Born In: London, England
Angela Lansbury was an Oscar-nominated actress, who was equally successful on stage, in films, and on television. She was a British-American actress with Irish roots. Moving to the United States in 1940 to escape the German bombarding of Britain during the ‘Second World War,’ she supported her family by doing petty jobs before being cast in major roles in films and on stage. Even before turning 21, she received two 'Academy Award' nominations for her performance in 'Gaslight' and 'The Picture of Dorian Gray,' becoming the youngest actress to do so. She failed to receive an ‘Emmy Award’ despite being nominated for 12 years straight, but has won six 'Golden Globe' awards and five 'Tony Awards.' She has charmed the audience with her performance in films like 'The Manchurian Candidate,' 'Bedknobs and Broomsticks,' and 'Death on the Nile.' She took critics by surprise with her portrayal of ‘Mame Dennis’ in the musical 'Mame.' She is most recognized for playing the lead in the detective series 'Murder, She Wrote.' She returned to stage and portrayed a number of critically acclaimed roles in plays like 'Deuce' and 'Blithe Spirit.'
Also Known As: Dame Angela Brigid Lansbury
Died At Age: 96
Spouse/Ex-: Peter Shaw (m. 1949), Richard Cromwell (m. 1945; div. 1946)
father: Edgar Lansbury, Edgar Lansbury Sr.
mother: Moyna Macgill
siblings: Bruce Lansbury (brother) Edgar Lansbury, Edgar Lansbury
children: Anthony Shaw, Deidre Angela Shaw
Born Country: England
place of death: Los Angeles, California
Notable Alumni: Webber Douglas Academy Of Dramatic Art
Ancestry: English Irish, British American, Irish American
City: London, England
education: Webber Douglas Academy Of Dramatic Art
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Angela Lansbury started her career in 1942, at the age of 16, when she worked as a nightclub act at the ‘Samovar Club,’ Montreal. She pretended to be 19 years old and earned $60 a week, singing Noël Coward songs.
She soon met John van Druten, one of the screenplay writers of the film version of 'Gaslight,' at a party hosted by her mother. He recommended her for the role of ‘Nancy Oliver,’ a conniving cockney maid, in the 1944 movie ‘Gaslight.’ She impressed the critics as well as the audience with her debut film role and earned an ‘Academy Award’ nomination for 'Best Supporting Actress.'
She hired an agent and signed a seven-year deal with MGM. In 1944, she acted alongside Elizabeth Taylor in the commercially successful film 'National Velvet.' The next year, she starred in the film adaptation of Oscar Wilde's novel 'The Picture of Dorian Gray.' The film did not do well commercially, but her performance earned her a ‘Golden Globe’ award and her second ‘Oscar’ nomination.
Throughout the next decade, she appeared in a number of MGM productions, including 'The Harvey Girls' (1946), 'State of the Union' (1948), and 'The Three Musketeers' (1948). She was often cast in negative roles, sometimes playing characters much older than her, which prompted her to end her contract with MGM. She then moved back to stage productions.
She debuted on Broadway in 1957, playing ‘Marcel Cat’ in the play 'Hotel Paradiso.' She received critical acclaim for her role and went on to feature in another Broadway production in 1960, 'A Taste of Honey.'
Following a couple of well-received roles in movies like 'The Dark at the Top of the Stairs' (1960) and 'All Fall Down' (1962), she was cast in the 1962 movie 'The Manchurian Candidate.' She earned her third ‘Academy Award’ nomination for her role of a scheming mother in the film.
In 1966, she got her first starring role on stage as ‘Mame Dennis’ in the musical 'Mame.' She surprised the critics with her song and dance routines, and received overwhelmingly positive reviews, winning her first 'Tony Award.'
She continued to appear in films in the next few years. She started to receive major roles in the 1970s, and played a countess in 'Something for Everyone.' In 1971, she was cast as ‘Miss Eglantine Price’ in the partially animated ‘Disney’ movie 'Bedknobs and Broomsticks.' She then played ‘Salome Otterbourne’ in 'Death on the Nile' (1978), a British mystery film based on Agatha Christie's novel.
In 1984, she chose to appear in the detective television series 'Murder, She Wrote,' despite her agents advising otherwise. Her portrayal of protagonist ‘Jessica Fletcher’ became one of her most remembered roles, which she would play for the next 12 years.
Even after the series ended in 1996, she continued to play ‘Jessica Fletcher’ in a number of telefilms based on the same storyline. She later appeared in another TV series titled 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' and then played an important role in the 2005 movie 'Nanny McPhee.'
In 2009, she returned to Broadway in a revival of the production ‘Blithe Spirit.’ For playing the role of ‘Madame Arcati,’ she earned her fifth ‘Tony Award’ and became one of the two artists with highest number of ‘Tony Awards’ after Julie Harris. She also earned her first ‘Olivier Award’ for her performance in the play.
Thereafter, she appeared in two other Broadway revival shows, such as ‘A Little Night Music’ and ‘The Best Man.’
In 2017, she was part of the BBC TV mini-series ‘Little Women.’ She also had a cameo role in ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ (2018), which is a sequel to the 1964 film of the same name.
Angela Lansbury received three 'Academy Award' nominations for 'Gaslight,' 'The Picture of Dorian Gray,' and 'The Manchurian Candidate.' She has also received 15 'Golden Globe' nominations throughout her career, winning six of them.
For her stage appearances, she received five 'Tony Awards.' She was nominated for 'Emmy Award' for 12 successive years for her portrayal of ‘Jessica Fletcher’ in the television series 'Murder, She Wrote.' However, she failed to win the award.
In 2014, she received an ‘Honorary Award’ by the ‘Academy Awards’ for being “an entertainment icon who has created some of cinema's most memorable characters, inspiring generations of actors.”
At the age of 19, Angela Lansbury eloped with actor Richard Cromwell and married soon after in 1945. However, the marriage ended in divorce within a year. It was reported that Cromwell was gay, which Lansbury was unaware of at the time of their marriage.
In 1949, she married actor Peter Shaw and lived together for over five decades till his death in 2003. They had two children, Anthony and Deirdre, both of whom later became part of the anti-establishment movement and started using recreational drugs. Anthony later became a television director, while Deirdre opened a restaurant.
Angela Lansbury died on October 11, 2022, at the age of 96, in Los Angeles, California.
Angela Lansbury Movies
(Thriller, Mystery, Film-Noir, Drama, Crime)
(Horror, Fantasy, Drama, Thriller, Mystery, Romance)
(Comedy, Family, Musical, Adventure)
(Sport, Family, Drama)
(Drama, Crime, Mystery)
(Romance, Action, Adventure, Drama)
|1992||Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama||Murder, She Wrote (1984)|
|1990||Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama||Murder, She Wrote (1984)|
|1987||Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama||Murder, She Wrote (1984)|
|1985||Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama||Murder, She Wrote (1984)|
|1963||Best Supporting Actress||The Manchurian Candidate (1962)|
|1946||Best Supporting Actress||The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)|
|1991||Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema||Winner|
|1985||Favorite Female Performer in a New TV Program||Winner|
|1980||Best Cast Show Album||Winner|
|1980||Best Engineered Recording, Classical||Winner|
|1967||Best Score From an Original Cast Show Album||Winner|
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