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Will Vanessa Redgrave Win Another Tony?

Vanessa Redgrave literally has acting in her blood. Both of her parents were actors, as is her sister, brother and both of her daughters.

Already one of the most celebrated actresses working today, Redgrave is a Tony nominee for Best Actress for the play "The Year of Magical Thinking."

The play is based on the memoir of the same name by Joan Didion. It's a harrowing tale of loss that Didion experienced when her husband, writer John Gregory Dunne, died unexpectedly followed by her daughter's drastic illness and surgery. Quintana eventually died and Didion struggled to stay sane amidst all the tragedy.

Doing such an emotional show was hard, even for 70-year-old veteran Redgrave, who won her first Tony just four years ago for her performance in "Long Day's Journey into Night."

"Because just as the audience are completely hanging on every word and crying or laughing almost fit to bust laughing, as well, as they go through the story. I am in the story," she told Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.


Photos: Vanessa Redgrave
Although Redgrave is the only one you see on stage for the show's 90 minutes, she says she is not alone. The audience, she says, is always part of any play, but in this one especially, she feels the presence of others.

"Her husband, her daughter and friends I'm talking about, and they're with me," Redgrave said. "At least I feel they are."

Redgrave is busier than ever. On June 13, she stars in the HBO political drama, "The Fever." She plays a woman on the path to self-discovery. The film was written and direct by her son, Carlo Nero.


Photos: Didion Play Opens On Broadway
"We're used to giving of our best to whomever we're working with, but certainly if you're working with a member if your family who is also terribly, terribly good — um — it is a wonderful thing," Redgrave said.

It is, after all, the family business. And Redgrave also teams up with her Tony-winning daughter, Natasha Richardson, in the new big-screen drama "Evening." It's a story of a generations-old family secret. It's the first time they played mother and daughter on screen.

"We bring all our stuff to it, all our history, our love, the more painful things in our relationship," Redgrave said. "So that's what we give the movie."