The British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) today announces Vanessa Redgrave as 2017’s honouree of The Richard Harris Award. The award will be presented to her at the ceremony on Sunday 10 December at Old Billingsgate.
The award will be bestowed upon Vanessa Redgrave in recognition of her outstanding work within the British film industry.
The Richard Harris Award was introduced in 2002 in honour of Richard Harris and recognises outstanding contribution to British film by an actor. Previous winners have been John Hurt, David Thewlis, Bob Hoskins, Jim Broadbent, Daniel Day-Lewis, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Julie Walters, Emma Thompson, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Alison Steadman in 2016.
Jared Harris, son of Richard Harris, commented: “Vanessa is one of the finest actresses of her generation, and indeed any generation, and we’re thrilled that she’s receiving this award. This is especially meaningful as Vanessa was Guinevere to Richard’s King Arthur”
In a career spanning six decades in film, theatre and television, Vanessa has received every major award: an Oscar, a BAFTA, two Golden Globes, two Emmys, an Olivier, a Tony and the Best Actress award at Cannes. Vanessa was also awarded a BAFTA Fellowship in 2010.
Vanessa has also been nominated three times at BIFA, winning in 2011 for her performance in Ralph Fiennes’ directorial debut, Coriolanus.
Rising to prominence in 1961 playing the role of Rosalind in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of As You Like It, Vanessa’s second film role was in Fred Zinneman’s A Man for All Seasons, which won six Oscars and seven BAFTAs. Atonioni’s iconic Blow-up followed along with scores of other influential and era-defining films: she starred alongside Richard Harris in Joshua Logan’s Camelot, in the title role in Karel Reisz’s Isadora, as Nina in Sidney Lumet’s The Sea Gull, as Mary Queen of Scots for Charles Jarrott, she won an Oscar as Julia, directed again by Zinneman, and was Agatha Christie for Michael Apted. She has worked with John Schlesinger, James Ivory, David Hare, Stephen Frears, Roger Michell and Joe Wright, and continues to collaborate with the finest British and international directors. Vanessa will next be seen in Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool which has already garnered critical acclaim from premieres at both the Telluride and Toronto International Film Festivals and has screened at this year’s London Film Festival. Upcoming projects for Vanessa include The Aspern Papers alongside her daughter Joely Richardson and Georgetown directed by Christoph Waltz. Redgrave made her directorial debut earlier this year on the documentary Sea Sorrow, which she also co-produced.
Vanessa is also well-known for her theatre and television work. She has starred in more than 35 productions in London’s West End and on Broadway. Notable theatre credits include Richard III (Almeida Theatre, West End), Much Ado About Nothing (Old Vic, West End), The Revisionist (Cherry Lane Theatre, Broadway), Driving Miss Daisy (Broadway/West End), The Year of Magical Thinking (National Theatre/Broadway), Long Day’s Journey into The Night (Broadway), Lady Windermere’s Fan (Theatre Royal Haymarket, West End), The Tempest (RSC/Shakespeare’s Globe, West End) and The Cherry Orchard (National Theatre, West End). Vanessa’s television credits include Nip/Tuck, The Gathering Storm, The Go-Between and more recently Call the Midwife and Man in an Orange Shirt.