Sunday, October 16, 2011

Happy Birthday: Angela Lansbury!

Angela Lansbury(born 16 October 1925), is an English actress and singer in theatre, television and motion pictures, whose career has spanned eight decades. Sometimes, she performed in roles older than her actual age. Her first film performance was in,

Gaslight (1944). Angela Lansbury was only 17 when she made this, her film debut, as a saucy Cockney maid. She had been working at Bullocks Department Store in Los Angeles and when she told her boss that she was leaving, he offered to match the pay at her new job. Expecting it to be $27 a week, he was surprised when she told him she would be earning $500 a week.

The Harvey Girls (1946). Angela Lansbury, was often hissed at in public because she played Judy Garland's rival and Garland was so beloved by the public.

Video: Background story for the film, The Harvey Girls.

Samson and Delilah (1949). Phyllis Calvert, was originally cast as Semadar, but because of illness was replaced by Angela Lansbury.

Blue Hawaii (1961). Angela Lansbury, who played Elvis' mother, was only 35 years old when the movie was filmed, only 10 years older than Elvis.

Disney's Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971). Musical film based on the books The Magic Bed Knob or, How to Become a Witch in Ten Easy Lessons and Bonfires and Broomsticks by Mary Norton.

The film is often compared to Mary Poppins (1964): combining live action and animation set in London. It shares some of the cast from Mary Poppins, Tomlinson, Reginald Owen (in his last film role), songwriters the Sherman Brothers, director Robert Stevenson, art director Peter Ellenshaw and music director, Irwin Kostal.

Leslie Caron, Lynn Redgrave, Judy Carne, and Julie Andrews were all considered for the role of Eglantine Price before the Disney studio decided on Angela Lansbury. It won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

She had a prominent supporting role in the 1962 film, The Manchurian Candidate(1962), in which she played, Mrs. Iselin. Angela Lansbury, was thirty-six at the time of filming, only three years older than Laurence Harvey, who played her son.

After many years performing mostly on the stage, Lansbury returned to film in, Death on the Nile (1978). In this Agatha Christie story, Angela Lansbury plays the author Salome Otterbourne in, Death 'N Denial (also whodunits, where Lansbury is the heroine sleuth), playing in Egypt, a character is called Sally Otterburn.

Video: First of 12.

Angela Lansbury(age 54), went on to perform as Miss Marple in, the film, The Mirror Crack'd (1980). Half of the plot was inspired by the real life drama of Gene Tierney and her husband Oleg Cassini. After a measles-infected fan broke quarantine and rushed up to the pregnant Tierney to kiss her, the actress gave birth to a daughter, Daria, who is still in a care facility.

She began doing character voice work in animated films: The Last Unicorn (1982) and Anastasia (1997) and as the singing teapot Mrs. Potts, in the 1991 Disney film, Beauty and the Beast, in which she performed the title song. She reprised this role in Beauty and the Beast, The Enchanted Christmas (1997).

Although, she was nominated three times for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, she has never won nor did she win any of the eighteen Emmy Awards for which she was nominated over a thirty-three-year period. She holds the record for the most Prime time Emmy losses by a performer. She said that she was at first "terribly disappointed, but in the end very glad that she did not win", because she believes that she would have otherwise had a less successful career. She has received Golden Globe and People's Choice awards for her television and film work.

Lansbury co-starred in, Mr. Popper's Penguins, opposite Jim Carrey, released in June 2011. She is also scheduled to appear in another film, Adaline.

Please click here to learn more about Angela Lansburys Mom Moyna Mac Gill.

Gilby, also wrote a awesome Angela Lansbury, birthday tribute. Please click the lnk below to check it out.
Random Rambling of a Broadway Film Tv Fan Blogspot: Angela Lansbury ultimate Reinventor.


  1. Excellent tribute! I did one too because Angela Lansbury is worth honoring! And I too love her in Death on the Nile! I read that no one could have private dressing rooms. So Angela, Bette Davis, and Maggie Smith shared one dressing room!

  2. Gilby, I just read your awesome birthday tribute and added it to the bottom of mine. I hope you do not mind.

  3. Dawn, I added a link to article -- I think they compliment each other well!

  4. This was a great birthday tribute. It's a treat to see Angela Lansbury's long career spread out for us. She really has done it all.

  5. Wonderful tribute, Dawn, and great video clip selections. Hard to believe Angela Lansbury never won an Emmy - What a crime.

    I believe she also deserved the Best Supporting Actress Oscar/1962 for "The Manchurian Candidate." Patty Duke won, but she and Anne Bancroft shared the screen fairly equally in "The Miracle Worker" - Bancroft was nominated for, and won, Best Actress that year. (On Broadway Bancroft had won 1960's "Best Leading Actress" Tony Award for the play; Duke didn't receive a "Best Featured Actress" nomination, but she was given a Theatre World Award (1959/60) for "Best Debut Performance".)

  6. Gilby37, Thank you, I agree..

    Rachel, Thank you. I did not realize that I was such a huge fan of Angela Lansbury, until I put together this birthday tribute.

    The Lady Eve, Thank you and thank you for the fun facts.. Add me to the list of Angela Lansbury fans, that can not belive that she never won an Emmy Award.


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