Two-time Oscar winner Glenda Jackson has passed away at the age of 87. Jackson had a successful second career as a British legislator and was much praised for her comeback to the stage and cinema in her later years.
According to her agent, Lionel Larner, Jackson passed away at her London residence on Thursday following a brief illness. He mentioned that she had just finished filming “‘The Great Escaper,” in which she had a co-starring role opposite Michael Caine, who is now 90 years old.
Who was Glenda Jackson?
Born in 1936 outside of Liverpool, Glenda Jackson began participating in community theatre productions as a young adult. As a result of her performance, Jackson was awarded a scholarship to study at London’s prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
After starring in the RSC’s production of “Marat/Sade” in the 1960s, she became one of the most well-known British actors of the 1970s. The sex-obsessed wife she played in Ken Russell’s biography “The Music Lovers” also catapulted her to stardom.
Oscars for “Women in Love” (1971) and “A Touch of Class” (1974) both went to Jackson, making her the winner of both categories. She was nominated for an Oscar twice more for her roles in “Sunday Bloody Sunday” (1971) and “Hedda” (1975).
In 1972, Glenda Jackson won two Emmys for her portrayal of Cleopatra on “The Morecambe & Wise Show” and Queen Elizabeth on “Elizabeth R.”
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What was Glenda Jackson’s cause of death?
Lionel Larner, Glenda’s agent, made a statement announcing her death and giving some facts about the tragedy.
“Glenda Jackson, the 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 by her side,” the statement said. I’ve lost a dear friend of more than half a century, and the world has lost one of its finest actresses today.
Nothing beyond a “brief illness” is explained in the statement, leaving the manner of death a mystery. At 87 years old, a reduced immune system might make a person more susceptible to sickness in general.
Looking over her biography and the countless condolences that have poured in since the news broke, it is evident that Glenda will be missed, even though we may never know the specific reason for her death.
Glenda Jackson Acting Career
Jackson had trouble finding acting parts for the next two or three years following Rada. What made a difference was her work with Peter Brook on his now-famous (or “notorious”) Theatre of Cruelty season at the Royal Shakespeare Company. In the tough and distressing Marat/Sade, starring Patrick Magee and Freddie Jones, she played the inmate of a psychiatric hospital, bringing her to Broadway and Paris.
The British film industry was approaching a time of severe retrenchment when Jackson came, but their work, along with the incorrigible Ken Russell, kept the lights on. In Russell’s lighthearted take on DH Lawrence’s Women in Love from 1969, she won her first Oscar for her portrayal of Gudrun Brangwen.
After a while, the screen mirrored what was happening. Best Actress at the Academy Awards came her way for her performance with Oliver Reed in the 1969 historical drama “Women in Love.” The second one followed shortly after the romantic comedy “A Touch of Class” in 1973, two years after her acclaimed portrayals as Queen Elizabeth I in the BBC biopic film “Elizabeth R” and the historical drama “Mary, Queen of Scots.” Despite the rumours, Jackson had already proven herself to be the most emotionally perceptive female performer of her time by the early 1970s. No one else could equal that irritable, often hostile delivery.
After Jackson left Parliament in 2015, she returned to acting, where she received critical praise for her portrayal of King Lear in Shakespeare’s “King Lear.” 2016 it debuted at London’s Old Vic before going to Broadway.
In 2019, she returned to the big screen with a small part in “Elizabeth is Missing.” Jackson’s portrayal of an Alzheimer’s patient who is a detective earned her a British Academy Film Award.
Glenda Jackson Political Career
At age fifty, Jackson entered politics and was eventually elected to Parliament in 1992. She was a politician for the Labour Party for 23 years, including her time as transport minister in Prime Minister Tony Blair’s first ministry. Blair’s 2003 invasion of Iraq caused her to disagree with him. Blair’s decision to join the U.S.-led war without approval from the United Nations was something she claimed made her feel “deeply, deeply ashamed.”
Jackson’s forthrightness and frankness never wavered throughout her political career, and they may have been factors that prevented her from reaching the highest levels of government. Upon Margaret Thatcher’s death in 2013, she spoke out against the “heinous social, economic, and spiritual damage wreaked on this country” without regard for the customary decorum surrounding the passing of a leader in the House of Commons. She had just finished shooting “The Great Escaper,” where she had a co-starring role opposite Michael Caine, then 90 years old.
Before her untimely demise, Glenda Jackson was worth an estimated $5 million.