Glenda Jackson, 2-Time Oscar Winner, Dies @ 87

Glenda Jackson, the acclaimed actress who gave it all up in the middle of her career to work in politics, has died. She was 87.

Jackson in her Oscar-winning performance in Women in Love (Image via UA)

Glenda Jackson, one of England's most celebrated stage and screen stars — and an accomplished Labour MP — died Thursday at her Blackheath, London, home.

She was 87.

Jackson died following a brief illness.

Born into a working-class family on May 9, 1936, in Birkenhead near Liverpool, England, Jackson started acting with a local theater group in the '50s. She was awarded a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. She began working in regional theater, making her stage debut in 1957, before a dry spell that challenged her devotion to the craft.

Jackson made her uncredited film debut with a bit part in This Sporting Life (1963).

The play Marat/Sade — which takes place in an asylum — energized her career in 1964. A big, important hit, it transferred to Broadway the following year, leading to her first Tony nomination. Though she loathed the physically and mentally taxing experience, she also performed in the play in Paris, recerating her performance in a 1967 movie version, her credited film debut.

Following the films Tell Me Lies: A Film About London and Negatives (both 1968), Jackson's won the Oscar for an electrifying performance in the film Women in Love (1969).

Jackson was one of the industry's most revered actors in this period, appearing in the films The Music Lovers (1971), Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971), The Boy Friend (1971), Mary Queen of Scots (1971), The Triple Echo (1972) and The Nelson Affair (1973).

Also in 1973, she starred in the romantic comedy A Touch of Class opposite George Segal, which brought her a second Best Actress Oscar.

Other films include The Devil Is a Woman (1973), The Maids (1975), The Romantic Englishwoman (1975), Hedda (1975), The Incredible Sarah (1976) as legendary actress Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923), Nasty Habits (1976), House Calls (1978), Stevie (1978), The Class of Miss MacMichael (1978), Lost and Found (1979), Robert Altman's (1925-2006) Health (1980), Hopscotch (1980), The Return of the Soldier (1982), Giro City (1982), Turtle Diary (1985), Beyond Therapy (1987), Business as Usual (1988), Salome's Last Dance (1988), The Rainbow (1989), Doombeach (1989) and King of the Wind (1990).

In 1991, Jackson made the extraordinary decision to retire from acting, spending the next two decades as a Labour Party MP.

Me with Ms. Jackson in 2018 (Image via Matthew Rettenmund)

After she left politics, she made a triumphant return to Broadway in a revival of Three Tall Women (2018), for which she won the Tony. She also played the title role in a production of King Lear in London in 2016 and in her final Broadway run in 2019.

Receiving her Drama Desk Award for Three Tall Women from Stephen McKinley Henderson (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

Upon her return to acting, Jackson made the films Mothering Sunday (2021) and the forthcoming The Great Escaper.

Having worked extensively on TV from 1957, she gave her final performance in the medium following 27 years away in the dementia-themed drama Elizabeth Is Missing (2019), for which she won the BAFTA.

Jackson was wed to Roy Hodges (circa 1930s-2017)from 1958 until their 1976 divorce. She is survived by her son, Dan Hodges (b. 1969), a newspaper columnist.

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