Actor And Politician Glenda Jackson Dies, Aged 87

Glenda Jackson

by James White |
Updated on

Glenda Jackson, the Academy Award-winning actor who also served as an MP, has died. She was 87.

Glenda May Jackson was born on 9 May, 1936 in Birkenhead, in Wirral. She attended the local grammar school, leaving at 16 to work at Boots.

But, dissatisfied with the retails world, she joined a YMCA drama group. "I had no real ambition about acting," she later recalled. "But I knew there had to be something better than the bloody chemist's shop." Two years later, she won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Her career began in repertory theatre, and she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1964.

Her film career includes memorable roles in the likes of Women In Love (for which she won her first Oscar), The Rainbow, Hedda, A Touch Of Class (earning her a second Academy Award) and Marat/Sade.

On television, she famously appeared on the Morecambe And Wise show, an experience she's described as one of her favourites. She was also seen in Elizabeth R and on The Muppet Show.

She gave up acting to join the House of Commons as a Labour MP in north London from 1992 to 2015. That included two years as a junior transport minister in Tony Blair's New Labour government from 1997.

Jackson continued to act after leaving political career, most recently working on The Great Escaper Michael Caine. "Glenda was one of our greatest movie actresses," Caine said. "It was a privilege to work with her on The Great Escaper recently, our second film together. It was as wonderful an experience this time as it was 50 years ago. I shall miss her."

Jackson's agent, Lionel Larner, released a statement on her passing: "Glenda Jackson, two-time Academy Award-winning actress, and politician, died peacefully at her home in Blackheath, London this morning after a brief illness with her family at her side."

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