Actor Corin Redgrave dies at 70

Corin Redgrave

Actor and long-time left-wing activist dies in south London hospital

BY Jack Bremer LAST UPDATED AT 17:40 ON Tue 6 Apr 2010

The actor and long-time political activist Corin Redgrave has died in a south London hospital. He was 70 years old and only last year had made a comeback to the stage after suffering a massive heart attack in June 2005.

Redgrave's wife Kika Markham said in a statement that he had taken ill at their home in the early hours of Sunday morning. He died today "very peacefully [and] surrounded by his family", she added. As well as two sons with Markham, Redgrave had a son and a daughter, the actress Jemma Redgrave, from his first marriage to Deirdre Hamilton-Hill.

He was also the younger brother of Vanessa Redgrave, who almost exactly a year ago lost her daughter Natasha Richardson in a freak skiing accident in Canada.

Although he was primarily known in the media as an old-time Leftie - he and Vanessa were active members of the Workers' Revolutionary party in the 1970s - he was, first and foremost, an award-winning actor, as befits a member of the legendary Redgrave dynasty. (His father was Michael Redgrave and his mother was Rachel Kempson.)

In 1998 he won an Olivier Award for his performance as Boss Whalen in Tennessee Williams's Not about Nightingales and then won a Tony when he repeated the performance on Broadway. He has been a memorable Lear and also found success in Noel Coward's A Song At Twilight, in which he appeared with his sister Vanessa and wife Kika Markham in 1999.

In March 2009, in his first London stage appearance after his heart attack in 2005, Redgrave played the title role in Trumbo, a play about the blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.

On the opening night at the Jermyn Street Theatre, he dedicated his performance to the memory of his niece Natasha Richardson who had died the previous week.

In films, he appeared in A Man for All Seasons and, more recently, as the Scottish nobleman who steals Hugh Grant's American girlfriend in Four Weddings and a Funeral. · 

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