Corin Redgrave, British Stage Great, Dies at 70

Obituaries   Corin Redgrave, British Stage Great, Dies at 70
Corin Redgrave, the actor brother of Vanessa and Lynn who forged a less celebrated, but nonetheless impressive career on the British stage, died April 6 in a South London hospital. He was 70.
Corin Redgrave
Corin Redgrave Photo by Aubrey Reuben
He is the second member of the famous Redgrave acting clan to die in a little over a year. In March 2009 his niece and Vanessa's daughter, Natasha Richardson, died in a freak skiing accident in Canada.

Corin Redgrave was the middle brother of his famous sisters, which whom he shared father Michael Redgrave and mother Rachel Kempson. He was seldom seen on American stages, but had a flashy, late-career triumph in 1999 playing the brutal prison warden Boss Whalen in the "lost" early play of Tennessee Williams, Not About Nightingales. He won an Olivier Award for the vicious, impeccably American creation when he originated the role in London in 1998, and was nominated for a Tony Award the year after. His stage career caught fire in the few years after that achievement. In the years that followed, he played a critically acclaimed King Lear and appeared opposite sister Vanessa in a successful revival Noel Coward's A Song at Twilight.

Corin Redgrave followed in the footsteps of his parents early on. His first stage appearance was at the Royal Court in 1961 as Lysander in Tony Richardson's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Immediately afterwards he played the Pilot Officer in John Dexter's production of Wesker's Chips with Everything at the Royal Court, The Vaudeville, and, in 1963, the Shubert Theatre in New York. He joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1972 for a season at Stratford and at the Aldwych, playing Octavius in Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra and Antipholus of Ephesus in The Comedy of Errors. At the Young Vic Corin played in Rosmersholm, The Crucible and Some Kind of Hero.

Like Vanessa Redgrave, he was intensely political and embraced a variety of leftist causes during his youth. He was a prominent member of the Workers' Revolutionary Party. He retained his liberal streak as he aged—he supported a motion to impeach Prime Minister Tony Blair in the aftermath of the war in Iraq.

In March 2009 he made a return to the London stage playing the title role in Trumbo, based on the life of the blacklisted Hollywood screen writer of the same name. On opening night, he dedicated his performance to the memory of Natasha Richardson.

He was the father of Jemma Redgrave, Luke Redgrave, Arden Redgrave and Harvey Redgrave, who survive him.

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