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Corin Redgrave dies at 70

Thesp was brother of Lynn and Vanessa Redgrave

Corin Redgrave, one of the U.K.’s acting royal family, died Tuesday in London. He had been suffering from prostate cancer. He was 70.

Less famous than his sisters Lynn and Vanessa, Corin Redgrave’s acting career on stage and screen spanned four decades although occasionally his political affiliations sidetracked his work. The plays he performed on the Londan stage ranged from Shakespeare to Anton Chekhov, Oscar Wilde and Noel Coward.

On the bigscreen he played Andie Macdowell’s groom in “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” and also had parts in “Oh What a Lovely War,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” “A Man for All Seasons” and “In the Name of the Father.”

Born to thesping parents Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson, Corin Redgrave won a scholarship to King’s College in Cambridge where he was friends with Ian McKellen, Derek Jacobi and Trevor Nunn.

He debuted at London’s Royal Court Theater in 1961 with “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1972.

However in the 1970s Redgrave’s Marxist sympathies affected his career. He was blacklisted by the BBC, a move he attributed to his work with the Workers Revolutionary Party. Some directors also steered clear of him as he became more involved with the WRP.

He may have drawn on that experience when he played black-listed Hollywood writer Dalton Trumbo in last year’s production of “Trumbo” in London. (He dedicated his opening-night performance to Vanessa Redgrave’s daughter Natasha Richardson, his niece, who had died the previous week in a skiing accident in Canada.)

With the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990s his career revived. He toplined “Coriolanus” at the Old Vic and portrayed Sir Walter in a 1995 BBC production of Jane Austen’s “Persuasion.”

His role as Boss Whalen in the 1998 world preem of Tennessee Williams’ “Not About Nightingales” and later on Broadway garnered him an Olivier award and a Tony nom. Other memorable perfs included “Julius Caesar” opposite his sister Vanessa and “The General.” He also starred with Vanessa in “The Cherry Orcherd” and “A Song at Twilight.”

In 2005 he won the Pragnell Shakespeare Birthday Award for his wide body of work in the Bard’s plays, which also included “Antony and Cleopatra,” “Measure for Measure” for helmer Trevor Nunn and “King Lear” at the Royal Shakespeare Theater.

Redgrave also published a candid book about his gay father in 1995 called “Michael Redgrave: My Father.”

He had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2000 and suffered a heart attack in 2005, but continued performing and campaigning, including a motion to impeach then-prime minister Tony Blair over the Iraq War.

Survivors include his second wife, Kika; three sons, including actor Luke; a daughter, Jemima; and his sisters Vanessa and Lynn.

(Wire services contributed to this report.)

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