Two time Oscar winner Glenda Jackson, who took a hiatus from acting for a 23-year-career in politics, has died at the age of 87 at her home in Blackheath, England. She was one of the few actresses to achieve the Triple Crown of Acting – three Emmy awards and a Tony, in addition to her two Oscars.
Born in Merseyside in 1936, Jackson, the oldest of four daughters born to an exceptionally poor family, moved to London at the age of 18 after winning a scholarship to the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Following a shaky acting-job free period from 1958 to 1961, Jackson would make her film debut in 1963’s This Sporting Life, before winning her first Oscar six year later in the starring role in the 1969 film adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s Women in Love. After several more years of impressive film performances, Jackson would win a second Best Actress Oscar, for the 1973 British romantic comedy, A Touch of Class, co-starring George Segal.
In 1993, Jackson took a sabbatical from acting to pursue her other passion – politics. Frustrated by the policies of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who she accused of ruining the nation, Jackson won a seat as a Labour party candidate, beating one of Thatcher’s former advisors. In 1997, after Labour’s landslide victory, Prime Minister John Major appointed Jackson a junior minister in charge of London transport. A fierce opponent of the Iraq War, Prime Minister Tony Blair, and the British monarchy, Jackson ended her political career in 2015, returning to acting.
Jackson’s most recent film role is in the still-to-be-released The Great Escaper, co-starring Michael Caine. The film is based on the true story of Bernard Jordan’s escape from his assisted living facility to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in France.
Jackson was married to Roy Hodges from 1958 to 1976 and is survived by one son, British newspaper columnist Dan Hodges. Jackson was 87.