The dramatic, poignant and revealing saga of the Redgraves, one of history's greatest families of actors. For more than a century, the Redgraves have defined theater and film while captivating the public eye. Their history is a rich tapestry of singu'larly talented individuals whose influence is felt to this day, yet their story has never before been told. InThe Redgraves,bestselling biographer Donald Spoto draws on his close personal relationships with the family and includes both his interviews and un'precedented personal access to them. The result is a groundbreaking account of this extraordinary clan and their circle, including such luminaries as Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, and Sir Laurence Olivier. The story began in 1907 with the marriage of actress Daisy Scudamore to matinee idol Roy Red'grave and the birth in 1908 of their son, Michael, who became a famous stage actor and movie star. Michael's family and wild social circle knew that for decades he was insistently bisexual, notwithstanding his marriage to Rachel Kempson, one of England's most glamorous and admired actresses.
Spoto (High Society: The Life of Grace Kelly) provides a competent biography of one of the most revered families in acting--a clan whose combined careers have spanned seven decades. The author devotes the better part of his attention to Michael Redgrave, born in 1908 to two actors and becoming a stalwart of British stage, film, and BBC productions. Despite his homosexual inclinations, Michael married actress Rachel Kempson, with whom he had three children. A contemporary of Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud, he appeared in stage productions of nearly every Shakespeare play and in films such as The Lady Vanishes and The Browning Version. His two eldest children, Vanessa and Corin, were passionate actors as well as dedicated social activists. All three children, including youngest daughter Lynn, had successful trans-Atlantic stage and screen careers. Spoto points to intriguing parallels between Michael's marriage to Rachel and Vanessa's first marriage to director Tony Richardson, since both men were admittedly bisexual. The book contains a lengthy recitation of the 2,600-plus roles played by family members, but Redgrave gets his hour in the spotlight. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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October 02, 2012
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