An Iconic Figure in the World of Theatre, Film and Politics

Glenda Jackson, the remarkable and iconic figure whose talents have graced both the stage and the screen, is being celebrated for her unparalleled contributions to the realms of acting and politics. As a legendary actress and a respected political figure, Glenda Jackson has left an indelible mark on the world with her extraordinary career and unwavering dedication.

Born on 9 May 1936 in Birkenhead, Glenda Jackson embarked on her journey to greatness with an unmatched passion for the arts. From the early stages of her career, it was evident that her talent and charisma were destined to shine brightly. With a magnetic stage presence and an undeniable ability to immerse herself in complex characters, Glenda quickly garnered acclaim and captivated audiences worldwide.

Throughout her illustrious career, Glenda Jackson has triumphed in both film and theatre. Her performances have been characterised by a powerful authenticity and a commitment to portraying a diverse range of characters with depth and nuance. From classic Shakespearean roles to contemporary dramas, Glenda’s talent knows no bounds. Her unwavering dedication to her craft has earned her numerous accolades, including two Academy Awards and three BAFTA Awards. She was one of the few performers to achieve the American Triple Crown of Acting, besides her Academy Awards, she also earned three Emmy Awards and a Tony Award.

“Acting is not about dressing up. Acting is about stripping bare. The whole essence of learning lines is to forget them so you can make them sound like you thought of them that instant.”

Glenda Jackson

Glenda Jackson with Oliver Reed in Women In Love - Alamy
Glenda Jackson in King Lear at the Old Vic, London. Photograph Tristram Kenton: The Guardian

Beyond her immense success in the world of entertainment, Glenda Jackson has demonstrated her unwavering commitment to public service. In a truly remarkable turn of events, she transitioned from her thriving acting career to a prominent role in British politics. Elected as a Member of Parliament for the Labour Party, Glenda served with integrity and passion, representing the people with a fierce determination.

Her contributions to the arts and politics have been nothing short of extraordinary. She has been an inspiration to countless aspiring actors and actresses, proving that talent, perseverance, and fearlessness can lead to remarkable achievements. Her impact as both an artist and a public servant will continue to resonate for generations to come.

Glenda Jackson’s illustrious career has graced both the West End and Broadway stages, leaving an indelible mark on theatre history. In the West End, she has taken on a range of iconic roles, captivating audiences with her extraordinary talent and magnetic stage presence. From her powerful portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I in Mary, Queen of Scots to her compelling performance as Martha in Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Jackson has consistently demonstrated her versatility and unmatched ability to breathe life into complex characters. On Broadway, she has also left an indelible impression, earning critical acclaim for her Tony Award-winning performances in plays such as Rose and Three Tall Women. Glenda Jackson’s contributions to both the West End and Broadway have solidified her status as a theatrical legend, with her performances standing as a testament to her unmatched artistry and enduring impact on the world of stage.

“Her jaw thrust forward like a prow, her elfin eyes belying her regal bearing, her wide-screen mouth wrapping itself around those slashing, implacable consonants — they’re all exactly as you remember them and want them to be. Or if you’ve never experienced them, welcome to the pleasure. Either way, Glenda Jackson is back; even better, she’s back in a role that’s big enough to need her.

Jesse Green on her performance in Three Tall Women

Her stage career reached a remarkable climax with her portrayal of King Lear, one of Shakespeare’s most complex and challenging characters. Taking on the role in both London and on Broadway, Jackson’s interpretation of Lear captivated audiences with its raw intensity and emotional depth. Her commanding stage presence and masterful command of the text breathed new life into the iconic character, showcasing her unparalleled talent and profound understanding of the human condition. Critics hailed her performance as a tour de force, praising her ability to navigate the intricacies of Lear’s descent into madness and vulnerability with extraordinary skill. Glenda Jackson’s remarkable portrayal of King Lear stands as a testament to her enduring legacy as one of the greatest stage actors of our time, leaving an indelible mark on the world of theatre.

As the world pays tribute to Glenda Jackson’s remarkable life and career, it is impossible to overlook the profound influence she has had on the industry. Her performances will forever be etched in the hearts of audiences, and her contributions to the political landscape will remain a testament to her unwavering commitment to social change and public welfare.

Her legacy is one of resilience, talent, and unwavering determination. She has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the world, inspiring generations of artists and activists alike. As we celebrate her remarkable achievements, we honour the enduring legacy of an icon who has made an indelible impact on both the stage and the political arena.

A Closer Look at Her Oscar and BAFTA-Winning Roles

Glenda Jackson, the iconic actress known for her exceptional talent and versatility, has been honoured with the most prestigious accolades in the entertainment industry. Let’s embark on a journey through the remarkable roles that led Glenda Jackson to receive two Academy Awards and three BAFTAs, solidifying her status as one of the greatest actresses of her generation.

Academy Awards:

Women in Love” (1970): Glenda Jackson’s unforgettable portrayal of Gudrun Brangwen in the film adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s novel “Women in Love” captivated audiences and critics alike. Her raw and emotionally charged performance as a free-spirited artist grappling with love, desire, and societal expectations earned her the Academy Award for Best Actress. Jackson’s ability to effortlessly convey the complexities of her character’s internal struggle showcased her incredible range as an actress and left an indelible mark on the history of cinema.

A Touch of Class” (1973): Glenda Jackson’s talent for delivering both dramatic and comedic performances shone brightly in the romantic comedy “A Touch of Class.” Her portrayal of Vicki Allessio, a vibrant and independent woman embarking on a passionate affair, won her the Academy Award for Best Actress. Jackson’s impeccable comedic timing and ability to infuse her character with depth and charm captivated audiences worldwide, further establishing her as a force to be reckoned with in the realm of acting.

Tony Award for her leading role in Edward Albee's Three Tall Women in 2018. Photo credit - Stephen Lovekin/Variety/Penske Media/Getty Images
Holding her Oscar for Women in Love. Photo credit - Mike LawnHulton Archive/Getty Images

BAFTA Awards:

Women in Love” (1970): In addition to her Academy Award, Glenda Jackson’s mesmerizing performance in “Women in Love” also garnered her the BAFTA Award for Best Actress. Her portrayal of Gudrun Brangwen, a woman torn between love and self-discovery, captivated viewers with its nuanced portrayal of passion, vulnerability, and inner turmoil. Jackson’s magnetic presence on screen and her ability to convey complex emotions with authenticity left an indelible impact on audiences and secured her place as a celebrated actress.

Sunday Bloody Sunday” (1971): Glenda Jackson’s remarkable talent was recognized once again with a BAFTA Award for Best Actress for her role in “Sunday Bloody Sunday.” In this powerful drama, she portrayed Alex Greville, a woman involved in a complicated romantic triangle. Jackson’s sensitive and nuanced portrayal of a woman navigating conflicting emotions and societal expectations demonstrated her extraordinary range as an actress and earned her critical acclaim.

A Touch of Class” (1973): Glenda Jackson’s exceptional performance in “A Touch of Class” also earned her a BAFTA Award for Best Actress. Her portrayal of Vicki Allessio, a woman entangled in a whirlwind romance, showcased her ability to seamlessly transition between comedy and drama. Jackson’s natural charisma, impeccable comedic timing, and undeniable chemistry with her co-star cemented her status as a versatile and talented actress.

Glenda Jackson with Ruth Wilson for Vogue April 2019 King Leah Brodway - Photographed by Annie Leibovitz

Glenda Jackson’s two Academy Awards and three BAFTAs represent a legacy of brilliance and artistry. Her award-winning performances, characterised by depth, authenticity, and emotional resonance, have captivated audiences and shaped the landscape of cinema. Glenda Jackson’s remarkable talent and unwavering dedication continue to inspire generations of actors and actresses, leaving an indelible mark on the world of film.

Glenda Jackson died in Blackheath, London 15 June 2023.