After decades of reviewing Glenda Jackson’s work, it was her intellect above all else that surprised critic after critic on stage and screen big and small.
That intelligence and intensity came up repeatedly in reviews, with many critics over the years observing that Jackson, who died Thursday at age 87, often seemed smarter than her material. Here, New York Times critics and writers will explore her early days on stage, her days as a movie star, and her later return as an actress after a long hiatus. Here is a sample of how she reviews her work. British parliament.
Glenda Jackson on stage is something to see. She’s a girl who’s gone mad, her eyes swollen with sleeping sickness are streaks red of an imaginary sunset, barefooted with bloody bandages and stomping on the dirty floors of Charenton asylum, weary. shaking her head as if Rotten cabbage on a stick. It was a performance so disquieting that it could only be erased from memory with a concentrated effort, an image that will undoubtedly linger long after London’s Marat/Sade returned across the sea. would be — Rex Reed
Miss Jackson is brilliant at playing a woman cursed with intelligence, her every gesture is acutely aware that her mind is about to run ahead, her humor is a kind of life-saving brake, and Acts as a life brake. update power. — Vincent Canby
both are mistakes [Vanessa] Redgrave and Miss Jackson have obvious intelligence, and “Mary, Queen of Scots” isn’t nearly as excruciating as some junk movies I can think of. It’s just solemn, manicured, and silly. — Vincent Canby
Melvin Frank’s A Touch of Class is a very patchy movie, very funny in parts and downright silly at times. Once the material matches their intellect, [George] Segal and Miss Jackson are very funny lovers. The first night you find yourself lying in bed on the “wrong” side of each other, arguing over how to change places with minimal fuss. There are also some great farce scenes that are more or less dedicated to the proposition that maintaining a love nest is fraught with danger at best. — Vincent Canby
Confusion sets in when it becomes clear that this strong-willed, strong-willed actress is playing Tomato, who wants nothing more in life than a few silly novels and a jogging partner. Janet Maslin
My only concern is that Miss Jackson isn’t on screen enough. …as Miss Jackson and Mr. [Walter] On “House Call,” Matthau demonstrates that the two are so compatible that you can even find a laugh in an exchange like this: how many hectares do you have? ” She: ”Two” — Vincent Canby
Her chin juts forward like a bow, her pixie eyes flip that regal demeanor, her widescreen mouth wraps around those slashing, relentless consonants – they’re all Exactly as you remember and want to be. Or, if you haven’t experienced it yet, please enjoy it. Either way, Glenda Jackson is back. Even better, she’s back in roles big enough to need her. — jessie green
Her monologues defiantly reach heaven, as if they were direct passages to a cruel and omnipotent God. Based on this highly intelligent performance, I have no doubt that she is. — Ben Brantley