London, England, UK
Anglican / Episcopalian
Claim to Fame
Murder, She Wrote
Actor/Actress, Producer, Soundtrack
Has Detailed Data (New)
Full Name at Birth
Angela Brigid Lansbury
Page Display = 2 (Legacy)
Edgar Lansbury, Bruce Lansbury
Beatrice Arthur, Katharine Hepburn
George Lansbury (grandfather) (British Labour Party leader in 1930s)
Balancing Act : The Authorized Biography of Angela Lansbury  (Martin Gottfried), Angela Lansbury : a life on stage and screen  (Rob Edelman and Audrey E. Kupferberg), Angela Lansbury : a biography  (Margaret Wander Bonanno)
Biography: Angela Lansbury: A Balancing Act 
Dame Angela Brigid Lansbury, DBE (born October 16, 1925) is an English-American actress and singer who has appeared in theatre, television, and films. Her career has spanned seven decades, much of it based in the United States, and her work has attracted international attention. She appeared in many films, including Bedknobs and Broomsticks (as "Miss Eglantine Price") and Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile.
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Has Detailed Data (76)
Music Profile Complete
Profile Bio Text
Angela Brigid Lansbury, CBE (born 16 October 1925) is a British American actress and singer in theatre, television and films. Her career has spanned seven decades and earned an unsurpassed number of performance Tony Awards (tied with Julie Harris and Audra McDonald), with five wins.
Born in East London to actress Moyna MacGill and politician Edgar Lansbury, in 1940 Lansbury moved to New York City, where she studied acting. Moving to Hollywood, Los Angeles in 1942, she signed to MGM and secured her first cinematic roles, in Gaslight (1944) and The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), earning two Oscar nominations and a Golden Globe Award. She appeared in 11 further MGM films, mostly in minor roles, and after her contract ended in 1952 she began supplementing her cinematic work with theatrical appearances. Although her appearance in the film adaptation of The Manchurian Candidate (1962) was widely acclaimed, she only gained theatrical stardom for her starring role in the Broadway musical Mame (1966). Relocating from California to County Cork, Ireland in 1970, she continued with a variety of theatrical and cinematic appearances throughout that decade.
Moving to television, in 1984 Lansbury achieved widespread fame as the fictional writer and sleuth Jessica Fletcher in the American murder mystery series Murder, She Wrote, which ran for 12 seasons until 1996. One of the longest-running detective drama series in television history, she assumed ownership of the series and was executive producer for the final 4 seasons. She also moved into voice work, thereby appearing in animated films like Beauty and the Beast (1991). Since, she has toured prolifically in a variety of international productions, and continued to make occasional cinematic appearances.
Lansbury has won five Tony Awards, six Golden Globes and has been nominated for numerous other industry awards, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress on three occasions, and various Primetime Emmy Awards on eighteen occasions. On November 16, 2013, Lansbury received an Honorary Oscar after 70 years' work in the motion picture industry.
Angela Brigid Lansbury was born to an upper middle class family in Poplar, East London, on 16 October 1925. Her mother was the Irish actress Moyna MacGill, who regularly appeared on stage in the West End and who also starred in several films. Her father was the wealthy English timber merchant and politician Edgar Lansbury, a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain and former mayor of the Metropolitan Borough of Poplar. Her paternal grandfather was the Labour Party leader and prominent pacifist activist George Lansbury, a man she felt "awed" by, considering him "a giant in my youth". Angela had an older half sister, Isolde, who was the offspring of Moyna's previous marriage to Reginald Denham. In January 1930, when Angela was four, her mother gave birth to twin boys, Bruce and Edgar, leading the Lansburys to move from their Poplar flat to a house at 7 Weymouth Avenue in Mill Hill, North London; at weekends they would retreat to a farm in Berrick Salome, Oxfordshire.
When Angela was nine, her father died from stomach cancer; she retreated into playing characters as a coping mechanism. Facing financial difficulty, her mother became engaged to a Scottish colonel, Leckie Forbes, and moved into his house in Hampstead, with Angela receiving an education at South Hampstead High School from 1934 until 1939. She nevertheless considered herself largely self-educated, learning from books, theater and cinema. She became a self-professed "complete movie maniac", visiting the cinema regularly and imagining herself as certain characters. Keen on playing the piano, she briefly studied music at the Ritman School of Dancing, and then in 1940 she began studying acting at the Webber Douglas School of Singing and Dramatic Art in Kensington, West London, first appearing onstage as a lady-in-waiting in the school's production of Maxwell Anderson's Mary of Scotland.
That year, Angela's grandfather died, and with the onset of The Blitz, MacGill decided to take Angela, Bruce and Edgar to the United States; Isolde remained in Britain with her new husband, actor Peter Ustinov. MacGill secured a job supervising sixty British children who were being evacuated to North America aboard the Duchess of Athol, arriving in Montreal, Canada, in mid-August. From there, she proceeded by train to New York City, where she was financially sponsored by the Wall Street businessman Charles T. Smith, moving in with his family at their home by Lake Mahopac. Angela gained a scholarship from the American Theatre Wing allowing her to study at the Feagin School of Drama and Radio, where she appeared in performances of William Congreve's The Way of the World and Oscar Wilde's Lady Windemere's Fan. She graduated in March 1942, by which time the family had moved to a flat on Morton Street, Greenwich
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