“Glenda Jackson, two-time Academy Award-winning actress and politician, 87, died peacefully at her home in London this morning after a short illness with her family by her side,”according to her agent Lionel Larner, who spoke to CNN on Thursday.
“She recently completed filming ‘The Great Escaper’ in which she co-starred with Michael Caine.”
Regarding his friendship with Jackson, Larner also made a personal statement. “Today we lost one of the world’s greatest actresses and I have lost a best friend of over 50 years,” he said.
After her passing, Michael Caine, the final co-star of Jackson’s career, praised her as “one of our greatest movie actresses,” adding that it was “a privilege” to collaborate with her on their second collaboration, The Great Escaper.
“It was as wonderful an experience this time as it was 50 years ago. I shall miss her,” he continued.
Jackson, who was born in the English town of Birkenhead in 1936, joined an amateur theater company when he was a teenager before being awarded a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
She gained fame in London’s West End after graduating, and in 1965, she made her Broadway debut in a production of “Marat/Sade.”
The screen came next. She earned her first Academy Award for Best Actress for the part she played opposite Oliver Reed in the 1969 historical drama “Women in Love.”
Her second came soon after, for the 1973 romantic comedy “A Touch of Class”—two years after her well-known portrayals of Queen Elizabeth I in the BBC biopic “Elizabeth R” and the historical drama “Mary, Queen of Scots.”
She entered politics in 1992 and, when the party was in opposition, she was elected as a Labour MP. She served as an MP for 23 years, during which Tony Blair’s party easily won the election.
Jackson was designated a junior transport minister during that time and served in that capacity for two years. In 2000, she ran for mayor of London but was defeated by independent Ken Livingstone.
Although she never held positions of authority in politics, she became renowned for her courage.
Jackson, a fierce opponent of former Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, famously criticized her on the day of her funeral in 2013 after parting ways with Blair as he led Britain into the Iraq War.
“The first prime minister of female gender, ok. But a woman? Not on my terms,” she said.
In a statement sent on Twitter on Thursday, Blair stated that the “truly formidable” actor and MP “will be much missed.”
In addition to expressing his “great sadness” and offering his “sincere condolences” to “all who knew and loved her,” he also said that “Glenda brought the same great passion to her political life as she did in her long and glorious acting career.”
Jackson earned additional recognition when she won a Tony Award in 2018 for her performance in the Broadway production of “Three Tall Women.” The movie star made her theatrical comeback in 2016 by acting in a West End version of “King Lear.”
According to IMDb, “The Great Escaper,” her most recent on-screen endeavor, is still in post-production.
In a tweet, actor Michael Warburton, who most recently starred in the Netflix suspense film “The Strays,” said: “She really was a hugely talented, intelligent & charismatic Actress.”
In a tribute to the actor on Twitter, former professional boxer Frank Bruno of the United Kingdom wrote:
“RIP Glenda Jackson I remember when I was introduced to her she said “I understand you fight people for a living” I said Your a distinguished actress “Boxing is just show business with blood” She was a nice lady.”
Hampstead and Kilburn, a UK constituency represented by Labour MP Tulip Siddiq, tweeted:
“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.”