She is mostly remembered for her role as Jessica Fletcher on Murder, She Wrote.
At the age of 95, Dame Angela Lansbury is often touted as one of Britain's most successful actress. Her career has spanned more than seven decades and she has managed to wow the audience throughout this incredible journey. From Hollywood to Broadway, she has done it all and even at the age of 95, she shows no signs of slowing down. Back in 2018, she played the role of the cranky aunt in the Little Women miniseries, filmed a small cameo for Mary Poppins Returns, and she is slated to appear in the upcoming family drama The Adventures of Buddy Thunder.
Born on October 16, 1925, in East London, Lansbury immigrated to the United States with her family during the second world war. Growing up in London, she was the granddaughter of working-class hero George Lansbury, who led Labour from 1932 to 1935. She said, "This was the man who tried to stop the Second World War. He went and spoke with the leaders – Mussolini, Hitler, Roosevelt. He didn’t give up. Many people feel it killed him.” Her grandmother Bessie, was a suffragette, and dad Edgar was a Communist mayor in Poplar, East London, who passed away due to cancer when Angela was 9. At the age of 15, her mother a former West End actress, took Angela to New York to escape the Blitz and from there she went to Hollywood.
It was during her stay in New York City that she found her natural talent for performing. But unlike her peers, Lansbury had a relatively smooth ride to the top where she earned an Oscar nomination for her movie debut in 1944's Gaslight. Even though she continued to work on stage and movies throughout the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s, but it was her role as Jessica Fletcher on TV’s Murder, She Wrote that made her a British acting legend. She married 35-year-old actor Richard Cromwell when she was 19 but it lasted less than a year.
Angela then fell for British actor Peter Shaw and they had two children Anthony and Deidre together. After 54 years of marriage, Peter died of heart failure aged 84 in 2003. The actress said, "I think I’m interested in every part of life – not just acting... my grandchildren, my life, cooking, driving.”
All love and good wishes to #DameAngelaLansbury on her 95th Birthday! Has there ever been another star, so loved and admired by successive generations for over 75 years? #inspiration #legend @_AngelaLansbury pic.twitter.com/5UbDVdBSlg— Matthew Bourne (@SirMattBourne) October 16, 2020
The series aired from 1984 to 1996, earning her a massive following and kept Lansbury in steady employment for more than a decade. Her popularity helped her land the role of Mrs. Potts, the kindly teapot, in the 1994 Oscar-nominated Disney animated musical, Beauty and the Beast. In an interview with Mirror, Lansbury addressed her 95th birthday and the extraordinary life she's had as an entertainer.
She said, "What a fortunate life I've had the pleasure to be part of, doing the thing I most enjoy - acting and entertaining great audiences all over the world. I feel fortunate indeed to be able to celebrate my 95th birthday with my dearest family here in California. I am fortunate to be able to stay safe and my heart goes out to all those who are suffering or have lost loved ones." She previously said, "I’ve never been particularly aware of my age. It’s like being on a bicycle – I just put my foot down and keep going. I never think of running out of steam.”
Happy 95th. Birthday, Dame Angela Lansbury CBE.— Nigel P. Herbert (@Nphstar) October 16, 2020
It is forty-seven years since I had the enormous pleasure of working with you on the London production of 'Gypsy', and I shall never forget your talent, compassion, and sense of humour.
That's why you'll always be, 'My Best Girl'. pic.twitter.com/lDb5i5l5Ox
Just last year, Lansbury returned to Broadway portraying Lady Bracknell in a one-night benefit staging of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest for Roundabout Theatre Company’s American Airlines Theatre. Happy Birthday, Ms. Lansbury.
Happiest of birthdays to one of my favourite people on this planet. She embodies everything a woman should--beauty, wit, intelligence and a proud knowledge of what she is capable of!— Fiona Adorno💧 (@FionaAdorno) October 16, 2020
Happy birthday, Miss Angela Lansbury. pic.twitter.com/TiA6NojVyH
It’s Today!— Dame Angela Lansbury News 😷 (@_AngelaLansbury) October 16, 2020
Happy 95th Birthday to one of the greatest actresses of all time, and, more importantly, an even greater human being, the legendary Oscar and 5-time Tony Award-winner, Dame Angela Lansbury!
Here’s to many healthy years and great roles to come! Brava! #LoveAngela pic.twitter.com/tOcLbrbL02