RIP Lynn Redgrave (updated)

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Following on the deaths of Corin Redgrave and Natasha Richardson last year, another member of the Redgrave family acting dynasty has left us too soon. Lynn Redgrave has passed on at age 67 from the breast cancer that first attacked her in 2003.

Ms. Redgrave made quite a splash back in 1966 in the English hit, “Georgy Girl,” getting an Oscar nomination and a lot of worldwide attention asĀ  a zaftig “ugly duckling” who finds herself the center of attention for her handsome flat-mate (Alan Bates) and an aging millionaire (James Mason). Though she later became slender enough to play traditionally glamorous and very sexy leading ladies — and did occasionally in such roles as the ill-fated “The Happy Hooker” — she instead gravitated to a very British-style career in which she rather brilliantly covered all kinds of serious and comedic parts on stage, television, and movies. (Deep comedy fans might remember her in Woody Allen’s “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex” and the disaster movie spoof, “The Big Bus.”) While her sister, Vanessa Redgrave, was getting attention on a massive scale with her high end film and stage career and far-left politics, she appeared in a series of commercials for Weight Watchers’ products, starred in the U.S. sitcom, “House Calls” and gracefully segued into often quirky character roles like her accent-heavy Oscar-nominated turn as a housekeeper in 1998’s “Gods and Monsters.”

Though I’ve always enjoyed Ms. Redgrave’s work in all media over the years, I’ve never actually caught her signature movie role. After the flip, we have a couple of scenes that indicate this one might be worth very much renting or adding to your Netflix queue.

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A day at the TV Land Awards

Cast Of The Love Boat

The TV Land Awards are not an “and the winner is…” kind of award show extravaganza. They’re more a series of honorary nods to the very popular shows of television’s illustrious, time-killing past with an emphasis on glitz. And so a bunch of us media types were invited to add to the hub-bub at the Sony Studios back lot on a breezy April, waiting on a red carpet for whichever celebrity was escorted to our assigned spots, with those from famed print and broadcast outlets obviously getting the first dibs. In the case of this lowly pixel stained wretch, I felt honored to chat with a few really terrific performers who, each in their own way, had made quite an impression on me personally.

That most definitely applies to Jane Leeves, the comedically gifted actress best known as Daphne, Niles Crane’s Manchester-born one-true-crush and eventual wife from “Frasier.” After confessing that I’d had a crush of my own on her since before her famed “Seinfeld” turn as “Marla, the Virgin” her response was typically blunt-yet-charming. “I’m not that old!”

“Neither am I!,” I blurted. (I later learned that Ms. Leeves birthday was the following day. My own birthday was two days prior. I guess age was on both of our minds.)

Aside from being no non-TV star herself, Ms. Leeves was there to promote her now show, coincidentally to be aired on TV Land in a rare foray into original programming, “Hot in Cleveland.” The show teams Leeves with Wendy Malick (“Just Shoot Me”) and Valerie Bertinelli (“One Day at a Time”). The three play “very L.A.” career women with show business-related backgrounds of various types. (Leeves plays an “eyebrow plucker to the stars.”) Feeling a bit aged out of the L.A. game, they attempt a trip to Paris, but instead find themselves marooned at the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They quickly realize that beautiful, middle-aged women who can refer to celebrities by their first name are actually in fairly short supply in the midwestern metropolis and they decide to stay and be big fish in a smaller glamor pond. Betty White costars as a neighbor, perhaps a wacky one. Cue the glib comparisons calling this a “younger ‘Golden Girls.'”

Nevertheless, fans of Ms. Leeves should rest assured that her character is no retread of Daphne Moon. “She’s focused her whole life on her career and has forgotten to have a life. She’s the sort of smart aleck, wise-ass of the group, so it’s very different.”

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Then, perhaps feeling a bit star-struck, I went with the fallback question I frequently steal from our esteemed Will Harris. What project has she done that she doesn’t feel has gotten enough attention.

“It’s my cooking, quite frankly.”

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