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Vanessa Redgrave honoured by American Academy in London

Vanessa Redgrave honoured by American Academy in London

Vanessa Redgrave honoured by American Academy in London

The actress and political activist Vanessa Redgrave has been honoured by the Oscar-awarding Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at an unprecedented ceremony in London.

The retrospective of her work at the Curzon Soho cinema – hosted by the writer David Hare – was the first of its kind, hosted by the Academy – outside the United States. It was attended by fellow film-makers including James Earl Jones – who’s currently co-starring with her on the London stage in Driving Miss Daisy, Ralph Fiennes – who’s just directed her in the modern-day take on Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, and Meryl Streep – whose first film role was in the 1977 film Julia, for which Redgrave won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar.

Streep says that seeing Redgrave make an anti-Zionist speech, on collecting her Oscar, made her realise that fame was not just about vanity, but could be used to make a difference.

Other actors paying tribute to Redgrave included Liam Neeson, Jane Fonda and Dame Eileen Atkins.

Introducing clips of her films, Hare said Vanessa Redgrave was one of a generation of actresses who went on to be so much more interesting than their early stereotyping allowed.

She has appeared in more than a hundred films since her debut, Behind the Mask, in 1958. As well as her high-profile left-wing activism, she’s also worked as an ambassador for the United Nations humanitarian agency UNICEF.

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