Star Archive


Sir Michael Redgrave (1908 - 1985)

Michael Redgrave's memory has been partially eclipsed by the acting dynasty he left behind. Yet, compared to the other great acting knights of his generation, he's left more good performances in good films than any of them. Where they played characters, he played people.  

He was born into a theatrical family, the result of a short-lived marriage between Roy Redgrave and Margaret Scudamore (best remembered as the JP's mother in A Canterbury Tale). His mother's second marriage gave Redgrave the financial security necessary in those days for a decent education. He attended Cambridge, and then tried journalism and teaching before giving acting a go.

His acting career took off quickly and by the mid-thirties he was at the Old Vic. He was also married, having met Rachael Kempson while working together in rep in Liverpool. His stage work lead to a Gainsborough contract, the first film of which was a huge success: The Lady Vanishes. With the best possible start, his film career was secure.

War service put a temporary halt to his career, but even before that his involvement in the short-lived People's Convention (a Communist Party-backed anti-war movement) threatened to harm his standing. He served in the navy for a couple of years before he was invalided out with an injured arm. The rest of the war was spent in the theatre, though as the war drew to a close he made a film come-back in The Way to the Stars

He made a trip to Hollywood, but like so many British actors, his time there was not happy. His performance in Mourning Becomes Electra got him an Oscar nomination, but the film was so poor it didn't get a theatrical release in Britain until many years later. On his return from Hollywood, he gave what is probably his finest film performance in The Browning Version. At the same time he was in a season at Stratford.

He continued to divide his time between film and the stage, though in the late 50s tax difficulties made him concentrate on film to get himself out of trouble. Though his film work became less distinguished as time went on, his theatre work continued its high standard. He toured extensively in the 70s, until the effects of Parkinson's disease grew too great.

Michael Redgrave in The Lady VanishesMichael Redgrave on the set of The Way to the StarsMichael Redgrave in Fame is the SpurMichael Redgrave in The Night My Number Came Up

Filmography

1938 The Lady Vanishes
1938 Climbing High
1939 A Stolen Life
1939 A Window in London
1939 The Stars Look Down
1941 Kipps
1941 Atlantic Ferry
1941 Jeannie
1942 Thunder Rock
1942 The Big Blockade
1945 The Way to the Stars
1945 Dead of Night
1946 The Captive Heart
1946 The Years Between
1947 The Man Within
1947 Fame is the Spur
1947 Mourning Becomes Electra (US)
1948 The Secret Behind the Door (US)
1950 The Browning Version
1951 The Magic Box
1952 The Importance of Being Earnest
1954 The Sea Shall Not Have Them
1954 The Green Scarf
1955 Oh, Rosalinda!!
1955 Confidential Report
1955 The Night My Number Came Up
1955 The Dam Busters
1956 Nineteen Eighty-Four
1957 Time Without Pity
1958 The Quiet American
1958 Law and Disorder
1958 Behind the Mask
1959 Shake Hands With the Devil
1960 No My Darling Daughter
1961 The Innocents
1963 The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
1964 Young Cassidy
1965 The Hill
1965 The Heroes of Telemark
1967 Assignment K
1969 Oh What a Lovely War
1969 Goodbye Mr Chips
1969 The Battle of Britain
1969 David Copperfield
1969 Connecting Rooms
1970 Goodbye Gemini
1971 Nicholas and Alexander
1971 The Go-Between

 Michael Redgrave at Amazon UK

 Michael Redgrave at Amazon US