Glenda Jackson, Multiple Oscar- and Emmy-Winning British Actress Who Served in Parliament, Dies at 87

The “Women in Love” actress returned to the stage after years in politics – and won a Tony

Glenda Jackson
poses in the 72nd Annual Tony Awards Media Room at 3 West Club on June 10, 2018 in New York City.

Glenda Jackson, a two-time Oscar and Emmy winner who left the craft for many years to pursue British politics – only to return to the stage and win a Tony in 2018 – has died, her agent confirmed. She was 87.

Jackson died peacefully at her London home after a brief illness, with her family at hand, according to Lionel Larner.

“She recently completed filming ‘The Great Escaper’ in which she co-starred with Michael Caine,” Larner wrote. “Today we lost one of the world’s greatest actresses, and I have lost a best friend of over 50 years.”

Jackson won Best Actress for “Women in Love” in 1969, and followed with another win for “A Touch of Class” in 1973. She also won two Emmys for playing Elizabeth I in a BBC miniseries, and after a long career in Parliament, returned to the stage for a Tony-winning turn in the 2018 revival “Three Tall Women.”

Jackson was born to working-class parents in London and ascended to the Royal Shakespeare Company in the mid-1960s, often receiving notice during her four years there. She was nominated for a Tony for her Broadway debut after the West End production of “Marat/Sade” ran in New York in 1966.

But it was “Women in Love” – including its infamous nude wrestling scene – that shot her to stardom and Oscar fame. She quickly proved it with another win in 1971, this time for a comedic turn in “A Touch of Class.”

Jackson retired from acting in 1992 to run for election to the House of Commons, where she represented Hampstead and Highgate as a member of the Labour Party. She became known for her left-leaning politics and staunch opposition to then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher – whom she excoriated even in death, delivering a fiery anti-Thatcher speech in the chamber in 2013.

Citing her age, she retired from politics – only to return to acting, and winning awards. She won her first Tony in 2018 and also appeared in a Broadway production of “King Lear.”