Jackie Forster (née Jacqueline Moir Mackenzie) was born 6 November 1926 and died in London on 10 October 1998.[1] She married her novelist husband, Peter Forster in 1958 while she worked as a TV presenter and news reporter, but divorced him in 1962 when she realized her true sexual identity.[1] She is noted for being an Actress, a TV Personality, a Feminist and a Lesbian campaigner.[2]

Early History Edit

Jackie's father was a colonel in the Army Medical Corps and she spent her early years in India. When she was six, she was sent to boarding school in Britain at Wycombe Abbey and then to St Leonards School in Fife. During the war, she played Lacrosse and Hockey for Scotland.[1][3]

Jackie became an actress and joined the Wilson Barrett repertory company in Edinburgh before moving to London in 1950. She attended the London's Arts Theatre Club was in various West End productions and films before developing a successful career as a TV presenter and news reporter under the name of Jacqueline MacKenzie.[1][3][4]

From 1957 she was on a lecuture tour in North America for part of the year and was in Savannah, Georgia, when she had her first lesbian affair. Despite this she married the author Peter Forster in 1958, but the marriage was over within two years as she accepted her true sexual identity. They divorced in 1962 and she went to live in Canada.[1][3]

Quoting Jackie on her early lesbian experiences, she said 'I didn't see myself as being a Lesbian, or her, because I didn't look as I imagined they did, and nor did she. We weren't short back and sides and natty gent's suiting. I got the image from The Well of Lonliness, like we all did. There were drug stores around the States, with these pulp books, lurid stories about lesbians who smoked cigars and had orgies with young girls. I thought, Where are these women? We never met anyone we knew were lesbians. There were no other books that I found about lesbians, no films that we ever saw: nothing at all'.[5]

In 1964, Jackie returned to Britain to work for Border Television; and then eventually moved in with a girlfriend and her children in London.[3]

Activism Edit

In the 1960s she joined the Minorities Research Group and wrote for its journal, Arena Three. She would also regularly promote the magazine in the Gateways club.[6]

Later on, she 'came out' publicly in 1969 when she joined the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE) and went to serve on its Executive Committee.[7]

In 1970, she was a founder member of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) in London. She was on the first Gay Pride march in the UK in August 1971.

In 1972 she was one of the founders of Sappho, which was a social group and one of the UK's longest-running lesbian publications (Sappho magazine was published from 1972 to 1981, although the group continued to meet regularly for many more years). The Sappho group members used to meet in The Chepstow pub in Notting Hill and had public speakers such as Maureen Duffy and Anna Raeburn.

After Sappho, Jackie became a member of the a member of Greater London Council's Women's Committee.

From 1992 till her death in 1998 she was an active member of the Lesbian Archive and Information Centre management Committee.[8] In 1997 a BBC film crew came to the archive to film Jackie for a programme about her life which was to be part of 'The Day That Changed My Life' series. Her work has made a huge impact on shaping the archive.

Television and Film Appearances Edit

Caesar's Wife, 1951, television acting role.[9]

You're Only Young Twice, 1952, film acting role as Nellie.[1][10][11]

Love and Mr Lewisham, 1953, television acting role.[12]

The Wedding of Lili Marlene, 1953, film acting role as Theatre Barmaid.[1][13]

Serious Charge, 1953, repertory theatre acting role.[1]

The Broken Jug, 1953, television acting role as Grete.[14]

Gilbert Harding Finds Out, 1954, as straight-to-camera television reporter.[1]

Lilacs in the Spring, 1954, film acting role.[1]

The Dam Busters, 1955, film acting role as Canteen Waitress.[1]

You Can't Escape, 1955, television acting role as Mrs Baggerley.[15][16]

Grace Kelly's Monaco wedding to Prince Rainier, 1956, as straight-to-camera television reporter. Won a Prix D'Italia.[1]

Pantomania or Dick Wittington, 1956, television comedy acting role.[17][18]

Tonight, as straight-to-camera television reporter.[1]

Hotfoot and Highlight, as straight-to-camera television reporter.[1]

Panorama, as straight-to-camera television reporter.[1]

Late Night Extra, as straight-to-camera television reporter.[1]

Trouble for Two, 1958, television acting role in a sitcom.[1]

Discovering America, 1958-1960, as straight-to-camera television reporter.[1]

Jacqueline Mackenzie In America, as straight-to-camera television reporter.[1]

Speak for Yourself, 1974 as television co-scriptwriter.[1]

We Recruit, 1995, appearance in a Channel 4 television documentary about the Lesbian Avengers.[1][19]

From High Heels to Sensible Shoes, 1997, contributor to the BBC television series The Day That Changed My Life.[20][1]

Trivia Edit

References Edit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 Jackie Forster - The Knitting Circle
  2. p.270 From the Closet to the Screen - Jill Gardner ISBN 0863584276
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Brighton Ourstory - Jackie Forster, Winter 1998
  4. 4.0 4.1 Jackie MacKenzie - IMDB Entry
  5. p.34 From the Closet to the Screen - Jill Gardiner ISBN 0863584276
  6. p.122 From the Closet to the Screen - Jill Gardiner ISBN 0863584276
  7. PFI Profile - Jackie Forster
  8. LAIC at the Glasgow Women's Library
  9. BFI - Ceasar's Wife
  10. BFI - You're Only young Twice
  11. IMDB - You're Only Young Twice
  12. BFI - Love and Mr Lewisham
  13. IMDB - The Wedding of Lili Marlene
  14. BFI - The Broken Jug
  15. BFI - You can't Escape
  16. IMDB - You Can't Escape
  17. BFI - Pantomainia
  18. IMDB - Pantomania or Dick Wittington
  19. BFI - We Recruit
  20. BFI - From High Heels to Sensible Shoes

External linksEdit

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LGBT and Queer studies
Rainbow flag flapping in the wind

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