Two-time Academy Award-winning actress and former British politician Glenda Jackson has died peacefully after a long illness at the age of 87.
“Glenda Jackson, two-time Academy Award winning actress and politician, aged 87, passed away peacefully at her London home this morning after a brief illness with her family by her side,” her agent Lionel Larner confirmed to CNN on Thursday.
She recently completed filming The Great Escaper, which she co-starred with Michael Caine.
Larner also added a personal comment about his relationship with Jackson: “Today we lost one of the greatest actresses in the world and she lost the best friend of over 50 years,” he said.
Born in Birkenhead, northwest England, in 1936, Jackson joined an amateur theater group as a teenager before winning a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
After graduating, she starred in London’s West End and made her Broadway debut in 1965 in a production of ‘Marat/Sade’.
I followed the screen. She won her first Academy Award for Best Actress for her role opposite Oliver Reed in the 1969 period drama Women in Love.
The second came shortly after the 1973 romantic comedy “A Touch of Class” – two years after her prominent portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I in both the BBC biographical film “Elizabeth R” and the historical drama “Mary, Queen of Scots”.
In 1992 she turned to politics, becoming an MP for the Labor Party while the party was in opposition. She was an MP for 23 years, during which time her party held power in an overwhelming majority under the leadership of Tony Blair.
At that time, Jackson was appointed junior minister of transportation in 1997 and held the position for two years. She tried to become mayor of London in 2000, but lost out to independent candidate Ken Livingstone.
She never achieved high positions in politics, but she was known for her bravery.
Jackson fell out with Blair when he led Britain into war in Iraq, and was a vocal opponent of former Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, memorably criticizing her on the day of her funeral in 2013.
“First female prime minister of both sexes, OK. But a woman? Not on my terms,” she said.
The movie star returned to the stage in 2016 by starring in the West End production of ‘King Lear’. Jackson received further accolades when she won a Tony Award in 2018 for her appearance in the Broadway production of ‘Three Tall Women’.
Her latest on-screen project, “The Great Escaper,” is in post-production, according to IMDb.
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