Oscar-winning actress and long-time activist Vanessa Redgrave will be honored this year with the European Film Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Redgrave will receive the honor at the 36th European Film Awards in Berlin on Dec. 9.
An acting icon who has deftly straddled theater, film and television in a career that has spanned more than six decades, Redgrave first made her name on the stage as a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, before breaking into film work in 1966 with Karel Reisz’ Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment. The role, which won her the best actress prize in Cannes, launched her international career. A multitude of acting prizes have followed since including another best actress prize in Cannes, two Emmys, a Tony, two Golden Globes and two BAFTAs.
She has been nominated for an Academy Award six times — for performances in Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment (1966), Isadora (1968), Mary, Queen of Scots (1971), Julia (1977), The Bostonians (1984) and Howards End (1992). She won the best supporting actress Oscar in 1977 for playing Julia opposite Jane Fonda in Fred Zinnemann’s Julia.
Redgrave’s other notable film performances include playing Anne Boleyn in Zinnemann’s A Man For All Seasons (1966), playing the author Agatha Christie in Michael Apted’s Agatha (1977) and a scene-stealing turn as the vampish arms dealer Max in Brian De Palma’s Mission: Impossible (1996).
Though primarily known for her film work, Redgrave has also given memorable performances in television dramas. She has been nominated for six Emmy Awards in her career, winning lead actress in a mini series or movie award for Playing for Time (1981) and supporting actress in a miniseries or movie prize in If These Walls Could Talk 2 (2000).
In 1994, Redgrave received the Volpi Cup in Venice for James Gray’s Little Odessa and later received a career Golden Lion for her work, which has spanned more than 140 films.
Throughout her career, Redgrave has consistently been outspoken on political and social issues. In the 1960s, she was an unflinching opponent of the Vietnam War and has throughout her life supported various political liberation movements around the world, sometimes at a cost to her career. In her later years, she was an outspoken critic of the U.S.-led War on Terrorism during the 2000s, and most recently she has raised awareness about Europe’s migrant crisis. Redgrave has also served as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
Perhaps the most prominent member of the Redgrave acting dynasty, Vanessa Redgrave’s parents Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson, siblings, Lynn Redgrave and Corin Redgrave, and daughters Joely Richardson and Natasha Richardson, have all found success on stage and screen.