The Redgraves: A Family Epic

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The Redgraves: A Family Epic

Format:  Hardcover,

361 pages

Publisher: Random House Inc

Publish Date: Oct 2012

ISBN-13: 9780307720146

ISBN-10: 0307720144

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The following content was provided by the publisher.
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. In "The 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.
Their daughter Vanessa, a great and revered per-former, is the only British actress ever to win Oscar, Emmy, Tony, Cannes, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild Awards--achievements that have been paralleled by a profound humanitarian commitment even as she tackled difficult and controversial roles.
Vanessa's sister, Lynn Redgrave, led a triumphant and complex life in her own way, too. From her per-formance in the movie "Georgy Girl "to her prizewin-ning play about her father and her Oscar-nominated performance in "Gods and Monsters, "Lynn established herself as a very different Redgrave.
Corin Redgrave, their brother, was known for his acclaimed performances onstage and screen--and he was a tireless and outspoken political radical.
The family tradition of distinction continues with the careers of Joely Richardson and Jemma Red-grave and reached a high point in the life and career of Vanessa's daughter, Natasha Richardson, who earned a Tony Award for her role as Sally Bowles in the revival of "Cabaret." Natasha's sudden death after a skiing les-son in 2009 shocked and saddened admirers of her work and graceful spirit.
The product of more than thirty years of research, "The Redgraves "recounts the epic saga of a family that has extended the possibilities for actors on stage, screen, and television in Britain, America, and around the world.


Publisher: Random House Inc
Publish Date: Oct 2012
ISBN-13: 9780307720146
ISBN-10: 0307720144
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 361
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 1.34
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 6.43 x 1.31 x 9.53

About the author

Biography of Spoto, Donald

Born on June 28, 1941, Donald Spoto is an American celebrity biographer, Catholic theologian and former monk. He is best known for his best-selling biographies of film and theatre celebrities. A native of New Rochelle, New York, Spoto graduated from Iona Preparatory School in 1959 and received his B.A. from Iona College in 1963 and his M.A. and Ph.D. in theology (New Testament studies) from Fordham University in 1966 and 1970, respectively. Donald Spoto taught theology, Christian mysticism, and biblical literature at the university level for twenty years. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

Chapter outline

Introduction and Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Their Wedding Days (1824-1921)p. 1
Ghosts and Guilt (1921-1935)p. 20
Faithful, in a Fashion (1935-1937)p. 40
Lost Ladies (1937-1939)p. 60
The Stars Look Up and Down (1939-1941)p. 80
A Garden of Earthly Delights (1941-1946)p. 98
A Term in Hollywood (1947)p. 120
A Thunderbolt (1948-1953)p. 141
Tom (1953-1956)p. 162
Ghosts (1956-1960)p. 185
Fat for Comedy, Thin for Tragedy (19611963)p. 205
Georgy and Guenevere (19641966)p. 224
Hideaways (1967-1975)p. 241
Hoodlums (1976-1985)p. 261
Things Happen (1985-2012)p. 282
Notesp. 311
Bibliographyp. 345
Indexp. 351


Review by Library Journal (2012-07-01)

Chronicling the Red grave family from 1894 to the present, this book is as much a tribute to the crafting of family history as it is to the dynastic acting family. From the questionable beginnings of Sir Michael Red grave to the recent, tragic death of his granddaughter, Natasha Richardson, Spoto (Possessed: The Life of Joan Crawford) takes readers up close and personal with the Redgraves in this detailed history.

Readers interested in the Redgraves and their work on screen and stage will also learn about the paths they took to become great actors. Spoto's more than 30 years of research successfully come to fruition in this title, which is much like his 1983 book, The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock.

Verdict: Spoto allows readers to become completely immersed in the lives, across generations, of this remarkable family. Highly recommended for readers interested in acting, the Redgraves, or multigenerational family histories.

-R. LeMaster, Medina Cty. Dist. Lib., OH

(c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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