Page: 1

Angela Lansbury

MamasDoin'Fine Profile PhotoMamasDoin'Fine Profile Photo
MamasDoin'Fine
Broadway Legend
joined:9/28/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
9/28/08
Angela Lansbury#1
Posted: 6/13/10 at 9:18am
Angela Lansbury
Is Angela Lansbury Britain's most successful actress ever?
Star of 'Murder She Wrote' tells Andrew Johnson it's great to be in
the limelight once again at 84

To millions in Britain, she is the American queen of daytime
television: Jessica Fletcher, amateur sleuth of a certain age in
Murder, She Wrote. In America, though, Angela Lansbury, at 84, is the
British queen of Hollywood and Broadway.

Elizabeth Taylor with whom Lansbury co-starred in 1944's National
Velvet has a claim to the title of greatest British female acting
export. But Lansbury, who is nominated tonight for what would be a
record-breaking seventh Tony Award, is the greater success. She has
more film and TV credits than Taylor, is still working currently
treading the boards eight times a week along with fellow Brit
Catherine Zeta-Jones in the musical revival of Sondheim's A Little
Night Music on Broadway and has played everything from the evil Mrs
Iselin opposite Frank Sinatra in the 1962 thriller The Manchurian
Candidate to a prim English witch in 1971's Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

Despite her skill as an actress she has had three Oscar nominations
the plum starring roles have eluded her. But she believes this has
actually helped her career.

"I guess I didn't play the game the way some people learn to play the
game to get attention; to hire press agents; to put themselves about,
and publicise themselves in a way that they became household names,"
she said from her New York home.

"I don't think that would have been possible for me. I was always a
bit of an unknown quantity. You never knew where I was going to turn
up next. The closest I came to enjoying universal fame was in Murder,
She Wrote, and also on Broadway. Broadway fame is built on the
principle of the person having the talent to act in such a way as to
attract audiences. I knew that I didn't have the excruciating good
looks of a big movie star, but I did know that I had the chops of an
actress. And it was proven, thank God, over and over by great
directors hiring me to interpret their plays. I was always confident
in what I could do and the success I could achieve. There's no end to
the career you can have in the theatre and that has been the mainstay
of my theatrical life."

Lansbury was born in London and grew up in Hampstead where she was
educated at South Hampstead School for Girls. Her grandfather was the
Labour leader George Lansbury, her father a former mayor of Poplar and
her mother an actress. Politics never attracted her, however. "I'm not
clever enough to be a politician, to be frank," she said.

Her mother emigrated to America when Lansbury was in her early teens
but she retains traditional British politeness. "I've never stopped
feeling British," she said. "It's extraordinary. I'm as American as
most Americans are. We've all come from somewhere else. I'm an
immigrant and therefore I have retained a great deal of my Englishness
in the way I conduct my life and in my work ethic."
Angela Lansbury

Despite her numerous film credits, it is a role she took when she was
59 that made her internationally famous. She was nominated for an Emmy
award for each of the 12 years Murder, She Wrote ran between 1984 and
1996, without ever winning.

Tonight she will go head to head with Zeta-Jones who matched
Lansbury's 1994 CBE in yesterday's Queen's Birthday Honours for the
best actress in a musical accolade at the Tonys, America's biggest
theatrical award, for her role as Madame Armfeldt.

"You never take these events in your stride," she said of the awards.
"After all, it's a test and you don't know whether you have a chance.
You think maybe you do. You're not looking for it, but it's wonderful
to be nominated. It would be incredible to have the record.

"But when you're appearing in a show that's written by Hugh Wheeler
and Stephen Sondheim and directed by Sir Trevor Nunn, the chances are
you're going to get noticed. It was an offer I couldn't refuse in the
first place. I hadn't expected to come back to Broadway in a musical.
But this is a very rare piece of theatrical material.

"Catherine and I will be holding hands on the night, keeping our
fingers crossed."
Angela Lansbury


Updated On: 6/13/10 at 09:18 AM
Princeton2
Broadway Legend
joined:6/1/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/1/08
Angela Lansbury#2
Posted: 6/13/10 at 9:51am
Angela and Catherine arnt going head to head, they are in two different catagories.
devonian.t Profile Photodevonian.t Profile Photo
devonian.t
Broadway Legend
joined:7/26/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
7/26/04
Angela Lansbury#2
Posted: 6/13/10 at 10:25am
And to think Mama, she said goodnight to you at the Walter Kerr!
Princeton2
Broadway Legend
joined:6/1/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/1/08
Angela Lansbury#3
Posted: 6/13/10 at 10:58am
wasnt that the week she wasnt on?
Phantom of London Profile PhotoPhantom of London Profile Photo
Phantom of London
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/26/08
Angela Lansbury#4
Posted: 6/13/10 at 11:38pm
Desperately sorry that Angela has missed out on her 5th Tony, I thought she was brilliant when I saw her, earlier this year at the Walter Kerr Theatre.

Updated On: 6/14/10 at 11:38 PM
bob8rich Profile Photobob8rich Profile Photo
bob8rich
Broadway Legend
joined:10/19/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
10/19/03
Angela Lansbury#5
Posted: 6/14/10 at 3:55am
Actually, Phantom, she missed out on her SIXTH Tony (she's won four as Best Actress in a Musical - MAME, DEAR WORLD, GYPSY and SWEENEY TODD - and last year as Best Featured Actress in a Play for BLITHE SPIRIT.

There are a couple of other noteworthy facts about Mz Lansbury that the article does not mention. At one time she was the highest paid actress in world television (when Murder She Wrote was consistently number 1 in the US TV rankings and thus commanding huge advertising fees). And many years ago, Mandy Patinkin revealed a delightful anecdote during a TV interview. He commented how horrified he had been when he was told he had to audition for the role of George in Sunday In The Park (after winning the Tony for Evita he naively thought he wouldn't have to audition again!). He was told "everyone has to audition for Steve - apart from Angela". The fact that Angela was the only performer Sondheim would cast without having to see her audition for a particular role is testament to her immense talent. She is a true musical theatre legend.
THEATRE 2019: ASPECTS OF LOVE**** FRANKENSTEIN (Paris)**** AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE**** COMPANY***** [title of show]**** CAN CAN*** THE CEREAL CAFE**** BAD GIRLS**** RAGS***** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** FOLLIES***** ROMANCE ROMANCE**** THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES*** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** QUEEN OF THE MIST**** SIX** THE PRICE***** MAGGIE MAY **** CALENDAR GIRLS** MAN OF LA MANCHA**** WAITRESS***** FANNY AND STELLA***