John Clark Pro Se Blog Actor, Producer & Writer

Lynn Redgrave Remembered by Ex-Husband John Clark (and how!)

Posted in My Family and Me

This headline and story appeared in the press on May 4th, 2 days after Lynn’s death:

“Actor John Clark is leading the tributes to his ex-wife Lynn Redgrave, who lost her battle with cancer at the age of 67. The “Georgy Girl” star passed away at her New York home on Sunday, May 2, marking another blow to the Redgrave acting dynasty – her brother Corin Redgrave died last month, while her niece Natasha Richardson lost her life following a skiing accident last year. Now actor/director Clark has paid tribute to the actress, whom he wed in 1967. He says, “I hope she finds peace where she is. She’s back in the bosom of her family now and may she rest in peace.” The couple became parents to three children, Benjamin, Pema and Annabel, before they divorced in 2000. A statement from the grieving siblings reads, “Our beloved mother Lynn passed away peacefully after a seven-year journey with breast cancer. She lived, loved and worked harder than ever before. “

I’m asked where was I for Lynn’s funeral? Nobody saw me, why wasn’t I there? I’ll tell you that I WAS there, and why nobody saw me.

You won’t have read about this anywhere else, not People Magazine, not Page 6, not Splash News, not TMZ, and not the Daily Mail (correction: In their 5/24 edition, they lifted the news off this site, without attribution – plagiarized as their own work. Invoking comments like “that sh*t isn’t worthy of kissing the ground she walks on”. Ironic comment, as you’ll see…)

For context, you need to know that I have had no contact with our kids for a long time. While I’ve entertained them at my house in Hollywood, they have never wanted me to visit them on the East coast, and in fact ignored me when my daughter Annabel got married in New York last August.

I emailed my son Ben for the funeral whereabouts. He told me it was being held the next day, on Saturday May 8th at 10 in the morning at the First Congregational Church in Kent, Connecticut, and that his mother didn’t want me there. I emailed the pastor, the Reverend Melinda Keck, for clarification. She simply told me not to attend, and please understand. I advised her to check her counseling goals towards her flock, and caught the red-eye for New York. To not go, in my mind, would be to validate her behavior towards me, an attempt to turn me into some version of Jesse James.  Besides, I have retained a love and respect for her, as the mother of my children, and the subject of my professional life.  I wished to find my own closure by attending.

After a horrid sleepless flight squeezed into a corner bulkhead seat, I rented a car at JFK, and drove North for 2 1/2 hours, reaching Kent with a half hour to spare. It came on to rain, hard. There was a group already on the church steps, two police cars in front with their lights flashing, and paparazzi in the road.

Directed to park in the back behind the church, I locked the car, and proceeded to walk towards the front. I was stopped by a security guard, and asked my name. Upon getting the answer, he summoned 2 policemen. They told me they would not let me pass. I insisted that I had every right to attend, having been a loyal husband for 33 years, and I wished to pay my final respects. As I pushed my way past them, they got physical. I guess I’m lucky I wasn’t tasered. I fell to the ground, and lay there on the pavement in the pouring rain, uncovered, in my good clothes. I could feel a sharp pain in my chest, right where my pacemaker is installed from my heart attack 2 years ago, and then I passed out.

I briefly came to in an ambulance, siren wailing, with an attendant shoving his thumbs into my eyeballs, and asking if I could feel anything, before succumbing again. I awoke in the emergency room at what I later found out was the New Milford hospital, about 15 miles South of Kent. A barrage of tests were ordered, because I’d been unresponsive. My blood pressure was 220 over 180, and they faced a diagnostic challenge by giving me an EKG, a CAT scan and an Echocardiogram.

After a night spent in a hospital bed, I was dozing off when around the corner of my curtain appeared a smiling and anxious face, my son Jonathan, who I thought was in Ireland, followed by the face of my daughter Kelly (now Pema) and her daughter Lena (my granddaughter whom I had never met), plus an old friend from London I hadn’t seen in years, Janie. They’d heard the sirens from inside the church, and found out it was for me. See the first picture below.

The doctor then came, and said if I felt better, I’d be released at 2pm, and that’s exactly what happened. Jonathan came with Benjy, yet, bringing me one of his shirts – they’d cut mine off me – and drove me back to my still parked and locked car, where my entire family was waiting.

I was so pleased to see them, as you can tell by looking at the pictures below.

You will see Benjy, Pema, me, Annabel, Lena, Eduardo Garabal (“Eddie”, Annabel’s new husband) and Jonathan.

From there, they drove me to the grave site, where I took this picture, Lynn’s final resting place next to her mother.

Well, that’s the story. My story.

It became clear that the reason behind my banishment was that Lynn’s lover, the Maggot (and I reference him here) was going to be at the funeral, and was staying at Lynn’s house. They feared that if I saw him, I would try to throttle him. Silly, because I am quite civilized most of the time. Anyway, I drove back to New York and all over Manhattan for half of Sunday night, traffic free, for old time’s sake. Nearly every block held a memory for me. Then I took the early morning flight back to Los Angeles. That was my first time out of L.A. in twelve years.

What began as the worst day of my life, ended up as the best day of my life (at least, so I thought).