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Vanessa Redgrave

Goodwill Ambassador

© Catherine Ashmore
“Investing in children means investing in peace. It means investing in a future free of war. It is an idea I have dedicated my life to.” – Vanessa Redgrave

Vanessa Redgrave is widely considered one of the finest actors of her generation. She is equally well-recognized as a passionate activist for children and as an advocate of peace, tolerance and reconciliation. In June 1995, Ms. Redgrave was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

Prior to her official appointment, Ms. Redgrave was an avid supporter of UNICEF’s work. During the Gulf War she organized an event at London’s Royal Albert Hall in April 1991 to raise funds for the children of Iraq.  Shortly afterwards, during a break from filming Howard’s End, she spent five days in Iraq, accompanied by a cameraman and UNICEF staff.  This resulted in a compelling film that raised additional resources.

As a Goodwill Ambassador, Ms. Redgrave remains a wholehearted advocate for children, frequently alerting the world to the conditions of those directly caught up in conflict situations. She has visited refugees in Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, conducting drama workshops for children in several of the refugee camps.

Following visits to war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan, she has given press interviews on the situation of children and has called for increased attention to their plight. Ms. Redgrave has also attended many concerts and conferences for UNICEF helping to raise funds for children orphaned by AIDS in Uganda, disaster survivors in Central America, among others.

To commemorate the 60th anniversary of UNICEF in 2006, Ms. Redgrave and film director Carlo Nero, who is also her son, produced a film, Wake up World, which chronicles UNICEF’s work and achievements for children.

Activity Highlights

Born into a family of English actors, Vanessa Redgrave trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London from 1954 to 1958.  Her career began on the stage with her first Shakespearean role in 1959, at the Stratford Memorial Theatre Company, playing Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In 1961, she played Rosalind in As You Like It winning the Evening Standard Drama Award. In 2003, she received the Tony Award for Best Actress in Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night and in 2007, was nominated again for her role in The Year of Magical Thinking.

The legendary actress has performed in more than 80 films, including A Man for All Seasons, Mary, Queen of Scots, The Bostonians, Mrs. Dalloway, Atonement, The Fever, and Evening.  She won the 1977 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in Julia.

In February 2010, Ms. Redgrave was awarded the Fellowship of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.  





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