Angela Lansbury is a multi-Tony award-winning
actress who attained her greatest level of
fame in the 1980s, portraying middle-aged
mystery writer and amateur sleuth, Jessica
Fletcher, on the long-running light mystery
television series Murder, She Wrote (1984-96).
The British-born character actress initially
achieved success in films such as Gaslight,
The Picture of Dorian Gray, National Velvet,
State of the Union and 1962's The Manchurian
Candidate. She became the toast of Broadway
beginning in the 1960s in a number of popular
musicals, including Mame, Gypsy, and Sweeney
Biographical fast facts
Full or original name at birth: Angela Brigid Lansbury
Date, time and place of birth: October 16, 1925,
at 12:45 a.m., London, England *
Date, place and cause of death: (Alive as of 2012)
Spouse: Richard Cromwell (m. September 27, 1945 - August of 1946) (divorced)
Wedding took place in Independence, California, U.S.A.
Spouse: Peter Shaw (m. August 12, 1949 - January 29, 2003) (his death)
Wedding took place at St. Columba's Presbyterian Church of Scotland, in London, England.
Son: Anthony Peter Shaw (b. January 7, 1952, Balboa Ave.,
Stepson: David Shaw (b. 1944)
Daughter: Deirdre Angela Shaw (b. April 26, 1953,
Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital, Hollywood, California)
Siblings: Edgar Lansbury, Jr. and Bruce Lansbury
(Twins, b. January 12, 1930, London, England) (brothers)
Isolde Denham (d. May 1987) (half sister)
Father: Edgar Isaac Lansbury, Sr. (d. 1934) (a London merchant)
Mother: Moyna Macgill (an actress)
(b. December 10, 1895, Belfast, Ireland - d. November 25, 1975,
Los Angeles, California, of throat cancer)
Error corrections or clarifications
* Angela Lansbury was not born in "1926" as
some sources mistakenly claim, nor was she born in "New York"
as other sources erroneously report.
Career - Selected credits - Hobbies/sidelines - Residences
Angela Lansbury was the first child born to Edgar
Lansbury and Moyna Macgill. Angela was a sensitive,
timid little girl, who was known by her middle name,
Brigid, throughout her youth. Her shyness was such that
as a child, she literally hid behind her mother's skirt
when meeting strangers. Her mother was a noted British
actress and her father was a prominent local businessman.
Even in the midst of the Great Depression the Lansbury
family managed to employ two maids, a nanny, and a
cook. She recalls idyllic times spent at their rented
summer house in Berrick-Salome, Oxfordshire, near the
Thames River. Angela was just nine when she lost her
48 year-old father to cancer. To help the children
overcome the early loss of their father, relatives
tried to keep them busy. Angela was taken to the
movies and was introduced to live theater. She was
absolutely captivated by that introduction to the
stage. Thus the seeds of her future career in
entertainment were planted.
Angela Lansbury received her first Oscar nomination
for her motion picture debut as the impertinent maid,
opposite Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer, in 1944's
Gaslight. Her second Academy Award nomination
was for The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), and
the third for her portrayal of Laurence Harvey's
ruthless, diabolical mother in 1962's The Manchurian
Candidate. Other major film credits include,
National Velvet (1944), The Harvey Girls (1946),
State of the Union (1948), The Three Musketeers
(1948), Samson and Delilah (1949), The Court Jester
(1956), The Long, Hot Summer (1958), Blue Hawaii
(1961), The World of Henry Orient (1964), The Greatest
Story Ever Told (1965), Bedknobs and Broomsticks
(1971), Death on the Nile (1978), The Mirror Crack'd
(1980), The Pirates of Penzance (1983), and
Mr. Popper's Penguins (2011).
Murder, She Wrote ran from 1984-96, enjoyed
top ten ratings and introduced Angela Lansbury
to new generations of fans unfamiliar with her
notable film and stage credits. The long-running TV
series was a true family affair, with her husband
producing the show along with her sons, who also
occasionally directed episodes as well. Angela
Lansbury served as executive producer of the show
during its final years.
She was a frequent host of the annual Tony Awards
broadcast and personally took home a total of 5
Tony Awards for her stage work. Lansbury earned
her first Tony Award for Best Leading Actress
in a Musical (1966), for Mame. She won her subsequent
Tony awards for Dear World (1969), a Broadway revival
of Gypsy (1974), Sweeney Todd (1979) and 2009's
Blithe Spirit. In 2007, Lansbury returned to Broadway
in Terrence McNally's new play Deuce. Other than
a few one-night performances, she hadn't appeared on
stage in New York in over twenty years. She returned
to the Broadway stage in 2009 in a revival of the
award-winning comedy Blithe Spirit. She also
appeared on Broadway opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones
in the acclaimed revival of Stephen Sondheim's
classic, A Little Night Music.
During the broadcast of the 2010 Tony Awards,
she was named the first-ever Honorary Chairman
of the American Theatre Wing. In addition to
supporting education in theatre, the organization
recognizes excellence on stage with its annual
Antoinette Perry "Tony" Awards.
Tennis, horseback riding, painting (watercolor),
is an avid reader, and a pianist.
Residences of Angela Lansbury:
Note that these residences may no longer exist, and it's
possible the addresses have changed over the years.
This is not to suggest that Angela owned each and
every one of these structures. We're only reporting the
fact that she called them home at one point or another in
Hamilton Terrace, Regents Park, London, England
7 Weymouth Avenue, Mill Hill, London, England
635 Bonhill Road, Brentwood, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
8286 Mannix Drive, Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
24818 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, California, U.S.A.
44th floor of the Manhattan Plaza, West 43rd St., New York City, New York, U.S.A.
East 64th Street near Lexington Avenue, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
55 Morton Street, Greenwich Village, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
East 97th Street at Fifth Avenue, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
UN Plaza condominiums, First Ave. at 44th Street, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
6 East 94th Street, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
The most in-depth of more than three dozen
sources consulted in preparing this
profile: Balancing Act: The Authorized Biography of Angela Lansbury, by Martin Gottfried (1999) Angela Lansbury: A Biography, by Margaret Wander Bonanno (1987)
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