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Vanessa Redgrave (born January 30, 1937) is an English actress, a member of the Redgrave acting dynasty. Her parents were Sir Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson. Her sister, Lynn Redgrave, and brother, Corin Redgrave, are also well-known actors, as are her daughters, Natasha Richardson and Joely Richardson. She also has a son, Carlo Nero, a writer and film director, by a relationship with Italian actor Franco Nero (né Francesco Spartanero).
She was born in London and entered the Central School of Speech and Drama in 1954. She first appeared in the West End, playing opposite her father, in 1958, and subsequently became notorious for her unconventional lifestyle and daring film roles such as Isadora (1968). She won an Academy Award for her performance in Julia (movie) (1977).
Her political views have also caused controversy, being a member of the Workers' Revolutionary Party and denouncing Zionism when receiving her Academy Award. In December, 2002, she paid £50,000 bail for Chechen Foreign Minister Akhmed Zakayev, who was accused of aiding and abetting the Moscow Theatre Siege.
She was married to the film director Tony Richardson (1928-1991) from 1962 until 1967.