Monday, May 3, 2010

godspeed georgy girl

Lynn Redgrave, spring 2009

As synchronicity would have it, Saturday night I watched The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, 1962, starring Sir Michael Redgrave; Sunday night I popped in Camelot, starring Vanessa Regrave; and today I sadly learned of the death of Lynn Redgrave, part of the Redgrave acting dynasty, daughter of Michael and sister of Vanessa.

I didn't realize she had been ill, but apparently she had been battling breast cancer for the past seven years. She was 67. Redgrave received two Oscar nominations during her decades-long acting career; one for her role in Georgy Girl ,1966 and another more than 30 years later for her supporting turn as the scraggly housekeeper in Gods and Monsters, 1999. She also earned four Tony Award nominations for her stage work.

The last movie I remember seeing her in, was Merchant Ivory's White Countess, 2005, starring with her late niece, Natasha Richardson and her sister Vanessa Redgrave. She was delightful in the role of a member of the Russian aristocracy exiled in 1936 Shanghai.

You know, I've had the lyrics to the Georgy Girl song in my head all afternoon.

Always window shopping, but never stopping to buy.

Her death reminds me how short life is. We certainly need to seize the day and stop to buy a big juicy chunk of life. Our beautiful and talented Georgy Girl left us all too soon, my friends. May she rest in peace.

77 comments:

  1. That is sad... such a talented lady & entire family. I did not know she was ill either.

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  2. I heard about her this morning. She had an amazing career and I loved her in Georgy Girl. Way too young ...

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  3. Oh, that's really sad to hear; another of the Redgraves gone. Love that family.

    Re the clip; Judith Durham of The Seekers was interviewed in our Saturday paper. She's still singing and recording.

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  4. Alaine, what an amazing singing career. Sing on Judith Durham!

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  5. saw this come across the newsfeed today...sa sad...

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  6. It really came as a shock, so unexpected, she looks so full of life in those last pictures circulating.

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  7. I also didn't know of her battle with breast cancer. Mike and I were fortunate enough to see her in Hamlet at the Globe on our 2nd trip to London. That is a lovely photo of her, too. She "aged" beautifully...her hairstyle and makeup just so flattering and tasteful...I would expect nothing less from her!

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  8. This is very sad, the world has truly lost a great star...Rest In Peace, Lynn Redgrave.

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  9. What a lovely tribute to a great lady. I too really enjoyed her as an actor. Thank You Willow.

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  10. Lynne Redgrave was wonderful. I absolutely loved her in The White Countess. Wasn't that a fabulous movie? As soon as it was finished, I played it again.

    How sad for Vanessa to lose her sister, her daughter and her brother, all within a few months of each other.

    Hey, there, Georgy Girl, rest in peace.

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  11. Oops...it was Vanessa we saw in Hamlet. Lynn will always be Georgy Girl to me...

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  12. Last month, I watched Georgy Girl for the first time and fell in love with both her character, her.

    So much talent and so much sadness for one family.

    Thank you for this lovely tribute, and for posting the song (which will stay in my head for hours!)

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  13. A fine actress -- what a novel the story of that thespian dynasty would make!

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  14. This post is a nice tribute to Ms Redgrave. I have enjoyed her work for many years. It saddens me to think of her struggling for so many years trying to beat the breast cancer.

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  15. She was such a talented and beautiful actress. Where have all the flowers gone? Whatever happened to melody....gone is the magic; all gone!
    :( The Bach

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  16. Marion, I've added Georgy Girl to my Netflix queue in her honor. (I love Charlotte Rampling, too.)

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  17. I remember that movie. Didn't expect her to go yet. I do like the acting of both of them.
    What do you think of the car
    bomb in NYC at Times square.
    Pretty scary.. yvonne

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  18. Lovely tribute. May she rest in peace.

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  19. A beautiful tribute me Willow......

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  20. Lovely tribute Willow, I was so heartbroken that she lost the battle.

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  21. I saw that this morning myself. Sad news. I loved that song by the Seekers.

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  22. sorry to hear about Lynn Redgrave. I used to see old Michael Redgrave films of TV. I love it that that whole family loved theater and film. I watched "Georgie Girl" when if first came out and rewatched it a few yrs ago. Certainly a catchy tune. It also starred a young.....gosh can't remember her name but she's had a movie comeback in the last few yrs. Oh, Charlotte Rampling.

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  23. thanks for the informative post!
    God Bless!

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  24. She lived her life with some gusto! Length alone isn't worth much - it's the gusto, the fire in the belly, the expression. I enjoyed reading your tribute Willow. Thank you.

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  25. I loved her in Gods and Monsters. What a tragic loss!

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  26. i just got in the door and read about this on the bbc online. a truly beautiful talented powerful and courageous person. what a legacy she has left on so many levels. steven

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  27. How very sad for this beloved family of theatre royalty. Goodbye Georgy Girl, you're not forgotten.

    Marjorie

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  28. Bear and I were just having a conversation mirroring your thoughts about twenty minutes ago... although we did not mention (or know about) Lynn Redgrave's passing.

    Thanks for keeping us in the loop, magpie.

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  29. I didn't know of this. Neither did I know that Lynn Redgrave was ill with breast cancer and her passing comes as a shock.She was a fine actress and you have featured such a beautiful photograph of her also.Thank you Willow.

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  30. This has been one of the main news stories of the day here in England . . . even with the general election just a few days away. I saw a picture of Lynn at her brother's funeral and she had that look of cancer treatment, but I was very shocked to hear of her death. Poor, poor Vanessa, as well. There have been too many deaths in her year.

    Georgy Girl was one of my favorite songs when I was a little girl. I can remember, vividly, the 8 track tape it was on. Your advice about "juicy chunks of life" is something that I *try* to keep uppermost in my mind/heart at all times.

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  31. I see you are repaying me for Daisy May by setting Georgie Girl running around my mind. I remember seeing Georgie Girl when it first came out and it also starred - if I remember rightly - James Mason who was born a couple of miles away from where I live.

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  32. I didn't know Lynn was ill either. I loved all that family. One of my favorite songs too. Great post.
    QMM

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  33. Love your tribute to this wonderful actor. The family sure has had their share of sadness lately.

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  34. I just saw this earlier today and was remembering some of her work.

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  35. So sad I loved her. I remember watching Georgy Girl and wanting to go to London it was so posh. RIP Lynn

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  36. and yes may she have ~Sweet Dreams~

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  37. As an aside, Alan Sillitoe just died, author of The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, one of the Angry Young Men of 50s-60s Britain

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  38. She was very talented and will be missed. I love the song, too. "There's another Georgy deep inside, bring out all the love you hide". I agree, we should all be and love fully. That reminds me of a newer song I've heard that says "maybe someday we'll live our lives out loud". It's "Someday" by Rob Thomas.

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  39. She certainly was a gorgeous near-70 year old! I hope I age that beautifully! She was a very talented lady.

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  40. So very well said, as always Willow.

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  41. I've been away from my computer all day, and hadn't heard this news. Thanks for sharing.

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  42. God, I love that song -- the exuberance and innocence of that time. Thanks for a lovely eulogy to a lovely actress!

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  43. I always thought how different Lynn & Vanessa were as sisters, but now as time has passed, I feel that assumption may have been quite wrong. She had much more to do in this world, how sad to see her leave too soon. MOTH used to be a Judith Durham groupie back in the 60's. Before she joined The Seekers she sang in dingy basement jazz clubs around Melbourne. MOTH was always in the front row.
    Millie ^_^

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  44. Really loved the fact that Georgy was a real girl not some stuffy variety. HOw I could relate to her going "Downtown" (the song from the movie Georgy Girl (Doesnt Walmart have a brand call "George" a British line of stylish clothing similar to those 60's Mod years?). As a young teenager, I'd always go "Downtown" sometimes alone, sometimes with friends, wearing Slicker over sometimes Slicker alone (Yardley's white lipstick). (you had to be there; British invasion was huge! and I'd always sing "window shopping but never stopping to buy". Spitting image of Georgy-girl too. Nice to have a role-model. Talent in spades in the Redgrave acting dynasty! RIP dear Lynn; until we meet again for the first time. (oh yes I'm going to be seeing Elvis too; the real one; for the first time!). Lynn you rock!

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  45. This news comes to me via your posting, Willow. I remember seeing the film, and being very impressed by both LR and James Mason. A great theatrical family (with the occasional odd-ball political view). Very sad news!

    Bisou, Cro.

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  46. Poor poor Vanessa - that was my first thought.

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  47. Hasn't that family been through enough? I didn't know Lynn had died till I came here. She did a most courageous thing a couple of years ago, with her daughter, photographs taken of her cancer journey. Quite moving.
    "There's another Georgy, deep inside..."
    I think she found her; may she rest in peace.

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  48. been thinking about your admonishment to grab the juicy chunks of life (we have left). it's hard to look at my surroundings and see anything faintly related to 'juicy' but i've decided that it isn't so much what surrounds us as it is using the eyes we've been given!
    willow, this was a beautiful commentary on a beautiful woman...well done!

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  49. Tragic. My thoughts are with that unfortunate family.

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  50. Caught this last night off the telly as I was leaving. Sadness ensued :(

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  51. What sad news, I hadn't heard...the poem below has a certain ring of familiarity to it...very close to home!

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  52. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I

    would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have

    enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Alena

    http://dataentryjob-s.com

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  53. I always hate to learn that good people have died (while Mugabe still lives). I only knew the song but not the movie. Will keep singing it now, too. Happy Passing, Lynn!

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  54. I always remember her as Georgy Girl, she did so very much, but that movie brings a giggle and a tear to my eye. -J

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  55. O willow. The ones we lose. There better be a fine audience in heaven waiting for her, no?

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  56. Oh, I loved Georgie Girl. I will have to TIVO it.

    I did not know she had been ill and I have not turned on my TV all day.

    It is sad when we lose celebrities we have come to know so well. And at 62, I know a lot - in name only. We lost so many important people last year I called it the, "Year of Death."

    Willow, I am now retired, and I look forward to visiting you more as soon as I catch up on some things. Over the past year you have made me smile, laugh, cry, given me movie tips, yummy recipes, and invited me to meet your interesting family. I love your history, poetry, and your ghosts.

    If you get a chance check out my new blog: http://my-fav-photos.blogspot.com. A little different from my regular blog, but something I have wanted to do for a long time.

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  57. ...stop to buy a big juicy chunk of life...well said. Her families' films helped us to do just that.

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  58. Who wouldn't love Lynn Redgrave? She was a standout in a family of excellence. I followed her career since Georgy Girl. She brought originality to every role.

    I also followed her state of health, prayed for her recovery and strength as I did for myself, for the same reason. I'm blessed to look over my shoulder for 16 years at breast cancer. She was a fighter and survivor for 7 years. Bless her and all who are touched by this plague.

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  59. Yes. I cried when I heard it. Her daughter documented Lynn's journey through the cancer treatments in photos. I just sent that to my sister the other day. She was very talented, and she will really be missed. "There's another Georgie deep inside..."

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  60. Thanks for this, Willow. I remember learning the lyrics to Georgy Girl when I was about 11 or so. I cried when I heard of her death ... far too soon. She was a brilliant actress and a beautiful, funny, talented woman.

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  61. Is it synchronicity are you tuned in? My guess is the latter.

    I was sad to read this news. She was a great actress. May she fly high.

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  62. Reya, I know. I'm psychic. I really am.

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  63. A tear rolled down my cheek when I heard the sad news. I thought she had won her breast cancer battle.

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  64. This is more than sad for me. It scares the daylights out of me. Every time I hear of another woman dying of breast cancer after a long struggle, my heart just stops. My daughter is in her fourth year since diagnosis. To our knowledge, she is cancer free.

    My Theme Thursday entry this week includes her story in her words.

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  65. Yes, she was a class act, that's for sure (and the same age as my mom who has had breast cancer - which makes me nervous).

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  66. Willow! You put together the Redgrave family tree for me! I did not know they were all related! I do not claim any knowledge of such things but have been fond of all the Redgraves!

    I too was sad to hear of her passing and beating Breast Cancer and finding a cure is at the forefront for me!

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  67. Hello Willow,

    It's certainly very sad that several members of this theatre dynasty should have been lost so close together.

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  68. A lovely tribute Willow. Life is so very short. I've been thinking that a lot lately. Time for a change, a renewal.

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  69. I had no idea. I'm on vacation right now and have't seen a newspaper, television or internet for days. Very sad news. Yes, Georgy Girl, wonderful. Nice tribute.

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  70. Lovely tribute willow, and what a tragic couple of years for the Redgraves.
    I loved Georgy Girl, but adored Gods and Monsters.

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  71. Very sad news indeed. Lovely tribute, Willow. I was fortunate to see Lynn in her marvelous one woman show in Seattle at the Intiman Theatre a few years ago. It was a powerful piece of theatre which I'll never forget.

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  72. I feel like I've lost a friend with Lynn's passing far too soon. I grew up in the same era in England, she was just a year older than me, and I always followed her career. For some time she plodded along in the shadow of Michael, Corin, Vanessa, and the Richardson branch of an amazing family of theatre stars......and then she blossomed!

    Will miss you Georgy Girl.........and breast cancer continues to take our women, be they famous or a sweet neighbor along the street! We need to up the race for the cure...this should not be happening!

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  73. So much loss in that family during the past year. Natasha, Corin and now Lynn. My heart goes out to Vanessa.

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  74. Very sad news indeed.

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)