Glenda Jackson: Oscar-winning actress and former Labour MP dies aged 87 after ‘brief illness’

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Politician and award-winning actress Glenda Jackson has died at the age of 87 after a brief illness.

Actress and former Labour MP, Glenda Jackson, has died at the age of 87. Her agent, Lionel Larner, who confirmed her death in a statement, said the Oscar-winner died following a ‘brief illness’.

The statement read: "Glenda Jackson, two-time Academy Award-winning actress and politician, died peacefully at her home in Blackheath, London, this morning after a brief illness with her family at her side. She recently completed filming The Great Escaper in which she co-starred with Michael Caine."

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Wirral-born Jackson won the Oscar for best actress in 1970 for Women In Love and again three years later for A Touch Of Class, although she did not attend either ceremony. Despite her successful career in entertainment that saw her win two Emmys and a Tony, she said that she had little interest in the industry’s social and glamorous side, and devoted herself to politics in the 1990s.

Jackson was elected as the Labour MP for Hampstead and Highgate in 1992 and served as a junior transport minister under Sir Tony Blair from 1997 to 1999.  After resigning as a member of parliament in the 2015 general election, she returned to acting and won several awards, including a Bafta for best actress in 2020 for her role as a woman with dementia in Elizabeth Is Missing.

Tributes have since poured in for Jackson across social media from her former colleagues.

Tulip Siddiq, Labour MP for what is now the Hampstead and Kilburn constituency wrote on Twitter: "Devastated to hear that my predecessor Glenda Jackson has died. A formidable politician, an amazing actress and a very supportive mentor to me. Hampstead and Kilburn will miss you Glenda."

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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also described her death as "extremely sad news". He said: "Thoughts will be with her friends and family at this time."

Before her death, Jackson had reunited with fellow double Oscar winner Sir Michael Caine, with whom she had previously appeared in 1975’s The Romantic Englishwoman.

Glenda Jackson has died aged 87 (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)Glenda Jackson has died aged 87 (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
Glenda Jackson has died aged 87 (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage) | WireImage

The Great Escaper, their next film, is based on true events and tells the story of a WWII veteran who left his care facility in Hove, East Sussex, to attend a celebration of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in France.

Jackson, who was born in Birkenhead in 1936, said she only began acting after failing her school certificate, leaving her with little choice but to begin working at the age of 16.

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