Her parents were both successful actors, and it seemed as if she and her brother and sister should follow in their footsteps. Her children, too, have achieved a measure of success in the profession — but of all the clan, Vanessa Redgrave is the undisputed if somewhat reluctant STAR.

Over a nearly 60-year career on the stage and screen, she has accumulated several shelf-loads of awards in practically all mediums — stage, tv and the big screen. (She has been nominated an astounding 70 times for various industry and film festival awards, winning 44 times.)

Despite all the accolades she as an actress has been taken for granted thanks to her career-long pursuit of various left wing causes (most of which fall today within the fringes of mainstream liberalism).

British film critic/author David Thomson feels she possessed a haughty attitude towards cinema. Eager for faiths, dogmas and causes, it is a sad waste of her humorless towering beauty. (See the above photo of a young Redgrave. She turned 79 last January and remains one handsome woman.)

It can be argued that Redgrave, like many notable movie stars, gets better as she ages.  Her politics seemingly have taken a back seat at last to her professional exploits — and to her personal travail (she suffered the loss of close family members including a daughter). In any event, it’s worth something to know about her both personally and certainly as a reluctant movie star.

Thus our Vanessa Redgrave Mini-Quiz. As usual, questions today and answers tomorrow. Here we go:

1) Question: Here are the first names of various members of the Redgrave acting clan. State their relationship (father, mother, uncle, etc.)  to Vanessa. a) Lynn; b) Michael; c) Rachel; and d) Corin.

2) Question: Redgrave won her lone Oscar for which picture?  a) 1977’s Julia; b) 1997’s Mrs. Dalloway; c) 1968’s Isadora; or d) 1971’s Mary, Queen of Scots.

3) Question: Vanessa Redgrave’s second husband is best known as a screen actor in celebrated spaghetti westerns.  Which of the following is he?  a) Eli Wallach; b) Franco Nero; c) Lee Van Cleef; or d) Bud Spencer.

4) Question: Between two husbands Redgrave had a lengthy romantic relationship with an actor who played 007 in the James Bond movie series.  Who is he?  a) Sean Connery; b) Roger Moore; c) George Lazenby; or d) Timothy Dalton.

5) Question:  One of our very favorite Redgrave pictures is 1966’s Blow-Up.  Which of the following was is her costar in this wonderful mystery thriller?  a) Rex Harrison; b) David Hemmings; c) Alan Bates; or d) Albert Finney.

Answers to our NOTHING IN COMMON quizlet:  The woman pictured in yesterday’s blog topmost is, of course, Greta Garbo, who toiled at MGM.  The woman pictured under her is Vera Hruba Ralston, who spent her career at Republic Pictures.

At the time he signed with Republic in 1945, John Wayne was quoted as saying this about Ralston; “As a human being, she was okay. But she was no actress.” Hollywood lore has it that after working with Ralston, the Duke did indeed insert a clause in his contract that would preclude an encore.

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