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Glenda Jackson, two-time Oscar winner and politician, dead at 87

Flowers on a casket. (Unsplash)

Glenda Jackson, the English actress-turned-politician who won two Oscars, three Emmys and a Tony Award during a prolific screen and stage career, died Thursday at age 87, her agent said.

The veteran performer died in London following an undisclosed short illness.

Jackson, a graduate of London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, got her start in the early 1950s with a series of theater roles in England, then dominated the subsequent decades with numerous, decorated on-screen performances.

She won best actress at the Academy Awards in 1971 for the romantic drama “Women in Love,” and took home the same honor in 1974 for “A Touch of Class,” a romantic comedy also starring George Segal.

Jackson appeared in dozens of films, series and stage productions across nearly four decades before pivoting to politics in the early 1990s. She became a Member of Parliament in 1992, served as junior transport minister under Tony Blair from 1997 to 1999, and remained a lawmaker until 2015, when she returned to acting.

Like her Oscars, Jackson’s first two Emmys came during the early 1970s. She won both for the serial “Elizabeth R,” in which she portrayed Queen Elizabeth I. She added a third Emmy in 2019 for “Elizabeth Is Missing” in which she played a woman with Alzheimer’s trying to solve her friend’s disappearance.

Her lone Tony win out of five nominations also came later in her career when she took home leading actress in a play for “Three Tall Women” in 2018. Her other nominations included nods for her Broadway debut in “Marat/Sade” in 1966 and for a 1980s production of William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.”

Jackson, who was born in Cheshire, England, also won two British Academy Film Awards. She received five Laurence Olivier Awards nominations for her work on London’s West End, including in 2017 for her portrayal of the title character in Shakespeare’s “King Lear.”

Jackson, who is survived by a son, recently finished filming “The Great Escaper” alongside Michael Caine, according to her agent.

“In my early twenties I worked for Glenda, a decade later our MPs offices were next door,” British politician Lucy Powell tweeted Thursday. “She was always incredibly kind & supportive to me. I will also remember her cutting humour, general disdain at most things, all while smoking!

“She was the definition of an icon, successfully spanning the world of acting and politics with great aplomb.”

With News Wire Services


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