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Rachel Kempson (1910 -- 2003)

RADA-trained Rachel Kempson was born in Devon on 28 May 1910. She made her stage debut aged 23 in Much Ado About Nothing at Stratford and acted in many RSC productions. At 31, she appeared in her first film, Jeanni (1941), an enchanting romantic comedy starring her husband, Michael Redgrave.

She had married Redgrave in 1935 and their three children - Vanessa, Corin and Lynn - have all enjoyed distinguished, and continuing, acting careers of their own. The family's next generation - Natasha and Joely Richardson and Jemma Redgrave - are also successful actors. Rachel Kempson's extensive career, in which she often played alongside other family members, took in both TV series, such as The Jewel in the Crown (ITV), and feature films.

Among her films were Tom Jones (1963) and The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968), both directed by her son-in-law, Tony Richardson; Basil Dearden's The Captive Heart (1948); Jane Eyre (1970); Out of Africa (1985); Stealing Heaven (1988) and Uncle Vanya (1991). She passed away near New York just five days before her 93rd birthday.