Glenda Jackson, feisty two-time Oscar winner, dies at 87

Glenda Jackson, feisty two-time Oscar winner, dies at 87

Glenda Jackson, the two-time Oscar winner who walked away from a hugely successful acting career to spend nearly a quarter of a century in the UK Parliament, only to return to the stage, has died. She was 87 years old.

“Glenda Jackson, two-time Oscar-winning actress and politician, died peacefully at her home in Blackheath, London this morning after a short illness, with her family by her side,” her agent said. he told the BBC. “He recently completed filming The Great Fugitive in which he co-starred with Michael Caine. A cause of death was not immediately given.

The British actress has racked up a number of accolades including the Academy Awards for Best Actress Women in love (1969) and A Touch of class (1973); two Emmy Awards for Elizabeth I’s portrayal of her in the BBC miniseries Elizabeth R (a role he also played in the 1971 film Mary, Queen of Scots); and a Tony Award for his triumphant return to Broadway in the 2018 revival of Edward Albee Three tall women.

She was also known for her passionate leftist politics.

Jackson was born on May 9, 1936 to working-class parents and began acting in a theater company in her native Birkenhead when she was a teenager. She received a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1954 and while she was studying there she made her professional debut in a production of Terrence Rattigan’s Separate tables in 1957.

After an uncredited turn in Lindsay Anderson This sports life (1963), she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1964. It was during her four-year spell there that she really made a name for herself, particularly with her work as Charlotte Corday in Peter Brooks’ groundbreaking production Of THE The persecution and murder of Jean-Paul Marat carried out by the inmates of the Charenton asylum under the direction of the Marquis de Sade (generally abbreviated to Marat/Said).

The production played in London’s West End and in New York, with Jackson receiving a 1966 Tony nomination for his Broadway debut. Around that time, she also gave a widely acclaimed performance as Ophelia in Peter Hall’s RSC production of Hamlet.

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His film career took off when he won an Oscar for director Ken Russell’s adaptation of DH Lawrence Women in love, a film perhaps best remembered today for its nude wrestling scene between Alan Bates and Oliver Reed. United Artists executives were initially reluctant to approve her for the role of Gudrun, not only because she wasn’t a well-known film name, but also because they thought her unconventional looks about her weren’t attractive enough.

He quickly won a second Oscar for A touch of Classan old-fashioned rom-com starring George Segal who showcased his sharp comedic chops.

Jackson would continue to alternate between theatre, film and television throughout his career. She received two more Academy Award nominations for her work in bloody sunday sunday (1972) and Edda (1975), the latter an adaptation by Ibsen Hedda Gablera role he had performed on stage the same year.

It was also very successful at the box office Home calls (1978), a romantic comedy in which she starred alongside Walter Matthau. The unlikely on-screen pair proved so popular with audiences that they reunited for the comedic thriller Bell (1980). “Oh, God, I loved working it!” enthused Jackson in a 2018 interview with DAY.

His other notable film credits included 1975’s The English Romantic76s Incredible Sarah (in which she played Sarah Bernhardt), 1978 Stevie (as poet Stevie Smith) and 1985’s Turtle Diary. Furthermore Women in loveworked with iconoclast Russell on films Music lovers (1971), Salome’s Last Dance (1988) and The Rainbow (1989).

Jackson earned his first Olivier Award nomination in 1977 for his performance in Stevie. Over the course of his career, he’s earned four more, for Antony and Cleopatra, Rose, Weird interlude AND King Learn.

He has received Tony nominations for each of his Broadway appearances (Marat/Said, Rose, Weird interlude AND Macbeth) before finally winning for Three tall women.

Jackson also played Martha in a 1989 Los Angeles production of Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? opposite John Lithgow and directed by the playwright himself. It was not a happy experience for her. “We didn’t get along,” she later said remembered. “He is a very, very good writer. Terrible director in my opinion.

She appeared periodically on television, earning an Emmy nomination in 1982 for her lead role performance on CBS’ The Story of Patricia Neal.

In 1992, Jackson retired from acting and ran for election to the House of Commons, representing the Labor Party. She became a Member of Parliament, representing Hampstead and Highgate, and served for two years as Junior Transport Minister under Tony Blair.

“Anything I could have done that was legal to get Margaret Thatcher and her government out, I was ready to try,” she later said DAY about her dramatic career change. “My country had been destroyed! Every single door of a shop was a bedroom, bathroom and living room for some homeless person. And in many cases they were also mentally ill. Everything had just broken before your eyes. What I was taught were vices, he said they were virtues, like greed. He said there is no company. This infuriated me so much that I walked into the closed French doors and nearly broke my nose!

Jackson’s acting skills served her well throughout her political career. Perhaps one of her greatest performances was at speech delivered in the House of Commons in 2013 after Thatcher’s death, in which she bitterly denounced the late prime minister’s policies even as many of her fellow MPs shouted “Shame on you!” to her.

Not that he didn’t continue to get acting offers during his years in politics. Among the roles she turned down was “M” (eventually played by Judi Dench) in the James Bond series. When asked years later why he had turned down such a potentially lucrative recurring gig, Jackson said simply, “Because he was boring.”

In 2011 Jackson announced that she would retire from politics by the next election four years later, citing her age. “We’re talking about when I’m almost 80,” she commented, adding, “Give yourself a hand!”

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She returned to acting after a 23-year absence, appearing in a series of radio plays based on the novels of Émile Zola. That sweet comeback was quickly followed by the much more formidable challenge of playing the title role king Lear in a stage production directed by Deborah Warner.

“What was interesting to me is that nobody ever brought up the issue of a woman playing a man, not at all,” she recalled. “One of the things I’ve found helpful is that the older we get, the more gender barriers start to fray.”

He received an Evening Standard Award for his performance, though in typical self-deprecating style he chastised the crowd for their boisterous reaction to his victory. “Oh come on, we don’t get standing ovations in England!” she exclaimed.

This was followed by his Broadway appearance in Three tall women, for which he finally won a Tony. The following year, she returned to the Great White Way in a different production of king Learwhich received mixed reviews.

And in 2023, she co-starred with Michael Caine in The Great Fugitive.

Jackson was proud of her work ethic. When she was once asked about the challenges of doing eight shows a week on stage in her eighties, she huffed, “Oh, for God’s sake, we’re not digging coal! It’s normal, you do it eight times a week. My worst day is my day off.