JACKSON, GLENDA (b. 1936). A distinctive, strong actress, Glenda Jackson entered the British film industry in the late 1960s at a time when the industry began to falter following the cessation of U.S. funding. Jackson, primarily through her initial association with the flamboyant director Ken Russell,* made a powerful impact in her early films and she was never afraid to tackle difficult roles. Jackson, the daughter of a Liverpool bricklayer, supported herself after leaving school at sixteen while nurturing a desire to act. Theater director Peter Brook provided her initial break when he cast her as the assassin Charlotte Corday in The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton under the Direction of the Marquis De Sade in his 1964 award winning theatrical production. Two years later, Jackson reprised the role in the film adaptation before entering into a creative association with Russell, beginning with one of her best roles as Gudrun Brangwen in Women in Love (1969). This resulted in the first of her two Oscars for Best Actress—the second coming four years later in a totally different film, the Hollywood romantic comedy A Touch of Class (1973), co-starring George Segal.
The Jackson-Russell collaboration in the late 1960s and early 1970s was productive for both participants with films such as Music Lovers (1971), Russell's controversial interpretation of Peter Tchaikovsky's life, with Jackson cast as the unstable, sexually provocative Nina. This was followed by a cameo in Russell's homage to the Hollywood musical The Boy Friend (1971). In between these two films, Jackson was Alex Greville, caught in a romantic triangle with her lover Murray Head and his lover Peter Finch* in Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971). In this groundbreaking film, directed by John Schlesinger,* Jackson garnered another Oscar nomination and a BAFTA Award for Best Actress. Jackson was cast opposite a number of strong actors, such as Finch, Tony Britton, and Peggy Ashcroft and during this film she realized that in film acting you were playing to the cam-