April 8th, 2013
12:14 PM ET

Margaret Thatcher made an impression on pop culture

As Britain's first and so far only female prime minister, Margaret Thatcher often found herself under the glare of showbiz lights.

Though she herself was not an actress.

Thatcher, who died after a stroke on Monday, has been portrayed - and in some cases lampooned - throughout the years in film, TV and music. (Even her daughter Carol Thatcher entered the pop culture zeitgeist in 2005 when she won the very popular British show "I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!")

Here are just a few examples:

  • Thatcher was often shown as a tough task master in the British political parody puppet series, "Spitting Image":

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jINZBOxdja8&w=420&h=315%5D

  • The Thatcher puppet made another appearance in the 1986 music video for the Genesis song "Land of Confusion," which got heavy play in the States on MTV:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pkVLqSaahk&w=420&h=315%5D

  • The 1981 James Bond film "For Your Eyes Only" ended with a scene of actress Janet Brown as Thatcher reaching out to congratulate Bond on a mission well done:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hf67SPzC3tQ&w=420&h=315%5D

  • And here in the States, the most famous portrayal of the former prime minister is probably the much heralded performance of Meryl Streep in "The Iron Lady," for which Streep won an Oscar:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKPltuiEVJ8&w=560&h=315%5D

In a statement, Streep called Thatcher “a pioneer, willingly or unwillingly, for the role of women in politics."

"It is hard to imagine a part of our current history that has not been affected by measures she put forward in the UK at the end of the 20th century," Streep continued. "I was honored to try to imagine her late life journey, after power; but I have only a glancing understanding of what her many struggles were, and how she managed to sail through to the other side. I wish to convey my respectful condolences to her family and many friends.”

To read more about her influence on pop culture, check out Flare and fury: How artists lambasted Margaret Thatcher.

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Filed under: Celebrities • movies • Music • television

soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Taz

    Oh and they make fun of her in the musical Billy Elliott. There's a whole song mocking her called "Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher." It's freaking hilarious.

    April 9, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. IronGiantLady

    she was in a parady of MAD

    called Iron Giant Lady LOLZ

    April 8, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jason Hogg

    I see no joy, I see only sorrow, I see no chance of your bright new tomorrow, so stand down Margaret, stand down please

    April 8, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |



    April 8, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. M.E.

    This article misses Thatcher's biggest contribution to pop culture, her influence on British music in the 80's. She made pretty much all pop stars become tax exiles, forcing them to retreat to a wide range of exotic locales. This added to the undercurrents of darkness and tension in so much synthpop. Without the time spent in the skeezy underbelly of per-Giuliani New York, Soft Cell wouldn't be the Soft Cell we know. Without stints in Monserrat, southern France, and Australia, Duran Duran would be quite a bit different. Margaret Thatcher chased away art, and in doing so, made it that much better.

    April 8, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dennis Smith

      More directly, plenty of acts that stayed in Britain wrote songs criticizing Mrs. Thatcher, especially in response to the Falklands War.

      The Crass – "How Does It Feel to Be The Mother of a Thousand Dead?"
      Elvis Costello – Shipbuilding

      April 8, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. More Recognition

    time to go for some more recognition for HIM inside.....kapeesh

    April 8, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. *

    not my homey...he blos goats

    when he smokes the crack. Stretch is cray-cray.

    April 8, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. 2 yellow means hacked in...correct..

    sand bagged.

    April 8, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Thanks--

    Yennifer Loopez

    April 8, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Clearly not in sync....

    April 8, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. stretch checked too see if i was home sat night...

    no there babe

    April 8, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. duct tape...try that stretch

    April 8, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. I liked margaret thatcher in that movie Silkwood

    April 8, 2013 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. palintwit

    "Sarah Palin announces her candidacy for president of the United States" This is the headline I most wished for in 2011. Palin has the potential to eclipse the golden age of political comedy provided to comedians by George W. Bush. Her gaffes and missteps have secured her a place in the Dan Quayle political comedy museum.

    Who can forget Palin referring to the fighting in Libya as a "squirmish" - a word which sends my spell check into an endless loop. Or Palin sharing her foreign policy prowess with the comment: "But obviously, we've got to stand with our North Korean allies."

    And just a few months ago, she gave us this comedy classic: Paul Revere warned the British during the Revolutionary war.

    Ahh...I get a bit misty thinking about what could have been if Sarah ran for President.

    Don't get me wrong, from a comedic point of view, 2011 was a pretty good year, but I think we all can agree that it could have been funnier.

    April 8, 2013 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Emma

    Spring time is nice. Sometimes when we are outside you can smell the flowers. That is a nice happy smell.

    April 8, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Couple in ParaMoos Hysterical


    April 8, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  17. I Love too read.

    go Margaret

    April 8, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  18. S. Drive

    Cruelty is a beetch and a sickness.....go margaret

    April 8, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Mark

    Was she from Mexico? I like Mexican peoples. They make awesome tacos and burritos.

    April 8, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Thanks

    you made a note right?

    April 8, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Shikabane Hime

    Old Mag's was the INTELLIGENT (though cruel) Sara P of her time.

    April 8, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Madonna Machine

    stretch pants are out

    April 8, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Sarah

    Palin is awesome and wonderful. She looks like a stewardess in a p orn movie. That is cool.

    April 8, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Her glasses look hot. Like a n aughty librarian or n aughty teacher. Or stewardess. We need a president like her – one fun to look at.

      April 8, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Palin 2016

      When she is elected our next president, America should put Sarah Palin up on a pedestal as a shining beacon to the world, an example of what Freedom truly is and how a woman in the 21st century can become the leader of the most powerful nation on earth. This pedestal should be high enough that we can look up her dress (be sure to wear goggles so you don't get sand in your eyes).

      April 8, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emma

      LOL. 🙂

      April 8, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Crash Illness

    She needs a boob job.

    April 8, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  25. palintwit

    A few years ago Sarah Palin tried to arrange a meeting with Thatcher and was told to hit the road. Bwahahhahahahha !

    April 8, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |

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