Angela Lansbury Is 90! Here's 10 Things You Didn't Know About Her
It’s Angela Lansbury’s 90th birthday today - Happy Birthday, Angela! - so herein a celebration of her dazzling Hollywood career in 10 handy facts…
She is the daughter of Edgar Lansbury, who not only represented the Labour Party and Communist Party of Great Britain, but acted as honorary treasurer of Sylvia Pankhurst’s East London Federation of Suffragettes in 1915. His own father George Lansbury led the Labour Party from 1932 to 1935.
Her half-sister Isolde was married to actor and polymath Sir Peter Ustinov.
She turned down the role of Nurse Ratched in ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’.
After recovering from addiction to cocaine and heroin, Angela’s son Anthony became a director, and directed his mother in 68 episodes of 'Murder, She Wrote’.
Angela is the cousin of Oliver Postgate, legendary animator, puppeteer and creator of 'Ivor The Engine’, 'Noggin The Nog’, 'Clangers’ and 'Bagpuss’.
She holds the dubious record of having the most Emmy nominations without winning a single gong – 18 nominations in all.
Angela played Elvis Presley’s mother in 'Blue Hawaii’, despite only being 10 years older than him.
She initially said she would not sing the Oscar-winning song 'Beauty and the Beast’ for Disney’s animated movie, because she wouldn’t be able to do it justice, and another character should do it instead. Producers persuaded her to try, and she nailed it in a single take, the take that made it into the movie.
Before Angela took on the role of Jessica Fletcher in 'Murder, She Wrote’, it was offered to Jean Stapleton, from 'All In The Family, and Doris Day. Her previous sleuthing as Miss Marple in 'The Mirror Crack’d’ and performance in the adaptation of Agatha Christie’s 'Death On The Nile’, impressed producers. The show was a 12-year hit for CBS, running over 265 episodes.
She is a lifelong Democrat, and supporter of Barack Obama.
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Image credits: Getty/Rex Features