During the late 1970s and 1980s she had a long-term relationship with actor Timothy Dalton.
In 1960, Redgrave had her first starring role in Robert Bolt's The Tiger and the Horse, in which she co-starred with her father. In 1962 she played Imogen in William Gaskill's production of Cymbeline for the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 1966 Redgrave created the role of Jean Brodie in the Donald Albery production of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, adapted for the stage by Jay Presson Allen from the novel by Muriel Spark. She won four Evening Standard Awards Best ActressEvening Standards Awards for Best Actress in four decades. She was awarded the Laurence Olivier Award fr Best Actress in a Revival in 1984 for The Aspern Papers
In the nineties her theatre work included Prospero in The Tempest at Shakespeare's Globe in London. In 2003 she won a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performance in the Broadway revival of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night. In January 2006, Redgrave was presented the Ibsen Centennial Award for her "outstanding work in interpreting many of Henrik Ibsen's works over the last decades. Previous recipients of the award include Liv Ullmann, Glenda Jackson, and Claire Bloom.
In 2007 Redgrave played Joan Didion in Didion's Broadway stage adaptation of her recent book, The Year of Magical Thinking, which played 144 regular performances in a 24-week limited engagement at the Booth Theatre. For this, she was nominated for a Tony Award in the category of Best Leading Actress in a Play. She reprised the role at the at the Lyttelton Theatre at The National Theatre in London to positive reviews. She also spent a week performing the work at the Theatre Royal in Bath for one week only in September 2008.
Redgrave's performance in Julia garnered an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. However, members of the Jewish Defense League (JDL), led by Rabbi Meir Kahane, picketed the awards ceremony in the spring of 1978 to protest against both Redgrave and her support of the Palestinian cause.
Aware of the JDL's presence outside, Redgrave, in her acceptance speech, denounced all forms of totalitarianism, noting that neither she nor the Academy (who had received death threats if she won) would be intimidated by "a small bunch of Zionist hoodlums - whose behavior is an insult to the stature of Jews all over the world, and to their great and heroic record of struggle against fascism and oppression. Her statement was greeted by both applause and boos from the audience.
Later in the broadcast, veteran screenwriter and Oscar presenter Paddy Chayefsky, himself a Jew, announced to the audience, “there's a little matter I'd like to tidy up…at least if I expect to live with myself tomorrow morning. I would like to say that I'm sick and tired of people exploiting the Academy Awards for the propagation of their own personal propaganda. I would like to suggest to Miss Redgrave that her winning an Academy Award is not a pivotal moment in history, does not require a proclamation and a simple 'Thank you' would have sufficed.” He received thunderous applause.
In 1978 Rabbi Meir Kahane published a book entitled Listen Vanessa, I am a Zionist, which was later renamed Listen World, Listen Jew in direct response to Redgrave's comments at the Academy Awards. To this day many right-wing Jewish groups, such as the JDL, consider Redgrave a supporter of terrorism. The JDL itself, however, has been described by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Congressional testimony as a “violent” and “extremist” group. In a sidebar in its “Terrorism 2000/2001” report, the Bureau notes, “The Jewish Defense League has been deemed a right-wing terrorist group.”
In June 2005 Redgrave was asked on Larry King Live: “Regardless of distinctions about policy, do you support Israel's right to exist?” “Yes, I do,” she replied.
Her performance as a lesbian grieving the loss of her longtime partner in the HBO series If These Walls Could Talk 2 earned her a Golden Globe for “Best TV Series Supporting Actress” in 2000, as well as earning an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a TV Movie or Miniseries. This same performance also led to an “Excellence in Media Award” by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). The award honours “a member of the entertainment community who has made a significant difference in promoting equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people”. In 2005, Redgrave joined the cast of the hit series Nip/Tuck, which was in its second season. Redgrave played Dr. Erica Noughton, the mother of Julia McNamara, who's played by her real life daughter Joely Richardson. She also made appearances in the third season. In 2006, Redgrave starred opposite Peter O'Toole in the acclaimed film Venus. Redgrave's most recent work include 2007's Evening and the acclaimed Atonement, in which she garnered a Broadcast Film Critics Association award nomination for her performance that only took up seven minutes of screen time.
Redgrave identifies as a socialist, and her opposition to Stalinist oppression led her, early in her career, to join the Workers' Revolutionary Party (UK) (WRP), on whose ticket she twice ran for Parliament. Redgrave's Trotskyist political views have been a cause of controversy for some, as has her membership in the WRP. She remained loyal to WRP founder Gerry Healy when he was expelled from the WRP in the mid-1980s. She and other Healy loyalists founded the short-lived Marxist Party in the 1990s. Since 2004 she has been a member of the Peace and Progress Party.
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 Fénelon was, however, a source of controversy for some Jewish individuals and organizations. In light of Redgrave's support for the Palestinian cause, even Fénelon 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.
In December 2002 Redgrave paid £50,000 bail for Chechen separatist Deputy Premier and special envoy Akhmed Zakayev, who had sought political asylum in the United Kingdom and was accused by the Russian government of aiding and abetting hostage-takings in the Moscow Hostage Crisis of 2002—in which 128 hostages lost their lives during a Russian special forces (OMON) action—and guerrilla warfare against Russia.
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.
Redgrave has been an outspoken critic of the "War on Terror" — the US and British governments' response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11. During a June 2005 interview on Larry King Live, Redgrave was challenged on this criticism and on her "far left" political views. In response she questioned if there can be true democracy if the political leadership of the United States and Britain doesn't "uphold the values for which my father's generation fought the Nazis, [and] millions of people gave their lives against the Soviet Union's regime. [Such sacrifice was made] because of democracy and what democracy meant: no torture, no camps, no detention forever or without trial...[Such] techniques are not just alleged [against the governments of the U.S. and Britain], they have actually been written about by the FBI. I don't think it's being 'far left'...to uphold the rule of law."
In March 2006, Redgrave remarked in an interview with US broadcast journalist Amy Goodman, that “I don't know of a single government that actually abides by international human rights law, not one, including my own. In fact, [they] violate these laws in the most despicable and obscene way, I would say.”
Goodman’s interview of Redgrave took place in the actress’s West London home on the evening of 7 March, and covered a range of subjects — though in particular, the cancellation of the Alan Rickman production, My Name is Rachel Corrie, by the New York Theater Workshop. Such a development, said Redgrave, was an "act of catastrophic cowardice" as "the essence of life and the essence of theater is to communicate about lives, either lives that have ended or lives that are still alive, [and about] beliefs, and what is in those beliefs.
In June 2006 she was awarded a "lifetime achievement" award from the International Transylvanian Film Festival, one of whose sponsors is a mining company named Gabriel Resources. She dedicated the award to a community organisation from Roşia Montană, Romania, which is campaigning against a gold mine that Gabriel Resources is seeking to build near the village. Gabriel Resources placed an "open letter" in The Guardian on 23 June 2006, attacking Redgrave, arguing the case for the mine, and exhibiting support for it among the inhabitants: the open letter is signed by 77 villagers.
In December 2007, Redgrave was named as one of the possible suretors who paid the £50,000 bail for Jamil el-Banna, one of three British residents arrested after landing back in the UK following four years' captivity at Guantanamo Bay. El-Banna is alleged to have run a terrorist cell called the Islamic Alliance which recruited people to fight jihad in Afghanistan and Indonesia. He also is accused of distributing extremist propaganda produced by Osama bin Laden. Redgrave has declined to be specific about her financial involvement but said she was "very happy" to be of "some small assistance for Jamil and his wife," adding, "It is a profound honour and I am glad to be alive to be able to do this. Guantanamo Bay is a concentration camp.
"I've been to Sarajevo a few times and have got to know a lot of people there who put on plays during the siege. I wanted to share in that because I knew it was important to them . . . I began to see something of what was going on there in terms of actually keeping up people's spirit to resist - the resistance that causes change - even in the worst imaginable circumstances. And I realized that it paralleled the same spirit that existed during the Holocaust and in the gulag. Theater and poetry were what helped people stay alive and want to go on living. That experience changed me, because I realized that if, as actors or writers or directors or designers, we can keep the will to resist alive in as many people as possible, then that's what we are about, and that's what we can do. It's more and more important because of the terrible things that are happening in our cities and the political and economic agendas that various governments have.
"As a mother you have got to have a view for now and a view for the future.
|1958||Behind The Mask||Pamela Gray|
|1966||Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment||Leonie Delt||Nominated - Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role; BAFTA; Golden Globe|
Won - Cannes
|A Man For All Seasons||Anne Boleyn|
|1967||Camelot||Guinevere||Nominated - Golden Globe|
|1968||The Charge of the Light Brigade||Mrs. Clarissa Morris|
|The Sea Gull||Nina|
|Isadora||Isadora Duncan||Nominated - Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role; Golden Globe|
Won - Cannes
|1969||Oh! What a Lovely War||Sylvia Pankhurst|
|A Quiet Place in The Country||Flavia|
|1971||Mary, Queen of Scots||Mary, Queen of Scots||Nominated - Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role; Golden Globe|
|The Devils||Sister Jeanne|
|The Trojan Women||Andromache|
|1974||Murder on the Orient Express||Mary Debenham|
|1975||Out of Season||Ann|
|1976||The Seven-Per-Cent Solution||Lola Deveraux|
|1977||Julia||Julia||Won - Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role; Golden Globe|
|Bear Island||Heddi Lindguist|
|1981||Playing for Time||Fania Fenelon||Won - Emmy|
|1984||The Bostonians||Olive Chancellor||Nominated - Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role; Golden Globe|
|Peter the Great||Sophia||Nominated - Emmy|
|Second Serve||Richard Radley / Renee Richards||Nominated - Emmy|
|1987||Prick Up Your Ears||Peggy Ramsay||Nominated - BAFTA; Golden Globe|
|1988||Consuming Passions||Mrs. Garza|
|1990||Romeo & Juliet||Mother Capulot||(voice)|
|1991||The Ballad of the Sad Cafe||Miss Amelia|
|Young Catherine||Empress Elizabeth||Nominated - Emmy|
|1992||Howards End||Ruth Wilcox||Nominated - Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role|
|1993||A Wall of Silence||Kate Benson|
|The House of The Spirits||Nivea del Valle|
|1994||Mother's Boys||Lydia Madigan|
|Little Odessa||Irina Shapira|
|1995||A Month by the Lake||Miss Bentley||Nominated - Golden Globe|
|1997||Smilla's Sense of Snow||Elsa Lubing|
|Wilde||Lady Speranza Wilde|
|Mrs. Dalloway||Mrs. Clarissa Dalloway|
|1998||Deep Impact||Robin Lerner|
|Lulu on the Bridge||Catherine Moore|
|1999||Cradle Will Rock||Countess Constance LaGrange|
|Girl, Interrupted||Dr. Sonia Wick|
|2000||If These Walls Could Talk 2||Edith Tress TV (segment "1961")||Won - Emmy; Golden Globe; SAG|
|A Rumor of Angels||Maddy Bennett|
|2001||The Pledge||Annalise Hansen|
|Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story||Countess Wilhelmina/Narrator|
|2002||The Gathering Storm||Clementine Churchill||Nominated - BAFTA; Emmy; Golden Globe; SAG|
|Crime and Punishment||Rodian's Mother|
|Searching for Debra Winger||Herself|
|The Locket||Esther Huish||TV|
|2004||The Fever||Woman||Nominated - SAG|
|Nip/Tuck||Dr. Erica Noughton|
(2004 - 2005)
|TV (8 episodes)|
|2005||The Keeper: The Legend of Omar Khayyam||The Heiress|
|The White Countess||Vera Belinskya|
|2006||The Thief Lord||Sister Antonia|
|2007||The Riddle||Roberta Elliot|
|Atonement||Older Briony Tallis||Nominated - Broadcast Film Critics Association|