Remembering Angela Lansbury

A Vintage Nerd, Angela Lansbury, Old Hollywood Blog, Classic Film Blog, History of Old Hollywood

We lost a shining star of stage, screen, and tv today. Angela Lansbury was born Angela Brigid Lansbury October 16, 1925 in Regents Park, London, England to an upper middle class family. She grew up with her Irish mother who was a stage actress, her English father who was a timber merchant and politician, her older half sister named Isolde, and her twin younger brothers. She often found escape in books and watching films in the cinema.

She began her career doing a nightclub act in Montreal claiming she was 19 but was instead 16. Eventually she went to Hollywood with her mother and brothers and it was there that she slowly started to etch out a career as a film actress. Her first film role was as a cockney maid named Nancy Oliver in Gaslight (1944). After this she signed seven-year contract at the age of 17 with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, earning $500 a week. She continued to worked in films from 1944 to her final role in 2022. She starred in films such as, National Velvet (1945), The Long, Hot Summer (1958), The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Bednobs and Broomsticks (1971), The Mirror Crack'd (1980, Beauty and the Beast (1991), and Mary Poppins Returns (2018). 

But she didn't stop with a successful film career. She went on to theater and starred in over 21 productions from 1957-2019. She also dabbled in television from 1950-2017 and starred in one of the roles she has become most famous for in a show called Murder, She Wrote (1984-1996). She starred as Jessica Fletcher, a mystery writer and amateur detective who finds herself solving the murders that happen around her. I grew up watching this show because of my grandma and those are memories of them both that stay in my minds eye.

Although she had a illustrious career she was most proud of her marriage to her husband Peter Shaw for over fifty years, her two children, three grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. She passed on peacefully in her sleep at the age of 96. 

I always thought she would stay around forever but I know that we are lucky that we can revisit her work over and over. It is through her work that we will always get to enjoy the gifts that Dame Angela Lansbury left to the world. 

A Vintage Nerd, Angela Lansbury, Old Hollywood Blog, Classic Film Blog, History of Old Hollywood

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  1. Such sad news. I love her in just about any movie, but one of my favorites is the tv made Christmas musical "Mrs. Santa Claus"; she was absolutely perfect for the role of Mrs. Claus!

    1. I feel the same as you! She was something special indeed! xox


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