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Definition: Redgrave, Michael (Scudamore) from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

English actor. His stage roles included Hamlet and Lear (Shakespeare), Uncle Vanya (Chekhov), and the schoolmaster in Terence Rattigan's The Browning Version (filmed 1951). On screen he appeared in more than 35 films, including Alfred Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes (1938), Anthony Asquith's The Importance of Being Earnest (1952), and the musical adaptation Goodbye Mr Chips (1969). He was knighted in 1959.

His film debut was in Hitchcock's The Secret Agent (1936). He was the father of the actors Vanessa Redgrave, Corin Redgrave, and Lynn Redgrave.

Summary Article: Redgrave, Sir Michael Scudamore
From Chambers Biographical Dictionary


English stage and film actor

Born in Bristol, the son of actor parents, he was educated at Clifton College, Bristol, and Magdalene College, Cambridge. He taught modern languages at Cranleigh School, before taking up an acting career with Liverpool Repertory Company (1934-36). His sensitive, intellectual approach to acting was most successful in classical roles, including Hamlet (Old Vic and Elsinore, 1949-50), Richard II (1951) and Uncle Vanya (1963). Other plays in which he appeared include Tiger at the Gates (1955) and his own adaptation of The Aspern Papers (1959). He was equally successful in films, among them Alfred Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes (1938), The Way to the Stars (1945), The Browning Version (1951), The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962) and Nicholas and Alexandra (1971). He was nominated for an Academy Award for Mourning Becomes Electra (1947). He was knighted in 1959, and became director of the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre at Guildford in 1962. He married the actress Rachel Kempson (1910-2003) in 1935, and their three children are all in the acting profession: Vanessa, Corin (1939- ) and Lynn (1943- ).

  • Strachan, Alan: Secret Dreams: A Biography of Michael Redgrave (2004).
© Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd 2011

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