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Angela Lansbury

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 Todd.

Angela Lansbury
Angela Lansbury
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)

Marriage #1
Spouse: Richard Cromwell (m. September 27, 1945 - August of 1946) (divorced)
Wedding took place in Independence, California, U.S.A.

Marriage #2
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., Encino, California)
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 her life.

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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