Angela Lansbury's distinguished career includes successes in virtually
every area of the entertainment
spectrum. She has received an unprecedented
four Tony Award
s, three Academy Award nominations as well as ten Emmy Award
nominations for her many outstanding television appearances. She starred
for several seasons as the beloved 'Jessica Fletcher
' on the hugely popular
series "Murder, She Wrote" and recently reprised the role in a special
Lansbury was born in London, the daughter of a British lumber merchant
and a famous stage actress named Moyna Macgill, who was the toast of the
London stage in the 1920s and 30s. She began her own training as an actress
at the Webber-Douglas School for Dramatic Arts but was interrupted by the
start of World War II; along with her twin brothers Bruce and Edgar, and
the rest of her family, she moved to the United States. There, the young
aspiring actress enrolled at the Feagin School of Dramatic Arts in New
York. Eventually she joined the rest of the family in California. In 1944
director George Cukor cast the teenage actress in "Gaslight," and she became
a contract player at MGM. This first movie role won her an Academy Award
nomination for best supporting actress.
Lansbury received a second Oscar nomination for her portrayal of 'Sybil
Vane' in "The Picture of Dorian Gray" (1945). A variety of other films
followed including "National Velvet," "The Harvey Girls," "State of the
Union," "Samson and Delilah," "The Court Jester," "The Long Hot Summer,"
"The Manchurian Candidate" (for which she received her third Academy Award
nomination), "The World of Henry Orient," "Dear Heart," "Mister Buddwing,"
"Something for Everyone," "Bedknobs and Broomsticks," "Death on the Nile,"
"The Mirror Crack'd" and "The Company of Wolves." She was honored with
a British Academy Award for her lifetime achievement in over 40 motion
In 1957, Lansbury won critical acclaim for her Broadway debut in "Hotel
Paradiso." Three years later, at the urging of producer David Merrick,
she returned to the Broadway stage to star in the drama "A Taste of Honey."
She continued to demonstrate her versatility as a performer with her next
stage role in the Arthur Laurents/Stephen Sondheim musical "Anyone Can
Whistle." The actress became a Broadway star and won the first of her four
Tony Awards in 1966 with her tour de force performance as Mame Dennis in
the hit musical "Mame." She went on to win other Tonys as best actress
in a musical for her work in "Dear World," the revival of "Gypsy" and "Sweeney
Todd." Among her other prestigious stage credits are starring roles in
Peter Hall's 1975 National Theater Company production of "Hamlet" at the
Old Vic and in the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Edward Albee's
In television, Lansbury's credits include many "Golden Age of Television"
series, the mini- series "Little Gloria...Happy at Last," the broadcast
presentation of "Sweeney Todd," as well as the television films "A Talent
for Murder" (with Laurence Olivier), "TheShellSeekers"and"Mrs.SantaClaus.
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