Veteran British thespian Glenda Jackson has been recognized as the latest recipient of the Richard Harris Award by the British Independent Film Awards (BIFA).
The award is conferred for outstanding contribution by an actor to the British film industry. The award was presented to her by her co-star in the upcoming film “Mothering Sunday,” Josh O’Connor.
Previous winners include Kristin Scott Thomas, Judi Dench and Vanessa Redgrave, Daniel Day-Lewis, Helena Bonham Carter, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Julie Walters, John Hurt, Emma Thompson and Jim Broadbent.
Jackson won leading actress at the BAFTA TV awards 2020 for her role in “Elizabeth is Missing” (pictured).
Jackson won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. After graduating she was soon discovered by the legendary Peter Brook for his “Theatre of Cruelty” revue, and went on to appear in plays across the West End and Broadway. In 1970, she starred as artist Gudrun Brangwen in Ken Russell’s “Women in Love,” which won her the best actress Oscar in 1971. She had leading roles in “The Music Lovers,” “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “A Touch of Class,” for which she won her second Oscar.
In 1992, Jackson left acting to embark on a political career winning a seat in the House of Commons as a Labour Party candidate and serving as junior transport minister from 1997-1999.
After politics, she resumed her acting career following a 25-year absence. In 2018, she appeared in the first Broadway staging of Edward Albee’s “Three Tall Women,” for which she won a Tony.
Jackson was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1978.
BIFA said: “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. 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. Not only a multi award-winning actress but also a respected parliamentarian, her return to her craft in recent years, to much critical acclaim and joy, has been a triumph. Her contribution to the British film industry has been lasting and impactful and we are thrilled to honour her and her incredible body of work with this award.”
“I was very surprised to receive this award; it’s very kind of BIFA,” Jackson said.