In 1976, Renée Richards is on the tennis court as a professional tennis player. The film Flashback (narrative) to 1964, when Renée Richards is an eye surgeon named Richard Radley (both roles played by Redgrave). Radley has a successful career and a fiancée, but secretly transvestism at night. Unable to speak with his mother Sadie (Louise Fletcher), who is a psychiatrist, Radley consults his own psychiatrist, Dr. Beck (Martin Balsam), who advises him to grow a beard. This strategy works temporarily until Radley is Conscription into the United States Navy, which does not allow beards. Following his discharge and a failed marriage, Radley undergoes gender reassignment surgery and becomes Renée.