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Lynn Redgrave was robbed of the Oscar for 'Georgy Girl'

May 3, 2010 |  1:50 pm

Looking back over the distinguished work of Lynn Redgrave -- who died of breast cancer Sunday at age 67 -- there was one outrage in terms of showbiz awards. It's a pity she didn't win the Academy Award for her career-capping performance as a chunky British misfit in "Georgy Girl."

Lynn Redgrave died Georgy Girl news

The New York Times cheered her for being "funny as Judy Holliday in 'Born Yesterday,' touching as Julie Harris in 'Member of the Wedding.' " Of course, Holliday had won the Oscar for "Born Yesterday" and Harris had been nominated. Redgrave got nominated for "Georgy Girl" too, but she faced a bizarre contest for best actress at the 1966 Oscars. She was pitted against her sister Vanessa ("Morgan"). Both lost to a worthy foe: Elizabeth Taylor in the greatest performance of her career -- "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"

Voters at the New York Film Critics Circle came up with a much better solution than the Oscars. They declared the best-actress race a tie between Taylor and Lynn Redgrave, but only after six fierce ballots that flip-flopped back and forth between each actress taking the lead. On awards night, Redgrave showed up to accept her plaque; Taylor didn't.

For "Georgy Girl," Redgrave also won the Golden Globe as best musical-comedy actress. (Taylor competed in the separate race for drama actresses, losing to Anouk Aimée for "A Man and a Woman.")

Years later, Redgrave won an Indie Spirit award and Golden Globe in the supporting race as the dowdy housekeeper in Bill Condon's "Gods and Monsters," a role for which she also received an Oscar nomination. At the Academy Awards, she lost to Judi Dench ("Shakespeare in Love").

Three times she lost at the Tony Awards:

1976 -- "Mrs. Warren's Profession" (lost to Irene Worth, "Sweet Bird of Youth")
1993 -- "Shakespeare for My Father" (lost to Madeline Kahn, "The Sisters Rosensweig")
2006 -- "The Constant Wife" (lost to Cynthia Nixon, "Rabbit Hole")

In 1981, Redgrave lost the prime-time Emmy for best comedy actress for her role as a hospital administrator in "House Calls" to Isabel Sanford ("The Jeffersons").

Photo: Lynn Redgrave in "Georgy Girl" (Columbia Pictures)

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Comments

As much as I liked Lynn Redgrave, there was no way that she should have won the Oscar over Elizabeth Taylor in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" Lynn was good, Elizabeth was brilliant.

Who cares about awards. Lynn Redgrave got it totally right in her Georgy Girl performance. Her role had a huge impact on me as a very young movie goer. I will miss you, Lynn. You made a huge difference.

Please...have some respect for Ms. Redgrave. She was not robbed of the Oscar. Elizabeth Taylor won for one of the greatest performances ever! You do so much disrespect to both actors, by bringing up something just to try to create some sort of controversy. Get a life.

Thank you for giving big women status. You will be missed.

I am so saddened to hear of Ms Redgrave's passing. While I was going through breast cancer treatment, I e-mailed her for some words of comfort-and she actually took the time to respond to me. What a wonderful woman and a strong, brave, sweet, force.

I think her losing to Judi Dench's few minutes in Shakespeare in Love was equally bad.

lynn redgrave will be missed. i loved her work so much and admired her spirit and humor. it's such a shame to lose another bright star to breast cancer.

Nobody was "robbed" of anything. Geez. The Oscar as revered as it is ---is and always has been a popularity contest. Sometimes the best in the field (critic-wise) wins...sometimes not. It's great to have, but nobody steals it. It's the way the votes go. Period!

Nope, Sorry, wrong! Redgrave may have been good in Georgy Girl but she definately was not robbed. It was just her tough luck and bad timing. Liz Taylor and Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf was one for the ages. It should have swept the oscars that year- it was nominated for 13- it won 5.

How can you possibly say she was "robbed" when Taylor deserved the award??

Condolences to the Redgrave family. Lynn was a real trooper and a real star.

Of course it is more than common knowledge by now Judy Garland was the big loser at the Oscars when she was robbed of the award for her work in "A Star is Born" I recently re watched the film and it and Judy's performance still resonate very deeply.

I often think that as legendary as Garland is that Oscar would have been a real feather in her cap. Perhaps some say she did not need it but I say her legend suffers due to the fact that the statue never ended up on her mantle. It is important to have that Oscar!

While I agree her performance was wonderful in Georgie Girl, I wonder at the description of her role in the movie as "career capping." Isn't that what you would call something that tops off a career at the end of it, instead of beginning?

She also lost at the Grammy Awards a few years ago, giving her the Anti-Showbiz Slam!


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