Angela Lansbury is a British-American actress and singer who has become a legendary figure in the entertainment industry. With a career spanning over seven decades, she has appeared in numerous films, TV dramas, and stage productions, earning her numerous awards, accolades, and honours.
Early Life and Career Beginnings
Angela Brigid Lansbury was born on October 16, 1925, in London, England, to Irish-born actress Moyna MacGill and politician Edgar Lansbury. She grew up in a family of entertainers, with her mother and two brothers all working in the theatre industry.
As a teenager, Lansbury discovered her love for acting and began training at the Webber Douglas School of Singing and Dramatic Art in London. She made her stage debut in 1940 at the age of 15, starring in a production of Gaslight in the West End.
Move to Hollywood and Film Career
In 1942, Lansbury moved to Hollywood with her mother to pursue a career in films. She landed her first major role in the MGM film Gaslight, for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She continued to star in a series of successful films in the 1940s and 1950s, including The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Harvey Girls, and State of the Union.
However, Lansbury’s breakthrough role came in 1962 when she starred as the manipulative mother in the thriller film The Manchurian Candidate, for which she received another Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She later appeared in other successful films such as Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Death on the Nile, and Beauty and the Beast, for which she provided the voice of Mrs. Potts.
Television Career and Success
Lansbury’s success in films led her to transition to television in the 1980s, starring in the hit crime drama series Murder, She Wrote. She played the role of amateur detective Jessica Fletcher, earning her multiple Emmy Award nominations and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Series. The show ran for 12 seasons and over 260 episodes, making it one of the longest-running detective dramas in television history.
Lansbury also appeared in other television series and made-for-TV movies throughout her career, including The Blackwater Lightship, Little Gloria…Happy at Last, and Mrs. Santa Claus.
Stage Career and Broadway Success
In addition to her film and television work, Lansbury has also had a successful stage career, starring in numerous Broadway productions. She made her Broadway debut in 1957 in the musical Hotel Paradiso, and went on to star in other successful productions such as Mame, Sweeney Todd, and Gypsy.
Lansbury has won five Tony Awards for her Broadway performances, making her one of the most successful actresses in the history of the award. In 2018, at the age of 92, she returned to the stage in a revival of the play The Chalk Garden in London’s West End.
Personal Life and Legacy
Lansbury has been married twice and has two children. She became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1951 and was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1994 for her services to drama.
Throughout her career, Lansbury has become an iconic figure in the entertainment industry. She has been recognized with numerous awards, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and has been inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame and the Television Hall of Fame. She has also been recognized for her philanthropic work, supporting charities such as The Motion Picture and Television Fund and The Actors Fund.
Angela Lansbury has had an incredible career spanning over seven decades, earning her a reputation as one of the greatest actresses in the entertainment industry. Her success in films, television, and stage productions has made her an iconic figure, admired and respected by both fans and fellow performers. With her talent, dedication, and commitment to her craft, Lansbury’s legacy will continue to inspire and influence generations of performers for years to come.
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