May 13, 2010 -- Vanessa Redgrave is "grieving" and "glorying" after a string of family tragedies.
In an exclusive interview airing on ABC's "The View" Friday, the veteran actress opened up about the death of her sister, Lynn Redgrave, and the memorial she recently held for her late daughter, Natasha Richardson.
"When you lost people you absolutely love and adore, you're both glorying and you' re grieving," Redgrave said. She visited "The View" to promote her new film, "Letters to Juilet."
"You're grieving because you haven't got them anymore and you're glorying because you're taking in what a gift each of them was."
She added that Liam Neeson, the husband of Natasha Richardson, is handling the loss of the actress "like me, I guess. Grieving and glorying."
Watch Vanessa Redgrave's full interview on "The View," Friday, May 14 at 11 a.m. ET on ABC.
Vanessa Redgrave might be accustomed to coping with loss by now. The family was considered acting royalty, but the tragedies that have befallen the Redgrave/Richardson dynasty, capped most recently with Lynn's death, all seemed to play into the tale of the Redgrave family curse.
Lynn Redgrave died earlier this month after a seven-year battle with breast cancer. Only a year ago, Natasha Richardson, died at age 45 from injuries sustained in a skiing accident. Last month, Corin Richardson, also an actor, died at age 70 after a short illness. He too had battled cancer.
As celebrated as they were for their acting talent, the Redgrave siblings suffered through divorces, scandals and addiction. And the supposed curse, coined by the British media, seemed to carry over to the next generation, including Natasha.
Lynn Redgrave often spoke candidly about her troubled family and personal struggles in interviews and her one-woman stage performances.
She used her icy relationship with her father, Sir Michael Redgrave, a celebrated stage actor who later came out as bisexual, as fodder for her successful one-woman show "Shakespeare for My Father."
But her crumbling marriage to theatrical director John Clark drew more headlines. After 32 years of marriage and three children, Clark confessed to Redgrave that years earlier he had an affair with his daughter-in-law, Nicolette Hannah, before Hannah married their son Benjamin.
Clark was also the father of Hannah's son Zachary. The child Lynn Redgrave always believed was her "surrogate grandson" was instead her husband's illegitimate son.
Redgrave quickly filed for divorce, but not before Clark gave a tell-all interview to a tabloid. Redgrave countered with her own interview in the Times of London. "I've discovered a lifetime of betrayal from my husband," she tearfully told the paper. "It was right beneath my nose for eight years."
In 1983, Lynn Redgrave, who became a film sensation in the 1960s with "Georgy Girl," began starring in U.S. commercials for Weight Watchers. Before that she battled bulimia, telling People Magazine in 1992 that bingeing and purging "felt like a great discovery, as I suppose it is to most people. People complimented me on my weight, but inside I felt like s***."
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.
Natasha's sister has not had the same luck with romance. Joely Richardson, the star of "Nip/Tuck," fell for a married man at age 24, according to the Daily Mail. When he chose his wife, actress Diana Rigg, over Richardson, she was said to be devastated.
Richardson went on to marry producer Tim Bevan, and they had a daughter Daisy, before divorcing in 1997 after Bevan reportedly left her for a 24-year-old.
Post-divorce, Richardson dated British TV host Jamie Theakston. But their relationship came to an end after the British press revealed that he had visited a brothel.
Like his sister Vanessa, Corin Redgrave was known as much for his passionate socialist views as his theatrical career.
For nearly 20 years, he was virtually blacklisted by the BBC for his outspoken Marxist views. Afterward his film career picked up again with roles in "In the Name of the Father" and "Four Weddings and a Funeral."
In recent years, he battled ill health, developing prostate cancer in 2005, followed by a heart attack. He died in April.