Two-time Oscar-winning actor and former UK politician Glenda Jackson has passed away peacefully at the age of 87 after a short illness.
“Glenda Jackson, 87, two-time Academy Award-winning actress and politician, passed away peacefully this morning at her home in London after a brief illness with her family by her side,” her agent Lionel Larner confirmed to CNN on Thursday.
“She recently finished filming ‘The Great Escaper,’ in which she stars alongside Michael Caine.”
Larner added a personal note about his relationship with Jackson: “Today we lost one of the greatest actresses in the world, and a great friend of over 50 years,” he said.
Born in the north-west English town of Birkenhead in 1936, Jackson joined amateur theater groups as a teenager before winning a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
After graduating he performed in London’s West End and made his Broadway debut in 1965 in a production of “Marat/Sade”.
The screen continued. She won her first Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance opposite Oliver Reed in the 1969 period drama “Women in Love.”
Her second came soon after, two years after her notable portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I in both the BBC biopic “Elizabeth R” and the historical drama “Mary, Queen of Scots”, in the 1973 romantic comedy “A Touch of Glass”.
He returned to politics in 1992, becoming a Labor MP when the party was in opposition. He was an MP for 23 years when his party won a landslide victory under Tony Blair.
At the time, Jackson was appointed the youngest Secretary of Transportation in 1997 and served for two years. He tried for Mayor of London in 2000, but lost to independent candidate Ken Livingstone.
He never achieved high positions in politics but was known for his fearlessness.
Jackson clashed with Blair when he led Britain to war in Iraq and was a staunch opponent of former Conservative prime minister Margaret Thatcher, memorably criticizing her on the day of her funeral in 2013.
“The first prime minister of the female sex, right. 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 acclaim in 2018 when she won a Tony Award for her appearance in the Broadway production of “Three Tall Women”.
According to IMDb, his latest screen project “The Great Escaper” is in post-production.