Vanessa Redgrave:: An Autobiography

Vanessa Redgrave, Author
Vanessa Redgrave, Author Random House (NY) $25 (419p) ISBN 978-0-679-40216-9
Hardcover - 978-0-517-17161-5
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Vanessa Redgrave, a political rebel of the show-business world, has written a straightforward, chronological account of her life. She is a member of the famous Redgrave theater clan (father Michael, mother Rachel, two acting siblings, Lynn and Corin, and her daughter, Natasha Richardson), was married to Tony Richardson, bore Franco Nero a son, pursued a successful acting career and espoused controversial causes. She takes herself extremely seriously, seemingly omitting no detail, which has the curious effect of making her dramatic life feel flat. Born in London in 1937, her earliest memories are of the war and evacuations to the countryside to avoid bombings. The late Michael Redgrave achieved greater stardom in Britain than in the U.S. as both a Shakespearean actor and a film idol. Vanessa, on the other hand, always made headlines on both sides of the Atlantic with her outspoken political views, especially her vociferous support of the Palestinians. She moved back into the cinematic limelight recently with performances in Merchant Ivory films, including Howard's End, but her efforts here to set the record straight politically may have limited appeal for American readers. Photos not seen by PW. (Dec.)
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