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Great British Actress, Parliamentarian Glenda Jackson Has Died at Age 87.

File photo. Glenda Jackson is depicted at the right hand side of this all-star ensemble cast in the movie Women in Love, a dramatization of the D.H. Lawrence novel of the same name. Also pictured Eleonor Bron, Jennie Linden, Alan Bates, and Oliver Reed.

By Jonathan Mason-June 15th, 2023.

Glenda Jackson has died at the age of 87, after a brief illness, according to her agent, Lionel Larner.

Jackson grew up among the working-class poor, near Liverpool, in a flat with an outdoor toilet. Jackson got into acting with an amateur group, and ended up with a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

In addition to a distinguished career that included Oscar, Tony and Emmy awards, Jackson represented her London district as a member of Parliament’s House of Commons for 23 years.

Jackson lived her life in three distinct acts. The first, and longest act, was as one of the finest actors of her generation. She blazed hot on the stage, first attracting notice in 1964 with the Royal Shakespeare Company when she played Charlotte Corday in Peter Brook’s production of Marat/Sade, set in a mental hospital. (She reprised her role in the 1967 film.)

Jackson’s success on stage translated to film. She starred in Ken Russell’s 1969 adaptation of the D.H. Lawrence novel, Women in Love and the romantic comedy, A Touch of Class, with George Segal.

She won Academy Awards for both films. Other roles included Sunday Bloody Sunday and Mary, Queen of Scots. Jackson also entered peoples’ households as Queen Elizabeth I in the BBC series, Elizabeth R., for which she won two Emmys.

New York University theater professor Laurence Maslon said Jackson was a working-class, female version of such British contemporaries as Albert Finney, Michael Caine and Alan Bates. “They were the angry young men, but she was sort of the angry young woman, I suppose,” he said. “She certainly had the looks and the skill to transition into film pretty quickly.”

Always a supporter of the Labour Party, Jackson ran for Parliament in 1992 and won. When she stepped down, after serving for more than two decades, she told NPR in 2018, “I enjoyed the constituency responsibilities. I was extremely fortunate. But I must be honest, I don’t miss Parliament itself. I mean, I saw egos going up and down those corridors that would not be tolerated for 30 seconds in a professional theater.”

When asked about retirement in a 2019 interview on WHYY’s Fresh AirJackson replied, “Well, if I don’t get offered to work, then I’ll be retired… I’ve had a good run.”

“I like gardening and I’m a grandma, so I get grandma duty, which is an interesting experience,” the legend of British theatre added.

Source: NPR News.