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Glenda Jackson, the two-time Oscar winner who left the industry for U.K. politics later in her career and recently returned to acting, is the recipient of the British Independent Film Awards’ Richard Harris Award.
The award, for outstanding contribution by an actor to the British film industry, was presented to her by The Crown star Josh O’Conner, who she appears alongside in upcoming film Mothering Sunday.
Previous recipients include Kristin Scott Thomas, Judi Dench, Vanessa Redgrave, Daniel Day-Lewis, Helena Bonham Carter, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Julie Walters, John Hurt, Emma Thompson and Jim Broadbent.
Having established herself as a stage star in the West End and Broadway in the 1960s, Jackson starred as Gudrun Brangwen in Ken Russell’s Women in Love, which secured her both international acclaim and the 1971 Academy Award for best actress in 1971. She followed this success with leading roles in The Music Lovers, Sunday Bloody Sunday and A Touch of Class, for which she won her second Oscar for her portrayal of a woman who has an affair with a married man.
In 1996, Jackson left acting to embark on a political career as a member of parliament for the Labour Party, returning 25 years later. In 2016 she starred as the title role in a West End production of King Lear, earning her a fifth Olivier Award nomination. Further acclaim – including a Tony Award – followed in 2018, when she appeared in the first Broadway staging of Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women. Most recently she was seen on the small screen in 2019, appearing in the TV movie Elizabeth Is Missing, for which she won the BAFTA award for leading actress.
“Glenda Jackson is a pioneer of stage and screen whose choice of roles has often challenged and changed the narrative around both class and female representation,” said BIFA. “Her incredible body of work has spanned many genres and generations and she remains, to this day, one of the U.K.’s most talented and beloved thespians.”
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