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Angela Lansbury

Angela Lansbury

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Also Known As: Angela Brigid Lansbury Died:
Born: October 16, 1925 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: London, England, GB Profession: actor, singer, salesgirl

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

An incredibly talented, versatile and durable actress-singer, Angela Lansbury garnered the industry's top awards in film, theater and television in career that spanned more than 60 years. Nominated for an Oscar with her feature film debut in "Gaslight" (1944), Lansbury took home the prize for Best Supporting Actress the following year for her work in "The Picture of Dorian Gray" (1945). She made the often difficult transition from ingénue to mature actress appear easy in such lauded films as the classic political-thriller "The Manchurian Candidate" (1962). Lansbury began her multi-Tony Award-winning Broadway career with the 1966 production of "Mame," only to eclipse its success with her heralded starring turn in "Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" in 1979. More acclaimed theatrical work was still to come, although it would temporarily take a backseat to the role the actress would become most associated with in the years to come - that of matronly sleuth Jessica Fletcher on television's long-running "Murder, She Wrote" (CBS, 1984-1996). Lansbury gained still another generation of fans when she gave voice to Mrs. Potts in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" (1992) and played a kind-hearted...

An incredibly talented, versatile and durable actress-singer, Angela Lansbury garnered the industry's top awards in film, theater and television in career that spanned more than 60 years. Nominated for an Oscar with her feature film debut in "Gaslight" (1944), Lansbury took home the prize for Best Supporting Actress the following year for her work in "The Picture of Dorian Gray" (1945). She made the often difficult transition from ingénue to mature actress appear easy in such lauded films as the classic political-thriller "The Manchurian Candidate" (1962). Lansbury began her multi-Tony Award-winning Broadway career with the 1966 production of "Mame," only to eclipse its success with her heralded starring turn in "Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" in 1979. More acclaimed theatrical work was still to come, although it would temporarily take a backseat to the role the actress would become most associated with in the years to come - that of matronly sleuth Jessica Fletcher on television's long-running "Murder, She Wrote" (CBS, 1984-1996). Lansbury gained still another generation of fans when she gave voice to Mrs. Potts in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" (1992) and played a kind-hearted restaurateur opposite Jim Carrey in "Mr. Popper's Penguins" (2011). Admired by her peers and beloved by her fans, both young and old, Lansbury was, without a doubt, one of stage and screen's most treasured stars.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
3.
 Nanny McPhee (2006)
4.
5.
 Murder She Wrote: The Celtic Riddle (2003) Jessica Fletcher
6.
 Murder, She Wrote: The Last Free Man (2001) Jessica Fletcher; Sarah Mccullough
7.
 Murder, She Wrote: A Story to Die For (2000) Jessica Fletcher
8.
 Forever Hollywood (1999) Herself
9.
 Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax, The (1999) Mrs Pollifax
10.
 Fantasia 2000 (1999) Host
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1940:
Moved to America with family; first settled in NYC
1942:
Worked as a singer at the Samovar Club in Montreal
1942:
Family moved to Los Angeles
:
Signed to contract at MGM after a screen test
1944:
Nominated for an Academy Award for her film debut in "Gaslight" as the slightly malevolent maid Nancy
1945:
First leading lady role in film, "The Picture of Dorian Gray"; earned second Academy Award nomination
1946:
Portrayed a madam in "The Harvey Girls"; singing voice dubbed
1948:
Played a matronly newspaper editor in "State of the Union" (was only 23 years old)
:
Briefly went on unemployment in the early 1950s after her MGM contract expired
1953:
American TV debut, "Revlon Mirror Theater" (CBS)
1957:
Broadway debut, "Hotel Paradiso" co-starring Burt Lahr
1960:
Had stage success with the Broadway production of "A Taste of Honey"
1960:
Received critical attention for her performance in the film "The Dark at the Top of the Stairs"
1962:
Received third Academy Award nomination for her role in "The Manchurian Candidate"; played the mother of Laurence Harvey who was only three years her junior
1964:
First Broadway musical, "Anyone Can Whistle"; first collaboration with composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim
1966:
Cast in the title role of Mame Dennis in the Jerry Herman Broadway musical "Mame"
1968:
Re-teamed with Jerry Herman for the musical "Dear World"
1970:
Co-starred in the Harold Prince directed "Something for Everyone"
1971:
Appeared in the Disney animated-live action feature "Bedknobs and Broomsticks"; last film for seven years
:
Due to family problems, retreated to Ireland in the early 1970s
1972:
Made London stage debut in the Royal Shakespeare Company production of "All Over"
1974:
Cast in the role of Mama Rose in the Broadway revival of the musical "Gypsy"; lyrics provided by Stephen Sondheim
1978:
Played Anna for two weeks in the Broadway revival of "The King and I" opposite Yul Brynner
1978:
Returned to features as a dotty novelist in the Agatha Christie adaptation "Death on the Nile"
1979:
Triumphed as the Cockney baker Mrs. Lovett in Stephen Sondheim's "Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street: A Musical Thriller"
1980:
Portrayed the Agatha Christie sleuth Miss Marple in "The Mirror Crack'd"
1982:
Had featured role of Ruth in the film version of the New York Shakespeare Production of "The Pirates of Penzance"
1982:
Reprised role as Mrs. Lovett in the Showtime adaptation of "Sweeney Todd"
1982:
Portrayed Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in the NBC miniseries "Little Gloria...Happy at Last"
1984:
Starred as mystery writer and amateur detective Jessica Fletcher on hit TV series "Murder, She Wrote" (CBS)
1985:
Played Granny in Neil Jordan's "The Company of Wolves"
:
Formed Corymore Productions
1989:
Starred in the ABC "Hallmark Hall of Fame" presentation of "The Shell Seekers"
1991:
Voiced the character of Mrs Potts in Disney's animated "Beauty and the Beast"; sang Oscar-winning title song
1992:
Became executive producer of "Murder, She Wrote"
1992:
Starred in the CBS TV-movie "Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris," directed by son Anthony Shaw
1994:
Named a Comander of the British Empire
1996:
Production company, Corymore, signed development deal with Universal
1996:
Had title role in the CBS original musical "Mrs. Santa Claus"
1997:
Voiced the character of the Dowager Empress in the animated film "Anastasia"
1997:
Reprised signature role of Jessica Fletcher in the CBS TV-movie "Murder, She Wrote: South By Southwest"
2000:
Again played sleuth Jessica Fletcher in "Murder, She Wrote: A Story to Die For" (CBS)
2004:
Starred in the CBS drama "The Blackwater Lightship"; earned an Emmy nomination for Supporting Actress in a Miniseries
2005:
Earned an Emmy nomination for her guest starring role on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC)
2006:
Co-starred with Emma Thompson and Colin Firth in "Nanny McPhee"; also scripted by Thompson
2007:
Returned to Broadway to star opposite Marian Seldes as retired women tennis players in "Deuce"; earned a Tony nomination
2009:
Cast as Madame Arkati in the Broadway revival of Noel Coward's "Blithe Spirit"
2009:
Co-starred with Catherine Zeta-Jones in the Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's "A Little Night Music"; earned a Tony Award nomination for Featured Actress in a Musical
2011:
Co-starred opposite Jim Carrey in "Mr. Popper's Penguins"
2012:
Starred in Gore Vidal's "The Best Man" on Broadway
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

South Hampstead High School for Girls: -
Webber-Douglas School of Singing and Dramatic Art: - 1939 - 1940
Feagin School of Dramatic Art: New York , New York - 1940 - 1942

Notes

"Those were a couple of golden years for me, really they were, on Broadway. Unbelievable. Because I got to be everything I'd never had the chance to be in movies." --Angela Lansbury

Lansbury was named Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year by the Harvard Hasty Pudding Theatricals in 1968.

She was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 1982.

Lansbury has been nominated for 16 Emmy Awards without a win.

She was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Hall of Fame in 1996.

In 1997, Lansbury was presented with the National Medal of Arts by President Bill Clinton.

She underwent hip replacement surgery in 1998.

Lansbury was announced as the star of a new musical, "The Visit", set to premiere on Broadway in 2001. Because of family considerations, however, she was forced to withdraw. The producers reportedly were seeking a replacement for Lansbury (for whom the project was written by Terrence McNally and John Kander & Fred Ebb).

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Richard Cromwell. Actor. First husband; married on September 27, 1945; Cromwell moved out in 1946; divorced in August 1946 after Lansbury discovered he was a homosexual.
husband:
Peter Pullen Shaw. Agent, former actor. Introduced by mutual friend actor Hurd Hatfield; married on August 12, 1949; his second marriage; had son David with first wife; underwent heart surgery in June 2000; died Jan. 29, 2003, of congestive heart failure at age 84.

Family close complete family listing

grandfather:
George Lansbury. Politician. Leader of the Labour Party.
grandmother:
Elizabeth Jane Lansbury. Had twelve children with her husband; died in 1933.
grandfather:
Willie McIldowie. Solicitor, director of Belfast Opera.
grandmother:
Elizabeth McIldowie.
father:
Edgar Isaac Lansbury. Lumber merchant. Married Moyna Macgill in 1924; died of stomach cancer in 1934 at age 48.
mother:
Moyna Macgill. Actor. Born on December 10, 1895; formerly married to writer-director Reginald Denham; married Edgar Lansbury in 1924; died of throat cancer c. 1971.
brother:
Edgar Lansbury. Producer, director. Born on January 12, 1930 in London; produced London and Broadway revival of musical, "Gypsy" starring Angela; twin brother of Bruce Lansbury; father of actor David Lansbury.
brother:
Bruce Lansbury. Executive, producer. Born in January 12, 1930 in London; twin of Edgar.
step-son:
David Shaw. Director.
son:
Anthony Peter Shaw. Born in 1952; in the 1960s and early 70s, had serious addiction to heroin.
daughter:
Deirdre Angela Shaw. Born in 1953; in the 1960s was briefly involved with the Manson family; also suffered from substance abuse; underwent liver transplant in November 1998.
nephew:
David Lansbury. Actor. Son of Edgar Lansbury; married to Ally Sheedy.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Balancing Act: The Authorized Biography of Angela Lansbury" Little, Brown

Contributions

Rob Edelman ( 2006-03-14 )

Source: I am a co-author of this book.

Add to Bibliography:
Angela Lansbury: A Life on Stage and Screen, by Rob Edelman & Audrey Kupferberg (Birch Lane, 1996)

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