Corin Redgrave

Corin Redgrave

Corin Redgrave reading Poems from Guantánamo at the Center for Constitutional Rights in 2007
Born Corin William Redgrave
(1939-07-16)16 July 1939
Marylebone, London, England
Died 6 April 2010(2010-04-06) (aged 70)
Tooting, London, England
Cause of death Prostate cancer
Resting place Highgate Cemetery
Nationality British
Alma mater Kings College, Cambridge
Occupation Actor, political activist
Years active 1964–2009
Spouse(s) Deirdre Hamilton-Hill
Kika Markham
(1985–2010, his death)
Children 4; including Jemma
Parent(s) Michael Redgrave (1908–1985)
Rachel Kempson(1910–2003)

Corin William Redgrave (16 July 1939  6 April 2010) was an English actor and far-left political activist.[1][2][3]

Early life

Redgrave was born on 16 July 1939 in Marylebone, London, the only son and middle child of actors Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson. He was educated at Westminster School and King's College, Cambridge.[4]


Redgrave played a wide range of character roles on film, television and stage.

On stage, he was noted for performances by Shakespeare (such as Much Ado About Nothing, Henry IV, Part 1, Antony and Cleopatra, and The Tempest) and Noël Coward (a highly successful revival of A Song At Twilight co-starring his sister Vanessa Redgrave and his second wife, Kika Markham).

For his role as the prison warden Boss Whalen in the Royal National Theatre production of Tennessee Williams's Not About Nightingales, Redgrave was nominated for an Evening Standard Award, and after a successful transfer of the production to New York, he received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Play, in 1999. Two years later he starred in the original London production of The General from America as Benedict Arnold. When the play transferred to Broadway the following season Redgrave switched roles and portrayed George Washington .

In 2005, Redgrave had just finished an engagement playing the lead in King Lear with the Royal Shakespeare Company in London when he suffered a severe heart attack. In 2008, he returned to the stage in a highly praised portrayal of Oscar Wilde in the one-man-play De Profundis. In 2009, he starred in Trumbo, which opened only hours after the death of his niece, Natasha Richardson.

On screen he is best known for his roles in such acclaimed and diverse films as A Man for All Seasons (1966) as Thomas More's son-in-law; William Roper, Excalibur (1981) as the doomed Cornwall, In the Name of the Father (1993) as the corrupt lead police investigator, Persuasion and Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) as Hamish, the fiancee of Andie MacDowell's character.

Redgrave appeared in British television programmes such as Ultraviolet, The Vice, Trial & Retribution, Shameless, Foyle's War, The Relief of Belsen and the Emmy Award-winning telefilm The Girl in the Cafe, in which he played the prime minister. He took the lead part of Sir George Grey in the New Zealand TV miniseries The Governor (1977).

He wrote a play called Blunt Speaking, in which he performed at the Minerva Theatre (a second stage of the Chichester Festival Theatre) between 23 July - 10 August 2002. (review The Mail on Sunday, 28 July 2002)


Redgrave was a lifelong activist in far-left politics. With his elder sister Vanessa, he was a prominent member of the Workers' Revolutionary Party. Later, after the collapse of the WRP, he was involved with the Marxist Party,[5] which the two siblings founded.

Both Redgrave and his second wife, Kika Markham, expressed support for activist group Viva Palestina, led by British MP George Galloway, attempting to break the siege of the Gaza Strip. He was also a defender of the interests of the Romani people.


Main article: Redgrave family

Corin Redgrave was part of the third generation of a theatrical dynasty spanning four generations. His parents were Sir Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson; Vanessa and Lynn Redgrave were his sisters. His first marriage was to Deirdre Deline Hamilton-Hill (19391981). They had a daughter, actress Jemma Redgrave, and a son, Luke, a camera operator and production assistant. Redgrave and Hamilton-Hill divorced in 1975.[6] Redgrave and Kika Markham married in 1985 in Wandsworth, London, and remained together until Redgrave's death. The couple had two sons, Harvey (born 1979) and Arden (born 1983).

He wrote a memoir about his strained relationship with his father entitled Michael Redgrave - My Father, which incorporates passages from Michael's diaries. It also revealed his father's bisexuality.[1]

Health problems and death

The grave of Corin Redgrave in Highgate Cemetery

Redgrave was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2000, which continued to affect him until he died in 2010.[7] In June 2005, he was described by his family as being in a critical but stable condition in hospital following a severe heart attack at a public meeting in Basildon, Essex.[4] In March 2009, Redgrave returned to the London stage playing the title role in Trumbo, based on the life of the blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. On the opening night, Redgrave dedicated his performance to the memory of his niece Natasha Richardson who had died earlier that week in a skiing accident.

He died on 6 April 2010 in St George's Hospital,[8] Tooting, South West London.[9] His funeral was held on 12 April 2010 at St Paul's, Covent Garden,[10] London.[11]

His ex-wife Deirdre died of cancer in 1997. His sister Lynn Redgrave died of breast cancer on 2 May 2010, less than a month after her brother. Kika Markham's memoir of her husband, Our Time of Day: My Life with Corin Redgrave, was published in 2014.[12]

Select stage work


Year Film Role Notes
1964 Camera Three Pilot Officer TV series (1 episode: "Chips with Everything")
The Avengers Quentin Slim TV series (1 episode: "Lobster Quadrille")
Crooks in Cloisters Brother Lucius
1965 A Study in Terror Rupert's Friend Uncredited
The Big Spender Copley TV series
1966 The Deadly Affair David
A Man For All Seasons Roper
1968 The Gambler Mr. Astley TV mini-series (1 episode: "Episode No. 1.1")
The Charge of the Light Brigade Cpt. Featherstonhaugh
Theatre 625 Kelvin Walker TV series (1 episode: "The Fall of Kelvin Walker")
La ragazza con la pistola Frank Hogan
Mystery and Imagination Jonathan Harker TV series (1 episode: "Dracula")
The Magus Captain Wimmel
1969 The Tenant of Wildfell Hall Arthur Huntingdon TV series (3 episodes)
Oh! What a Lovely War Bertie Smith
Tower of London: The Innocent Perkin Warbeck TV film
Canterbury Tales Nicholas TV series (1 episode: "Episode No. 1.2")
ITV Sunday Night Theatre Willie Tatham TV series (1 episode: "Aren't We All?")
1970 David Copperfield James Steerforth TV film
The Wednesday Play Richard TV series (1 episode: "Rest in Peace, Uncle Fred")
Callan Amos Green TV series (1 episode: "Amos Green Must Live")
Paul Temple Rolf TV series (2 episodes)
1971 When Eight Bells Toll Hunslett
Von Richthofen and Brown Major Lanoe Hawker VC
La vacanza Gigi
Hassan TV film
1972 Thick as Thieves Trevor TV film
1974 Anthony and Cleopatra Octavius
Between Wars Dr. Edward Trenbow
1976 Sérail Eric Sange
1976 The Governor Governor George Grey New Zealand mini-series
1981 Excalibur Cornwall
1982 L'ombre sur la plage Harry
1983 Eureka Worsley
Wagner Dr. Pusinelli TV series (1 episode: "Episode No. 1.1")
1990 The Fool Sir Thomas Neathouse
1993 In The Name of The Father Robert Dixon
1994 Four Weddings and a Funeral Hamish - Wedding Two
1995 Persuasion Sir Walter Eliot
Performance Angelo/Earl of Worcestor TV series (2 episodes)
Dangerfield Patrick Hooper TV series (1 episode: "The Unfaithful Husband")
Circles of Deceit: Dark Secret Harry Summers TV film
England, My England William of Orange
1996 Indecent Acts Oscar Wilde
1997 The Woman in White Dr. Kitson TV film
The Ice House D.C.I. George Walsh TV film
Prime Suspects Commissioner
Trial & Retribution Robert Rylands QC TV series (5 episodes: 1997-2002)
The Opium War William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne
1998 Ultraviolet Dr. Paul Hoyle/John Doe TV series (2 episodes)
1999 The Vice Lord Buller TV series (2 episodes)
Kavanagh QC John Woodley TV series (1 episode: "The More Loving One")
The Strange Case of Delphina Potocka or The Mystery of Chopin Judge
2000 Honest Duggie Ord
Escape to Life: The Erika and Klaus Mann Story Narrator
2001 Enigma Admiral Trowbridge
Gypsy Woman Devine
2002 Shackleton Lord Curzon TV film
Sunday Edward Heath TV film
Bertie and Elizabeth General Montgomery TV film
The Forsyte Saga Jolyon Forsyte Sr. TV mini-series (4 episodes)
Doctor Sleep Chief Inspector Clements
Waking the Dead Sir James Beatty TV series (2 episodes)
2003 To Kill a King Baron Vere
Imagine Sir John Soane TV series (1 episode: "Entertaining Mr. Soane")
Foyle's War ACC Rose TV series (2 episodes)
2004 Shameless Mr. Hammersley TV series (1 episode: "Episode No. 1.5")
Enduring Love Professor
Spooks David Swift TV series (1 episode: "Episode No. 3.4")
2005 The Trial of the King Killers Sir Orlando Bridgman
The Girl in the Cafe Prime Minister TV film
2006 Welcome to World War One short
2007 The Relief of Belsen Glyn Hughes TV film
2008 La rabbia Producer 1
2009 The Calling The Bishop
Glorious 39 Oliver
The Turn of the Screw Professor TV film
2010 Eva
Moving On Gabe TV series (1 episode: "The Test"), (Last appearance)


  1. 1 2 Weber, Bruce (7 April 2010). "Corin Redgrave, Actor and Activist, Dies at 70 Obituary (Obit)". Retrieved 7 April 2010. Published 7 April 2010; page B10.
  2. Obituary Los Angeles Times, 7 April 2010; page AA1.
  3. Obituary Washington Post, 7 April 2010.
  4. 1 2 "Corin Redgrave". The Daily Telegraph. 6 April 2010.
  5. MacKillop, Ian (16 April 2004). "Interview with Corin Redgrave". Theatre Archive Project. British Library. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
  6. Billington, Michael (6 April 2010). "Corin Redgrave obituary". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 7 April 2010.
  7. Sanderson, David (7 April 2010). "Corin Redgrave, actor who paid dearly for political beliefs, dies aged 70". Times Online. London. Retrieved 7 April 2010.
  8. Independent obituary
  9. Bremer, Jack. "Actor Corin Redgrave dies at". The First Post. Retrieved 7 April 2010.
  10. Corin Redgrave is given one last theatrical goodbye
  11. "Funeral of Corin Redgrave held in London". BBC News. 12 April 2010. Retrieved 12 April 2010.
  12. Joanna Moorhead "Corin Redgrave: He lost his memory of our life together", The Guardian, 20 September 2014
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