Glenda Jackson, Oscar-winning British performer and politician, dies

English actress Glenda Jackson, UK, April 1971. (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Glenda Jackson, a two-time Academy Award-winning performer who had a second career in politics as a British lawmaker before an acclaimed late-life return to stage and screen, has died at 87.

Jackson's agent Lionel Larner said she died Thursday at her home in London after a short illness. He said she had recently completed filming "‘The Great Escaper," in which co-starred with Michael Caine.

Born in 1936 in Birkhenhead, northwest England, Jackson trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. She became one of the biggest British stars of the 1960s and 70s, and won two Academy Awards, for "Women in Love" in 1971 and "A Touch of Class" in 1974.


Glenda Jackson attends the 65th Evening Standard Theatre Awards at the London Coliseum on November 24, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)

She then went into politics, winning election to Parliament in 1992. She spent 23 years as a Labour Party lawmaker, serving as a minister for transport in Prime Minister Tony Blair’s first government in 1997.

She came to be at odds with Blair over the 2003 invasion of Iraq. She said Blair's decision to enter the U.S.-led war without United Nations' authorization left her "deeply, deeply ashamed."

"The victims will be as they always are, women, children, the elderly," she told The Associated Press before the invasion.

Jackson returned to acting after leaving Parliament in 2015 and had some of her most acclaimed roles, including the title character in Shakespeare's "King Lear." It opened at London's Old Vic in 2016 and later played on Broadway.


British actress Glenda Jackson with her Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the film 'Women in Love', May 1971. (Photo by Mike Lawn/Fox Photos//Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

She had her first film role in a quarter century in the 2019 movie "Elizabeth is Missing." Jackson won a BAFTA award, Britain's equivalent of an Oscar, for her performance as a woman with Alzheimer's trying to solve a mystery.

Tulip Siddiq, Jackson's successor as Labour lawmaker for the London seat of Hampstead and Kilburn, said she was "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," Siddiq wrote on Twitter.