In 2003, Redgrave learned she had breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy and treatment at New York's Sloan Kettering Hospital. She wrote about her battle in a 2004 book written with her daughter Annabel Clark, "Journal: A Mother and Daughter's Recovery From Breast Cancer." Redgrave ultimately died of the disease.
She'll be remembered for her gutsy performances in "Georgy Girl" and "Gods and Monsters," but her family's troubled history will also be part of her legacy. Here is more from the Redgrave/Richardson family:
The family patriarch, Sir Michael Redgrave, was an acclaimed British stage and screen actor. He married fellow actress Rachel Kempson and they remained together for 50 years until his death. Over the years he had multiple affairs with men.
According to his son Corin's book, "Michael Redgrave: My father," Sir Michael told Kempson about his bisexuality before they married. He said there were "difficulties to do with his nature, and that he felt he ought not to marry." Kempson replied that she understood and that it didn't matter.
One of his lovers, Bob Michell, even set up house close to the Redgraves and became a surrogate uncle to the three Redgrave children.
Michael Redgrave pushed his eldest daughter Vanessa to follow him into theater. Vanessa, an Academy Award-winning actress, became one of the most widely-respected actresses of her generation, but her acting prowess was often intertwined with her political activisim.
A committed Marxist, Vanessa campaigned against the Vietnam War and for the Palestinian cause. Often she put her political causes before her children. Vanessa once recalled how daughter Natasha Richardson would beg her to stay at home and spend more time with her.
"I tried to explain that our political struggle was for her future, and that of all the children of her generation," she was quoted saying in the Daily Mail.
Vanessa Redgrave also wrote in her autobiography about her heavy drinking. She would open a bottle of cheap wine every morning "to get the fuzzy obliteration of alcohol."
Vanessa Redgrave divorced Richardson's father, Academy Award-winning director Tony Richardson, when Natasha was six. At age 11, Natasha learned her father was bisexual.
Despite his sexual orientation, Natasha Richardson and her sister, actress Joely Richardson, built a close relationship with him, nursing him through AIDS-related illnesses before he died in 1991.
Natasha has said he was her greatest support. "I probably wouldn't have had belief in my talent had it not been for my father," Natasha once said in an interview.
Natasha became active in the Foundation for AIDS research (amfAR) because of her father.
Natasha Richardson seemed determined to follow a different path than her mother Vanessa. After marrying producer Robert Fox, who was 11 years older, Richardson divorced when she fell in love with fellow actor Liam Neeson.
They had two boys and settled outside New York City where Richardson could focus more on motherhood, while Neeson pursued his career in the U.S.
While on vacation at a Canadian ski resort with their sons last March, Richardson fell and hit her head. A week later she died, leaving her family shocked and devastated.