Not only is she one of the greatest actresses of her time, but at 86 she still finds joy and strength to perform 8 times per week in front of the live audience and apparently is having the time of her life. Please, God, may it not be her last Broadway production and let Ms. Lansbury entertain us for as long as she wish to!
You know what? To be perfectly honest, to my mind she is the greatest, at least in the English-speaking world. People can count Meryl Streepís and Katharine Hepburnís Oscar nominations and wins for as long as they want, but I just donít know a more versatile performer than Lansbury. Itís not that there is nothing she canít do itís the way she does it. She constantly amazes and surprised me with her performances by being so different and never going with the obvious choice. Gaslight, The Picture of Dorian Gray, State of the Union, The Manchurian Candidate, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Death on the Nile, Beauty and the Beast , Murder, She Wrote, Mame, Gypsy, Dear World, Sweeney Todd, Blithe Spirit, A Little Night Music Ė this an incredible legacy. The world Ďlegendaryíí is synonymous with her name and she is considerate to be the reigning queen of Broadway, but I still find Ms. Lansbury to be quite underrated and underappreciated outside the theater world. The vast majority of general public only know her as J.B. Fletcher from Murder, She Wrote and she canít even land at least one juicy supporting film role, the kind Dame Judi, Dame Maggie, Vanessa Redgrave and Shirley MacLaine are constantly getting, even though she really wants to. She has been nominated for an Academy Award 3 times, but failed to win even for The Manchurian Candidate although after rave reviews, the NBR and Golden Globe win she was considerate to be a shoo-in for the win, and then there are Emmy Awards that made her the biggest Emmy loser ever among performers with 18 (!) unsuccessful nominations. BroadwayWorld.com has posted this wonderful picture today of Lansbury and Lillian Gish standing together. Ms. Gish is 89 years old here. She made her last picture at 94 and lived to be 99. Letís hope Ms. Lansbury stays with us at least for that long and the the best is yet to come.
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