This dependable, saucer-eyed, often flamboyant character actress and occasional lead of features became a Broadway musical star in middle age and enjoyed a hit TV series in her golden years.
Angela Lansbury evolved from a young, saucer-eyed character actress and occasional leading lady in feature films to a Broadway star in her middle age and finally moved on to a hit television series in her golden years.
Angela Lansbury's early screen career began in 1944 with her acclaimed debut as the scheming, sexually provocative maid in "Gaslight", for which she received an Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination. She was only 19-years-old. Lansbury followed this achievement with a wonderful performance as the kindly heroine in Grand Guignol’s adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s "The Picture of Dorian Gray" in 1945.
Lansbury won a third Oscar nomination as Laurence Harvey's monstrous mother in "The Manchurian Candidate" (1962). Soon thereafter, however, Lansbury turned her energies to the musical stage. Over the next two decades she would do some of the most significant work of her career.
Lansbury had made her Broadway debut in 1957, but didn’t appear in her first musical, "Anyone Can Whistle" until 1964. In 1966 she hit it big with her role as the zestful, eccentric Mame Dennis in Jerry Herman's "Mame" for which she won a Tony Award. Her second Tony came in another of Herman's works, "Dear World" in 1969. Lansbury won a third Tony was for the Jule Styne-Stephen Sondheim musical "Gypsy" in 1975. She received her fourth Tony award in 1979 for role as the murderous Mrs. Lovett in Sondheim's "Sweeney Todd."
Lansbury garnered what has certainly been her widest audience as the warm and spunky mystery writer and sleuth Jessica Fletcher in "Murder, She Wrote," which ran from 1984 to 1996. Lansbury also lent her voice to the kindly tea kettle Mrs. Potts for Disney’s blockbuster "Beauty and the Beast" in 1991.
Along with Lansbury’s four Tony Awards and four Oscar nominations, she has also amassed a staggering 14 Emmy nominations, 15 Golden Globe nominations with three wins and a Kennedy Center Honor in 2000 for a lifetime of achievement in the arts.
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