Glenda Jackson (1936-2023)

That wonderful actor has died. She had a striking presence on screen and was a consistent voice for progressive causes, and served as a member of the British parliament from 1992 until 2015, after which she went back to the stage to appear as King Lear in 2016.

Sir Michael Caine has described actress and former MP Glenda Jackson as “one of our greatest movie actresses” following her death aged 87.

Jackson won two Oscars, three Emmys, two Baftas and an Tony in an acting career which spanned six decades.

Sir Jonathan Pryce said he believed she was “the greatest actor that this country has ever produced”.

Back in 2018, I posted a clip of her delivering a blistering attack in parliament on Margaret Thatcher and Thatcherism when Thatcher died. Not for her the bogus pieties that people feel obliged to give to awful people when they die. A conservative lawmaker tried to get her censured for attacking Thatcher instead of paying a tribute but the Speaker shot that down.


  1. says

    After a run of four detestable individuals last week that kicked the bucket far too late. Now this week we have lost two of the good ones.

    Treat Williams, an american actor (stage, TV, and movies) was killed by a reckless SUV driver earlier this week. He wasn’t the biggest name in hollywood, but he appeared in many works for over 40 years. He was most famous for “Hair” (1979) and “Prince Of The City” (1981).

  2. says

    On the happier side of history, Kyu Sakamoto’s song “Ue o Muite Arukō” (or “Sukiyaki” as it was labelled in the US) began a three week run at #1 in the US charts in June 1963. Reportedly it sold 13 million copies, one of the most popular singles of all time.

    The irony of the song’s popularity in the US that it is a protest song, about the Anpo protests of 1960. Japanese citizens wanted US military bases removed from the country, but their government capitulated to the US.

  3. Silentbob says

    Gotta admit, I barely know who Jackson is -- but I remain mystified that some people think it’s appropriate, in a post paying tribute to a person, to immediately change the subject and talk about other people instead.

    Like, could you not?

  4. Silentbob says

    Mano, for the benefit of those of us who are unfamiliar, is there a particular performance or movie role you consider a high point of Jackson’s career we could check out?

  5. Silentbob says

    Okay, I did my own research and apparently Sunday Bloody Sunday (1970) and A Touch of Class (1973) were high points so I shall check those out.

  6. moarscienceplz says

    From the article linked by Mano:
    “A staunch Labour supporter, she was approached to stand for Parliament -- and said she agreed because she disliked former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the “destruction that her policies has had on human beings”.”
    I think Glenda would approve of her speach to Parliament being included as part of her memorial. As far as Silentbob’s clucking disdain goes, I wish he would take inspiration from his own handle.

  7. Mano Singham says


    Also check out Women in Love (based on the novel by D. H. Lawrence) and The Music Lovers (based on the life of Tchaikovsky)

  8. garnetstar says

    For me, the absolute highlight ot Jackson’s career was her portrayal of Elizabeth I in the six-part 1970’s BBC miniseries. The DVD’s of it are still sold. I am still slayed by it, and there will never be another Elizabeth I to me.

    In their parliament, the British get stirring progressive speeches delivered in a Royal Shakespeare Theater voice. In the USA, we get a flat-voiced bone-headed senator throwing a snowball to prove that climate change doesn’t exist. Sigh.

  9. outis says

    I personally have a soft spot for the 1980 movie “Hopscotch”, nominally a cold-war spy story but really a rather fine comedy.
    For some reason it’s visible on YT right now, in fact I watched it some days ago. Dig in before it’s gone.

  10. Mano Singham says

    outis @#9,

    Thanks for the tip about Hopscotch. I watched it and enjoyed it, though I would have liked Glenda Jackson to have had a bigger role.

    I wonder how many other good, older films are available on YouTube?

  11. KG says

    She was great in Elizabeth R. and Women in Love. She also had the sense and integrity to oppose the UK’s participation in the illegal invasion of Iraq, as a Labour MP. A life well lived.

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