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Angela Lansbury

movie, Broadway, and television actress

Angela Lansbury

Angela Brigid Lansbury was born in London, England, on October 16, 1925. She was the daughter of actress Moyna MacGill (who appeared with her in The Picture of Dorian Gray and Kind Lady), and the granddaughter of George Lansbury, British Labour Party leader in the 1930's. She studied at the Webber-Douglas School of Singing and Dramatic Arts in London, and the Feagin School of Drama and Radio in New York City. She came to the United States with her family in 1940, and became a U.S. citizen in 1951. She married Richard Cromwell on September 27, 1945; the couple divorced in August 1946. On August 12, 1949, she married Peter Shaw, with whom she had two children (Anthony Peter and Deirdre Angela); Peter died on January 29, 2003.

Angela began her professional career while still a teenager, as a contract player with MGM. Her first feature film, Gaslight, was released in 1944, and she was nominated for her first Academy Award for that role in 1945. Since then she has appeared in some fifty films, and received a total of three Oscar nominations. She has also provided voices in several animated feature films. She made her first stage appearance in the 1957 production of Hotel Paradiso, and her first Broadway appearance came in the 1964 production of Anyone Can Whistle. She has the distinction of being the only actress to win a Tony every time she has been nominated (four times). But it is for her portrayal of mystery author Jessica Beatrice Fletcher in the television series Murder, She Wrote that Lansbury is probably best known. Debuting on CBS in 1984, the show enjoyed top ten ratings throughout its twelve-year run (till 1996).


Gaslight (1944)
National Velvet (1944)
The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Harvey Girls (1946)
The Hoodlum Saint (1946)
Till the Clouds Roll By (1946)
The Private Affairs of Bel Ami (1947)
If Winter Comes (1947)
Tenth Avenue Angel (1948)
If Winter Comes (1948)
State of the Union (1948)
The Three Musketeers (1948)
The Red Danube (1949)
Samson and Delilah (1949)
Kind Lady (1951)
Mutiny (1952)
Remains to Be Seen (1953)
A Life at Stake (1954)
A Lawless Street (1955)
The Purple Mask (1955)
Please Murder Me (1956)
The Court Jester (1956)
The Long, Hot Summer (1958)
The Reluctant Debutante (1958)
Summer of the Seventeenth Doll (1959)
The Dark at the Top of the Stairs (1960)
A Breath of Scandal (1960)
Blue Hawaii (1961)
All Fall Down (1962)
The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1962) voice, uncredited
In the Cool of Day (1963)
The World of Henry Orient (1964)
Dear Heart (1965)
The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders (1965)
Harlow (1965)
Mr. Buddwing (1966)
Something for Everyone (1970)
Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)
Death on the Nile (1978)
The Lady Vanishes (1979)
The Mirror Crack'd (1980)
The Last Unicorn (1982) voice
The Pirates of Penzance (1983)
The Company of Wolves (1984)
Beauty and the Beast (1991) voice
Disney Sing-Along-Songs: Be Our Guest (1994)
Anastasia (1996) voice
Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997) voice
Forever Hollywood: Fantasia 2000 (1999)
Nanny McPhee (2005)
Kingdom Hearts II (2005) voice


Hotel Paradiso (1957)
A Taste of Honey (1960)
Anyone Can Whistle (1964) first on Broadway
Mame (1966)
Dear World (1969)
Prettybelle (1971)
All Over (1972)
Gypsy (1973-1974)
Hamlet (1975)
Counting the Ways (1977)
Listening (1977)
Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979)
A Little Family Business (1982)
Deuce (2007)

Television Movies and Miniseries

Pontomime Quiz (1947)
The Indiscreet Mrs. Jarvis (1955)
The Story of the First Christmas Snow (1975) voice
Little Gloria... Happy at Last (1982)
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1982)
The Gift of Love: A Christmas Story (1983)
A Talent for Murder (1984)
Lace (1984)
The First Olympics: Athens 1896 (1984)
The Murder of Sherlock Holmes (1984)
Rage of Angels: The Story Continues (1986)
Shootdown (1988)
The Shell Seekers (1989)
The Love She Sought (1990)
Mrs. 'arris Goes to Paris (1992)
Mrs. Santa Claus (1996)
Murder, She Wrote: South by Southwest (1997)
The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax (1998)
Murder, She Wrote: A Story to Die For (2000)
Murder, She Wrote: The Last Free Man
Murder, She Wrote: The Celtic Riddle (2003)
The Blackwater Lightship (2004)
America's Top Sleuths (2006) as Jessica Fletcher


American National Medal of the Arts (National Endowment of the Arts)

BAFTA/LA Britannia Awards
2003 -- Lifetime Achievement in Television and Film

CableACE Awards
1983 -- Best Actress in a Theatrical or Musical Program -- Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Golden Globes
1946 -- Best Supporting Actress -- The Picture of Dorian Gray
1963 -- Best Supporting Actress -- The Manchurian Candidate
1985 -- Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series Drama -- Murder, She Wrote
1987 -- Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series Drama -- Murder, She Wrote
1990 -- Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series Drama -- Murder, She Wrote
1992 -- Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series Drama -- Murder, She Wrote

Grammy Awards
1966 -- Mame
1979 -- Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Hasty Pudding Theatricals, USA (Harvard University)
1968 -- Woman of the Year

Hollywood Walk of Fame
Motion Picture at 6623 Hollywood Boulevard
Television at 1510 Vine Street

John F. Kennedy Center Honors

Lucy Awards (Women in Film)

National Board of Review, USA
1962 -- Best Supporting Actress -- The Manchurian Candidate and All Fall Down
1978 -- Best Supporting Actress -- Death on the Nile

Raven Awards (Edgar Allan Poe Awards)

Sarah Siddons Woman of the Year Award
two-time winner

Screen Actors Guild Awards
1997 -- Life Achievement Award

Television Critics Association Awards
1996 -- Career Achievement Award

Theatre Hall of Fame

Tony Awards
1966 -- Best Actress in a Musical -- Mame
1969 -- Best Actress in a Musical -- Dear World
1975 -- Best Actress in a Musical -- Gypsy
1979 -- Best Actress in a Musical -- Sweeney Todd
[hosted or co-hosted 1968, 1971, 1987, 1988, 1989 -- more than any other individual]

TV Land Awards
2007 -- Favorite Lady Gumshoe -- Murder, She Wrote


Internet Movie Database

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The Robinson Library >> Dramatic Arts >> Biography: United States

This page was last updated on 09/12/2018.