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Glenda Jackson

9 of 13 portraits of Glenda Jackson

© Mayotte Magnus / National Portrait Gallery, London

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Glenda Jackson

by Mayotte Magnus
bromide print, May 1977
16 in. x 12 1/8 in. (406 mm x 308 mm)
Purchased, 1977
Photographs Collection
NPG x18618

Sitterback to top

  • Glenda May Jackson (1936-), Actress and politician; MP for Hampstead & Kilburn. Sitter in 13 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Mayotte Magnus (1934-), Photographer; wife of Jorge ('J.S.') Lewinski. Artist of 82 portraits, Sitter in 2 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Magnus, who described Jackson as a ‘sad clown’, captured the actress’s physical and inner strength as she prepared to play the poet Stevie Smith. Jackson, whose characterisation was deemed uncanny, thought the poet ‘a very strong woman, tempered in fairly fierce fires.’

Linked publicationsback to top

  • 100 Photographs, 2018, p. 103 Read entry

    Glenda Jackson (b.1936) made her stage debut in 1957. During her film career she won Oscars for performances in Women in Love (1969) and A Touch of Class (1973). Jackson was the Labour Member of Parliament for Hampstead and Highgate from 1992 to 2010 and for Hampstead and Kilburn from 2010 before standing down in 2015. On taking up photography, Mayotte Magnus (b.1934) won an Ilford photographic prize in 1972, and exhibited her portraits of eminent women at the National Portrait Gallery in 1977. Her numerous projects included collaborations with her late husband Jorge Lewinski. Magnus captured inner and physical strength in her portrait of Jackson, who was preparing for her role as the poet Stevie Smith. Magnus described the actress as a ‘sad clown’.

Events of 1977back to top

Current affairs

In celebration of her 25th year as Queen, Elizabeth II tours the British Isles visiting communities and schools in 36 counties, before touring the commonwealth. Across the country people held street parties to celebrate the occasion; there were 4,000 street parties in London alone.

Art and science

British punk rockers, The Sex Pistols, release the single, God Save The Queen to coincide with the Silvery Jubilee celebrations. The single reached Number 2 in the charts among claims that it was being kept off the top spot for political reasons. The band was arrested for trying to perform the song from a boat on the Thames during the Queen's Royal Progress trip down the river.


Elvis Presley dies of a heart attack aged 42. His body was discovered collapsed on the bathroom floor of his Graceland mansion in Memphis by his fiancée Ginger Alden. Rumours that the star is actually still alive but in hiding continue to perpetuate among diehard fans.

Tell us more back to top

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