• Only one project lured two-time Academy Award winner Glenda Jackson back to the screen after an absence of 25 years: "Elizabeth Is Missing." The film is a mystery but so much more -- a powerful and moving look at dementia, a pressing emotional and financial issue for many nations with aging populations. Jackson plays a woman lost in the fog between the past and present. "This is something that as a society, we have to look at seriously," the actor said. "It's a big black hole." The 90-minute film aired in the U.K. in 2019 to great acclaim, and American viewers get a chance to see it starting Sunday via Masterpiece on PBS. Jackson, 84, plays the role of Maud, who is in the throes of Alzheimer's disease. Her home is covered with taped-up reminders and instructions -- "Don't forget to lock up" and "No more bread" -- and her pockets are stuffed with scrawled notes she wrote to remind herself of events and appointments. Jackson, who picked up Academy Awards for 1971's "Women In Love" and 1974's "A Touch of Class," swapped film and TV for politics in 1992 when she became a Labor Member of Parliament. Jackson says strangers have come up to her to share the toll the disease has taken on their families, both physically and emotionally. She's lately seen British politicians embrace the seriousness of dementia, especially in light of how covid-19 has ravaged nursing homes. "Let's hope it has a similar reaction to those people who are suffering from the reality of these diseases that it seems to have done in this country," Jackson said. "The need for care is going to increase in future."
• Mayim Bialik kicks off the new year as the lead in the new Fox comedy "Call Me Kat," which is based on the BBC sitcom "Miranda." "We're doing an American version, which means more of an American sensibility, so we've adjusted it around my quirks and my personality," said Bialik. "'Call Me Kat' is about a 39-year-old woman who doesn't have it all and is still happy. She is alone a lot, as women who are single tend to be, but that doesn't mean she's lonely." Bialik's career took off after playing a preteen version of Bette Midler in 1988's "Beaches," but for many she's most famous for her long run on "The Big Bang Theory." Of course Bialik is no stranger to playing a title character in a sitcom; she starred on "Blossom," which ran from 1991 to 1995.
This photo provided by PBS show Glenda Jackson in a scene from "Elizabeth Is Missing." Only one project lured the two-time Academy Award winner back to the screen after an absence of 25 years: “Elizabeth Is Missing.” The BBC film is a mystery but so much more — a powerful and moving look at dementia. Jackson plays a woman lost in the fog between the past and present. (Marsaili Mainz/STV Productions/PBS via AP)
FILE - In this May 6, 2019 file photo, Glenda Jackson attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the "Camp: Notes on Fashion" exhibition on in New York. Only one project lured the two-time Academy Award winner back to the screen after an absence of 25 years: “Elizabeth Is Missing.” The BBC film is a mystery but so much more — a powerful and moving look at dementia. Jackson plays a woman lost in the fog between the past and present. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)