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RADA alumni and Hampstead MP Glenda Jackson profile

Glenda Jackson talking about acting and politics

The inspirational MP and former RADA student Glenda Jackson speaks here about her links between acting and politics, the democratic process found in both and how one inspired the other.

About Glenda Jackson (Edited from IMDB)

Few in modern British history have come as far or achieved as much from humble beginnings as Glenda Jackson has. From acclaimed actress to respected MP (Member of Parliament), she is known for her high intelligence and meticulous approach to her work. She was born to a working-class household in Birkenhead, where her father was a bricklayer. When she was very young, her father was recruited into the Navy, where he worked aboard a minesweeper. She graduated from school at 16 and worked for a while in a pharmacy. However, she found this boring and dead-end and wanted better for herself. Her life changed forever when she was accepted into the prestigious Royal Acadamy of Dramatic Art (RADA) at the age of 18. Her work impressed all who observed it.

Her first work came on the stage, where she won a role in an adaptation of "Separate Tables", and made a positive impression on critics and audiences alike. This led to film roles... She first came to the public's notice when she won a supporting role in the controversial film Marat/Sade (1967), and is acknowledged to have stolen the show…Her first starring role came in the offbeat drama Negatives (1968)... The following year, controversial director Ken Russell gave her a starring role in his adaptation of the 1920s romance Women in Love (1969). The beautifully photographed film was a major success, and Jackson's performance won her an Academy Award for Best Actress. In the process, she became an international celebrity….

…[In 2973] Director Melvin Frank… cast her in the romantic comedy A Touch of Class (1973), co-starring George Segal…[and] won her a second Academy Award

…Her career remained at the top and in 1978 she was named Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

As the 1980s ended, Jackson continued to act, but became more focused on public affairs. She grew up in a household that was staunchly supportive of the Labour Party. She had disliked the policies of Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, even though she admired some of her personal attributes, and strongly disapproved of Thatcher's successor, John Major. She was unhappy with the direction of British government policies, and in 1992 ran for Parliament. Although running in an area (Hampstead and Highgate) which was not heavily supportive of her party, she won by a slim margin and immediately became its most famous newly elective member. However, those who expected that she would rest on her laurels and fame were mistaken. She immediately took an interest in transportation issues, and in 1997 was appointed Junior Transportation Minister by Prime Minister Tony Blair… She is considered a traditional Labour Party activist...