Vanessa Redgrave, CBE (born 30 January 1937) is an Academy Award-winning English actress and member of the Redgrave family, one of the enduring theatrical dynasties. She is also a social activist for human rights.

Highlights of Vanessa Redgrave's early film career include her first starring role in Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment (for which she earned an Oscar nomination, a Cannes award, a Golden Globe nomination and a BAFTA Film Award nomination); her portrayal of the cool London swinger, Jane, in 1966’s Blowup; her spirited portrayal of dancer Isadora Duncan in Isadora (for which she won a National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress, a second Prize for the Best Female Performance at the Cannes film festival, along with a Golden Globe and Oscar nomination in 1969); and various portrayals of historical figures - ranging from Andromache in The Trojan Women, to Mary of Scotland in Mary, Queen of Scots.

In 1977, Redgrave funded and narrated a documentary film "The Palestinian", which focused on the plight of the Palestinian people. That same year she starred in the film Julia, about a woman murdered by the Nazi regime in the years prior to World War II for her anti-Fascist activism. Her co-star in the film was Jane Fonda who, in her 2005 autobiography, noted that "there is a quality about Vanessa that makes me feel as if she resides in a netherworld of mystery that eludes the rest of us mortals. Her voice seems to come from some deep place that knows all suffering and all secrets. Watching her work is like seeing through layers of glass, each layer painted in mythic watercolor images, layer after layer, until it becomes dark - but even then you know you haven't come to the bottom of it . . . The only other time I had experienced this with an actor was with Marlon Brando . . . Like Vanessa, he always seemed to be in another reality, working off some secret, magnetic, inner rhythm."

In 1980 Redgrave made her first American TV debut as concentration-camp survivor Fania Fénelon in the Arthur Miller-scripted TV movie Playing for Time – a part for which she won an Emmy as Outstanding Lead Actress in 1981. The decision to cast Redgrave as Fenelon was, however, a source of controversy for some Jewish individuals and organizations. In light of Redgrave's support for the Palestinian cause, even Fenelon objected to her casting. Redgrave was perplexed by such hostility, stating in her 1991 autobiography her long-held belief that "the struggle against anti-Semitism and for the self-determination of the Palestinians form a single whole." (p. 306)

At a press conference Redgrave said she feared for the life of Zakayev if he were to be extradited to Russia on terrorism charges. He would "die of a heart attack" or some other mysterious explanation which would be offered by Russia, she said. On 13 November 2003, a London court rejected the Russian government's request for Zakayev's extradition. Instead, the court accepted a plea by lawyers for Mr Zakayev that he would not get a fair trial - and could even face torture - in Russia. "It would be unjust and oppressive to return Mr Zakayev to Russia," Judge Timothy Workman ruled.

In 2004, Vanessa Redgrave and her brother Corin Redgrave announced the launch of the Peace and Progress Party which would campaign against the Iraq War and for human rights.


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