~~April 22, 2014~~
Dame Angela Brigid Lansbury, DBE (born 16 October 1925) is a British-American actress and singer who has appeared in theatre, television, and films.
Her career has spanned seven decades, much of it based in the United States, and her work has attracted international attention.
Lansbury was born in central London to actress Moyna MacGill and politician Edgar Lansbury. In 1940, she moved to New York City in the United States, where she studied acting. Proceeding to Hollywood, Los Angeles in 1942, she signed to MGM and got her first film roles, in Gaslight (1944), National Velvet, and The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), earning two Oscar nominations and a Golden Globe Award.
She appeared in eleven further MGM films, mostly in minor roles, and after her contract ended in 1952 she began supplementing her cinematic work with theatrical appearances. Although her appearance in the film adaptation of The Manchurian Candidate (1962) was widely acclaimed, she only gained theatrical stardom for her starring role in the Broadway musical Mame (1966).
Relocating from California to County Cork, Ireland in 1970, she continued with a variety of theatrical and cinematic appearances throughout that decade.
|Dame Angela Lansbury
Lansbury in January 2013
|Born||Angela Brigid Lansbury
16 October 1925
Regent’s Park, London, England
|Occupation||Actress, singer, producer, writer|
|Spouse(s)||Richard Cromwell (1945–46, div.)
Peter Shaw (1949–2003, his death)
|Children||Anthony Peter Shaw (born 1952)
Deirdre Angela Shaw (born 1953
Moving to television, in 1984 Lansbury achieved widespread fame as the fictional writer and sleuth Jessica Fletcher in the American murder mystery series Murder, She Wrote, which ran for twelve seasons until 1996, becoming one of the longest-running detective drama series in television history.
She assumed ownership of the series and was executive producer for the final four seasons. She also moved into voice work, thereby contributing to animated films like Beauty and the Beast (1991). Since then, she has toured prolifically in a variety of international productions, and continued to make occasional film appearances.
Lansbury has won five Tony Awards, six Golden Globes and has been nominated for numerous other industry awards, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress on three occasions, and various Primetime Emmy Awards on eighteen occasions. On November 16, 2013, Lansbury received an Honorary Oscar after seventy years’ work in the motion picture industry.
Lansbury describes herself as “an amalgam of British, Irish and American” although throughout her life has spoken with a British accent. Lansbury has been married twice; first to the actor Richard Cromwell, when she was 19 and Cromwell was 35. Cromwell and Lansbury eloped and were married in a small civil ceremony on September 27, 1945. The marriage ended in divorce in 1946 and they remained friends until his death in 1960.
In 1949 she married actor Peter Shaw, and they remained together for 54 years until his death in 2003; she asserted that “We had the perfect relationship. Not many people can say that.” They had two children, Anthony Peter Shaw (born January 7, 1952) and Deirdre Angela Shaw (born April 26, 1953). Lansbury repeatedly stated her desire to put her children before her career, but ended up leaving them in California when she was working in other parts of the country for long periods.
In the latter part of the 1960’s, both Anthony and Deirdre became involved in the growing counterculture movement and started using recreational drugs. Deirdre developed an acquaintance with the Manson family, while Anthony became addicted to cocaine and heroin, giving it up in 1971. Anthony became a television director, and directed 68 episodes of Murder, She Wrote, also marrying and having three children. Deirdre married a chef and together opened a restaurant in West Los Angeles. Lansbury’s cousins include the animator, writer and social activist Oliver Postgate, as well as the academic and novelist Coral Lansbury, whose son Malcolm Turnbull became a noted Australian politician.
As a young actress, Lansbury was a self-professed homebody, commenting that “I love the world of housekeeping.” She preferred spending quiet evenings inside with friends to the Hollywood night life. Her hobbies at the time included reading, horse riding, playing tennis, cooking, and playing the piano, also having a keen interest in gardening. In 2014, it was reported that she continued to enjoy gardening, and also enjoyed doing crosswords. She disliked flattery, and had what biographer Martin Gottfried described as “a profound sense of privacy.”
Angela Lansbury knows there is nothing like a dame, and now she is one.
It was announced in December 2013, that the beloved, British-born actress was on the list to receive damehood for her services to drama and to charitable work and philanthropy.
On Tuesday, April 15, 2014, Queen Elizabeth officially bestowed the DBE (Dame Commander of the British Empire) honor on Lansbury, 88, at Windsor Castle. Lansbury is currently starring in a production of Blithe Spirit in West End.
Dame Angela, who left Britain as a child, said: “It is a very proud day for me to be recognized by the country of my birth, and to meet the Queen under these circumstances is a rare and lovely occasion,” reports Sky News.
The “Murder, She Wrote” actress joins a select group of acting Dames, including Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. Lansbury already has a already has a CBE, or Commander of the British Empire.
Dame is the female equivalent of the honor of knighthood in the British honors system and several other countries such as Australia (The word “damehood” is rarely used but is shown on the official British Monarchy website as being the correct term). It is the equivalent form of address to “Sir” for knights.
A woman appointed to the grades of Dame Commander or Dame Grand Cross of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath, the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, the Royal Victorian Order, or the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire becomes a dame.
Because there is no female equivalent to a Knight Bachelor, women are always appointed to an order of chivalry. Women who are appointed to the Most Noble Order of the Garter or the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle are not given the title of “Dame” but “Lady“.
Formerly, a knight’s wife was given the title of “Dame” before her name, but this usage was replaced by “Lady” during the 17th century.
~~Angela Lansbury returns to London stage~~
~~Published on Jan 23, 2014~~
Murder, She Wrote star Angela Lansbury is returning to the London stage for the first time in almost 40 years at the theatre where her mother made her stage debut in 1918. She will play clairvoyant Madame Arcati in Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit – a role which won her a Tony award on Broadway.
We ALL are ONE!!