Glenda Jackson, the two-time Oscar-winning British actress, political figure and activist, passed away on Thursday at the age of 87. She left behind a legacy of exceptional performances, both on and off screen, that will continue to inspire audiences for generations to come.
Born on May 9, 1936, in Birkenhead, England, Jackson began her acting career in her teens as part of a drama troupe. She later received a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and made her professional debut in 1957 in Terrence Rattigan’s Separate Tables. After an uncredited role in the 1963 film This Sporting Life, she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, where she gained critical acclaim for her role as Charlotte Corday in Peter Brooks’ Marat/Sade, which earned her a Tony nomination in 1966 for her Broadway debut.
In 1969, Jackson won her first Academy Award for her role in Women in Love, directed by Ken Russell. She followed that up with a second Oscar for A Touch of Class in 1973, a romantic comedy that showcased her comedic talent. Throughout her career, she also earned two Emmys and five Olivier Awards, among other accolades.
Jackson was known for her left-wing political views and became an active member of the Labour Party, serving as a Member of Parliament for Hampstead and Highgate from 1992 to 2015. Despite her successful acting career, she remained committed to her political work and was known for her fiery speeches and impassioned advocacy for social justice.
After retiring from politics, Jackson returned to the stage, earning critical acclaim for her performance in Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women on Broadway in 2018. She also continued to act in films and television, including the recent BBC drama Elizabeth is Missing.
Jackson’s passing has been mourned by fans, colleagues and political leaders alike, who remember her as a trailblazer in both the entertainment and political worlds. Her legacy serves as a reminder that one person can make a difference in the world, both through their art and their activism.
In the end, Glenda Jackson’s life was a testament to the power of passion and commitment. She will be remembered not only for her exceptional talent as an actress, but also for her unwavering dedication to social justice and political activism. Her legacy will continue to inspire and empower generations to come.