105 Facts About Angela Lansbury


Dame Angela Brigid Lansbury was an Irish-British and American actress and singer.


Angela Lansbury received the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award in 1996, the National Medal of the Arts in 1997, and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2000.


Angela Lansbury was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2014.


Angela Lansbury appeared in 11 further MGM films, mostly in minor roles, and after her contract ended in 1952.


Angela Lansbury was largely seen as a B-list star during this period, but her role in The Manchurian Candidate received widespread acclaim and is frequently ranked as one of her best performances.


Angela Lansbury went on to receive four more Tony Awards for her performances in Dear World, Gypsy, Sweeney Todd, and Blithe Spirit.


Angela Lansbury achieved worldwide fame as the sleuth Jessica Fletcher in the American whodunit series Murder, She Wrote, which ran for twelve seasons from 1984 to 1996, becoming one of the longest-running and most popular detective drama series in television history.


Angela Lansbury is known for her roles in family films such as Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Beauty and the Beast, Anastasia, Nanny McPhee, and Mary Poppins Returns.


Angela Brigid Lansbury was born to an upper-middle-class family on October 16,1925.


Angela Lansbury had an older half-sister, Isolde, from Macgill's previous marriage to Reginald Denham.


Angela Lansbury then received an education at South Hampstead High School from 1934 until 1939.


Angela Lansbury nevertheless considered herself largely self-educated, learning from books, theatre and cinema.


Angela Lansbury became a self-professed "complete movie maniac", visiting the cinema regularly.


Angela Lansbury then proceeded by train to New York City, where she was financially sponsored by a Wall Street businessman, Charles T Smith, moving in with his family at their home at Mahopac, New York.


Angela Lansbury gained a scholarship from the American Theatre Wing to study at the Feagin School of Drama and Radio, where she appeared in performances of William Congreve's The Way of the World and Oscar Wilde's Lady Windermere's Fan.


Angela Lansbury graduated in March 1942, by which time the family had moved to a flat in Morton Street, Greenwich Village.


Angela Lansbury returned to New York City in August 1942, but her mother had moved to Hollywood, Los Angeles, to resurrect her cinematic career; Angela Lansbury and her brothers followed.


At a party hosted by her mother, Angela Lansbury met John van Druten, who had recently co-authored a script for Gaslight, a mystery-thriller based on Patrick Hamilton's 1938 play, Gas Light.


Druten suggested that Angela Lansbury would be perfect for the role of Nancy Oliver, a cockney maid; she was accepted for the part, although, since she was only 17, a social worker had to accompany her on the set.


Gaslight received critical acclaim, and Angela Lansbury's performance was widely praised, earning her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.


Angela Lansbury next starred in The Picture of Dorian Gray, a cinematic adaptation of Wilde's 1890 novel of the same name, which was again set in Victorian London.


On September 27,1945, Angela Lansbury married Richard Cromwell, an artist and decorator whose acting career had come to a standstill.


Angela Lansbury filed for divorce within a year, it being granted on September 11,1946, but they remained friends until his death.


In 1946, Angela Lansbury played her first American character as Em, a honky-tonk saloon singer in the Oscar-winning Wild West musical The Harvey Girls; her singing was dubbed by Virginia Reese.


Angela Lansbury appeared in The Hoodlum Saint, Till the Clouds Roll By, If Winter Comes, Tenth Avenue Angel, The Three Musketeers, State of the Union and The Red Danube.


Angela Lansbury was loaned by MGM first to United Artists for The Private Affairs of Bel Ami, and then to Paramount for Samson and Delilah.


Angela Lansbury appeared as a villainous maidservant in Kind Lady and a French adventuress in Mutiny.


Unhappy with the roles she was being given by MGM, Angela Lansbury instructed her manager, Harry Friedman of MCA Inc.


Biographer Margaret Bonanno later stated that at this point, Angela Lansbury's career had "hit an all-time low".


Now with three children to care for, Angela Lansbury moved to a larger house in San Vicente Boulevard in Santa Monica.


Angela Lansbury later stated that "Hollywood made me old before my time", noting that in her twenties she was receiving fan mail from people who thought her in her forties.


Angela Lansbury played Helen, the boorish, verbally abusive mother of Josephine, remarking that she gained "a great deal of satisfaction" from the role.


Angela Lansbury had agreed to appear in the film after reading the original novel, describing it as "one of the most exciting political books I ever read".


Angela Lansbury appeared in The Greatest Story Ever Told, a cinematic biopic of Jesus, but was cut almost entirely from the final edit.


Angela Lansbury followed this with appearances as Mama Jean Bello in Harlow, as Lady Blystone in The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders, and as Gloria in Mister Buddwing.


In 1966, Angela Lansbury took on the title role of Mame Dennis in the musical Mame, Jerry Herman's musical adaptation of the 1955 novel Auntie Mame.


Angela Lansbury actively sought the role in the hope that it would mark a change in her career.


When she was chosen, it came as a surprise to theatre critics, who believed that the part would go to a better-known actress; Angela Lansbury was 41 years old, and it was her first starring role.


Mame Dennis was a glamorous character, with over 20 costume changes throughout the play, and Angela Lansbury's role involved ten songs and dance routines for which she trained extensively.


Angela Lansbury engaged in high-profile charitable endeavours, for instance appearing as the guest of honour at the 1967 March of Dimes annual benefit luncheon.


Angela Lansbury was invited to star in a musical performance for the 1968 Academy Awards ceremony, and co-hosted that year's Tony Awards with former brother-in-law Peter Ustinov.


Angela Lansbury considered this to be "one of my bitterest disappointments".


Angela Lansbury followed the success of Mame with a performance as Countess Aurelia, the 75-year-old Parisian eccentric in Dear World, a musical adaptation of Jean Giraudoux's The Madwoman of Chaillot.


Angela Lansbury later described the play as "a complete and utter fiasco", admitting that in her opinion, her "performance was awful".


Angela Lansbury later noted that as a big commercial success, this film "secured an enormous audience for me".


Angela Lansbury subsequently enrolled in the Webber-Douglas School, his mother's alma mater, and became a professional actor, before moving into television directing.


In 1972, Angela Lansbury returned to London's West End to perform in the Royal Shakespeare Company's theatrical production of Edward Albee's All Over at the Aldwych Theatre.


Angela Lansbury portrayed the mistress of a dying New England millionaire, and although the play's reviews were mixed, Lansbury's acting was widely praised.


Angela Lansbury initially turned down the role, not wishing to be in the shadow of Ethel Merman, who had portrayed the character in the original Broadway production.


Angela Lansbury disliked the role, later commenting that she found it "very trying playing restrained roles" such as Gertrude.


Angela Lansbury's mood was worsened by her mother's death in November 1975.


Reviews of the production were mixed, although Angela Lansbury was again singled out for praise.


In March 1979, Angela Lansbury appeared as Nellie Lovett in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, a Sondheim musical directed by Harold Prince.


Angela Lansbury returned to the role in October 1980 for a ten-month US tour; the production was filmed and broadcast on the Entertainment Channel.


In 1982, Angela Lansbury took on the role of an upper middle-class housewife who champions workers' rights in A Little Family Business, a farce set in Baltimore in which her son Anthony starred.


That year, Angela Lansbury was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame, and the following year appeared in a Mame revival at Broadway's Gershwin Theatre.


Angela Lansbury hoped to get away from the depiction of the role made famous by Margaret Rutherford, instead returning to Christie's description of the character.


Angela Lansbury was signed to appear in two sequels as Miss Marple, but these were never made.


Angela Lansbury had begun work for television, appearing in a 1982 television film with Bette Davis titled Little Gloria.


Two further miniseries featuring Angela Lansbury appeared in 1984: Lace and The First Olympics: Athens 1896.


In 1983, Angela Lansbury was offered two main television roles, one in a sitcom and the other in a detective drama series, Murder, She Wrote.


Angela Lansbury's decision was based on the appeal of the series' central character, Jessica Fletcher, a retired school teacher from the fictional town of Cabot Cove, Maine.


Angela Lansbury exerted creative input over Fletcher's costumes, makeup and hair, and rejected pressure from network executives to put the character in a relationship, believing that the character should remain a strong single woman.


When she believed that a scriptwriter had made Fletcher do or say things that did not fit with the character's personality, Angela Lansbury ensured that the script was changed.


Angela Lansbury commented that "I think it's the first time a show has really been aimed at the middle aged audience", and although it was most popular among senior citizens, it gradually gained a younger audience; by 1991, a third of viewers were under fifty.


Angela Lansbury was angry at the move, believing that it ignored the show's core audience.


The final episode aired on 8 May 1996, and ended with Angela Lansbury voicing a "Goodbye from Jessica" message.


Angela Lansbury initially had plans for a Murder, She Wrote television film that would be a musical with a score composed by Jerry Herman; that project did not materialize but resulted in the 1996 television film Mrs Santa Claus, with Angela Lansbury playing the eponymous character, which proved to be a ratings success.


Angela Lansbury considered the appearance to be a gift for her three grandchildren.


Angela Lansbury again lent her voice to an animated character, this time that of the Empress Dowager, for the 1997 film Anastasia.


Angela Lansbury felt that after this she would not take on any more major acting roles, perhaps only making cameo appearances.


Angela Lansbury appeared in a season six episode of the television show Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, for which she was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2005.


Angela Lansbury starred in the 2005 film Nanny McPhee as Aunt Adelaide, later informing an interviewer that working on it "pulled me out of the abyss" after her husband's death.


Angela Lansbury returned to Broadway after a 23-year absence in Deuce, a play by Terrence McNally that opened at the Music Box Theatre in May 2007 for an 18-week limited run.


Angela Lansbury received a Tony Award nomination for Best Leading Actress in a Play for her role.


From December 2009 to June 2010, Angela Lansbury then starred as Madame Armfeldt in a Broadway revival of A Little Night Music at the Walter Kerr Theatre.


Angela Lansbury then appeared in the 2011 film Mr Popper's Penguins, opposite Jim Carrey.


From March to July 2012, Angela Lansbury appeared as women's rights advocate Sue-Ellen Gamadge in the Broadway revival of Gore Vidal's The Best Man at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre.


In 2014, Angela Lansbury was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.


From March 2014, Angela Lansbury reprised her performance as Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit at the Gielgud Theatre in London's West End, her first London stage appearance in nearly 40 years.


Angela Lansbury agreed to star as Mrs St Maugham in a Broadway run of Enid Bagnold's 1955 play The Chalk Garden, although later acknowledged that she no longer had the stamina for eight performances a week.


Angela Lansbury made her final film appearance, a cameo role as herself, in the 2022 film Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.


Angela Lansbury died in her sleep at her Los Angeles home on October 11,2022, five days before her 97th birthday.


Angela Lansbury became a US citizen in 1951, while retaining her British citizenship.


Angela Lansbury was a profoundly private person, and disliked attempts at flattery.


In 1949, Angela Lansbury married actor and producer Peter Shaw, and they remained until he died in 2003.


Angela Lansbury had three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren at the time of her death in 2022.


Angela Lansbury was a cousin of the Postgate family, including the animator and activist Oliver Postgate.


Angela Lansbury was a cousin of the academic and novelist Coral Lansbury, whose son Malcolm Turnbull was Prime Minister of Australia from 2015 to 2018.


Angela Lansbury preferred to spend quiet evenings with her friends inside her house because she did not like to engage in Hollywood nightlife.


Angela Lansbury cited F Scott Fitzgerald as her favourite author, and Roseanne and Seinfeld among her favourite television shows.


Angela Lansbury was an avid letter writer who wrote letters by hand and made copies of all of them.


At Howard Gotlieb's request, Angela Lansbury's papers are housed at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University.


Angela Lansbury brought up her children as Episcopalians, but they were not members of a congregation.


Angela Lansbury supported various charities, particularly those combating domestic abuse and rehabilitating drug users.


Angela Lansbury was a chain smoker in early life, but quit smoking in the mid-1960s.


Angela Lansbury underwent hip replacement surgery in May 1994, followed by knee replacement surgery in 2005.


Angela Lansbury described herself as an actress who could sing, although in her early film appearances her singing was repeatedly dubbed; Sondheim stated that she had a strong voice, albeit with a limited range.


Angela Lansbury described herself as being "very proud of the fact", attributing her popularity among gay people to her performance in Mame; an article in The Philadelphia Inquirer suggested that Murder, Angela Lansbury Wrote had further broadened her appeal with that demographic.


Angela Lansbury was recognised for her achievements in Britain on multiple occasions.


Angela Lansbury was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1994 Birthday Honours, and subsequently was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to drama, charitable work, and philanthropy.


Angela Lansbury won six Golden Globe Awards and a People's Choice Awards for her television and film work.


Angela Lansbury never won an Emmy Award despite 18 nominations.


Angela Lansbury was nominated three times for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, but never won.


The actors Emma Thompson and Geoffrey Rush offered tributes at the Governors Awards where the ceremony was held, and Robert Osborne of Turner Classic Movies presented her with the Oscar, stating that "Angela Lansbury has been adding class, talent, beauty, and intelligence to the movies" since 1944.