Redgrave's condition 'very serious' after heart attack at Gypsy rally

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The Independent Online

The family of the actor Corin Redgrave were at his bedside last night after doctors said his condition remained "very serious".

Redgrave, who is as well known for his strongly held political convictions as for his many acting roles, collapsed on Wednesday night while delivering an impassioned plea on behalf of travellers facing eviction.

He was speaking at a packed public meeting at the Towngate Theatre in Basildon, Essex, when he suffered a heart attack.

Doctors said yesterday that the 65-year-old's condition had stabilised but he remained in Basildon District Hospital's intensive treatment unit. Redgrave was accompanied to hospital by some of the travellers he was supporting. They later staged a vigil outside.

In a statement, Redgrave's family said: "We would like to thank the police, the travellers and hospital staff for their efforts and all well-wishers for their thoughts."

Redgrave - the son of the actors Sir Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson, and the brother of Vanessa - has been receiving treatment for cancer. He has been a passionate spokesman for the rights of Europe's travellers. On Wednesday morning, he hosted a meeting with MPs at Westminster to highlight the plight of Gypsies.