Glenda Jackson - Thursday, December 31, 2015

Yes, 2015 is coming to an end.  Weird, right?  We remember when it was just beginning like it was yesterday.  We hope it was a good one for you, and that you had a chance to visit the American Treasure Tour at least once.  Things here keep changing and growing, and the blog is here to keep you updated on new treasures, old treasures, and treasures that may have been with us for years but we ourselves didn't even realize just how cool they were until now.  Today's subject is one of those in the last category.  And it's all about Glenda Jackson....

It's difficult to categorize someone of Ms. Jackson's many talents.  She was born in Cheshire, England in 1936 to a builder and a cleaning woman, but her aspirations were for the stage.  She made her first appearance at 21, and never looked back.  Admired in both England and the United States, she received two Academy Awards - for 1970's Women In Love and A Touch of Class  three years later.  In reviews of her performance as Ophelia in Shakespeare's Hamlet, one critic said she was ready to play the title character next.  She made many films appearances on film and television into the nineties, when she took a page from Ronald Reagan's book and retired to take a seat in the British Parliament in 1992 as a member of the House of Commons representing the Labour Party.  Really, that's the only thing she and Reagan shared, though, since they certainly did not agree on politics.  The liberal Jackson condemned the governments of both Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair for their conservatism.  

So, why would we talk about this distinguished British Actor/Politician, you ask?  Fair question! Hidden behind some of the wonderful machines at the Tour is a very special Glenda Jackson-related artifact:  a signed letter that she sent to a fan back in the 1980's.  What happened to bring the letter to Mr. Jenga, to whom she responded with this signed letter and photograph, into the American Treasure Tour's vast collection can only be speculated, but we are sure glad to have it!
QUESTION:  Women In Love, for which Jackson won her first Academy Award, was directed by British director Ken Russell.  Which of the following movies did Russell not direct?
A)  Tommy
B)  Dead Ringers
C)  Lair of the White Worm
D)  Altered States

LONGACRE SQUARE CELEBRATION.  The year was 1907.  New York City was - and remains - an incredible place to be for culture, dining, entertainment, and people crazy enough to want to stand outside on the last day of the year so that they can be together "when the ball drops." The location in Manhattan where these people gathered was changing from being called Longacre Square, named after a place in London, England and designated as a horse and carriage hub, to Times Square, named after one of the many newspaper companies looking for a chance at publicity. Now, of course, televised celebrations of the New Year's Eve celebration cover Times Square every year, and who knows will host them!

FAVA BEANS.  Since we dedicated today's blog to an incredibly talented British-born actor, why not celebrate the birth of another one?  So, happy birthday to you, Sir Anthony Hopkins! Born today in 1937, Sir Anthony is turning 78.  His acting career began at the age of 23, in theater.  Sorry, we're in Britain.  In "theatre."  That's better.  Anyway, his first major screen credit was in 1968's Lion in Winter as Richard I, and he has not looked back ever since.  His Best Actor Academy Award for playing Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs (the fava bean reference) and his impressive resume has garnered him the title for being one of the world's best actors of the day.  That, too, is something to celebrate.

QUOTE:  I love life because what else more is there? - Anthony Hopkins

ANSWER:  B)  Dead Ringers.   That was directed by Canadian director David Cronenberg.  We only recommend most of the above-listed films for people with a tolerance for strange films.