Dame Angela Brigid Lansbury, DBE, is a British-Irish-American actress and singer who has appeared in a variety of film, theater, and television roles. Her professional life has spanned nearly eight decades, with the majority of that time spent in the United States. A great deal of international attention has been paid to her work. She is widely acknowledged as the earliest surviving Academy Award nominee and one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema.
Lansbury has received an Honorary Academy Award as well as a BAFTA Lifetime Achievement Award, and he has won five Tony Awards, six Golden Globes, and an Olivier Award for her work in the theater. She has also been nominated for a slew of other industry honors, including three Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress, 18 Primetime Emmy Awards, and a Grammy Award. She has also been nominated for a number of other awards, including three Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress. Queen Elizabeth II awarded Lansbury the title of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2014, in recognition of her contributions to the entertainment industry. Her life has been the subject of three biographies to date.
Lansbury was born on October 16, 1925, in New York City, to a family of upper middle class. Despite the fact that her birthplace has frequently been identified as Poplar, East London, she has consistently denied this, claiming that while she has ancestral ties to the area, she was actually born in Regent's Park, Central London. Her mother was the actress Moyna Macgill (born Charlotte Lillian McIldowie), who was born and raised in Belfast and who appeared regularly on stage in the West End as well as in a number of feature films. Her father was the wealthy English timber merchant and politician Edgar Lansbury, who was a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain and a former mayor of the Metropolitan Borough of Poplar. A man she regarded as "awesome" and "a giant in my youth" was her paternal grandfather, George Lansbury, the Labour Party leader and anti-war activist who she regarded as "a giant in my youth." Angela had an older half sister, Isolde, who was the daughter of Moyna's previous marriage to writer and director Reginald Denham. Isolde was Angela's younger half sister, and they were very close. When Angela's mother gave birth to twin boys, Bruce and Edgar, in January 1930, when she was four years old, the Lansburys were forced to relocate from their Poplar flat to a house in Mill Hill, North London, with weekends spent at a rural farm in Berrick Salome, near Wallingford, Oxfordshire.
She began acting as characters as a coping method when her father died from stomach cancer when she was nine years old.
Due to financial restraint, they moved to a house in Hampstead, where Lansbury received education at South Hampstead High School from 1934 to 1939.
Despite this, she regarded herself to be mostly self-taught, having gained knowledge via literature, theater, and film. She developed into a self-proclaimed "total movie obsessive," going to the movies on a daily basis and envisioning herself in the roles of various characters. Passionate about piano-playing, she briefly studied it at the Ritman School of Dancing before enrolling in the Webber Douglas School of Singing and Dramatic Art in Kensington, West London, in 1940. She made her stage debut in the school's production of Maxwell Anderson's Mary of Scotland, where she played a lady-in-waiting.
Angela's grandfather passed away that year, and with the commencement of the Blitz, Macgill made the decision to relocate Angela, Bruce, and Edgar to the United States; Isolde remained in the United Kingdom with her new husband, the actor Peter Ustinov. When the Duchess of Athol arrived in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, in mid-August, Macgill landed a job supervising 60 British youngsters who were being evacuated to North America on board the ship. As a result, she was financially sponsored by a Wall Street businessman, Charles T. Smith, and was able to go to his family's house in Mahopac, New York, where she lived with them for the rest of her life. As a result of an American Theatre Wing scholarship, Lansbury was able to study at the Feagin School of Drama and Radio, where she appeared in productions of William Congreve's The Way of the World and Oscar Wilde's Lady Windermere's Fan, among other works. She received her bachelor's degree in March 1942, by which time the family had relocated to a flat on Morton Street in the Greenwich Village neighborhood.
Lansbury made her stage debut in performances of William Congreve's 'The Way of the World and Oscar Wilde's 'Lady Windermere's Fan.' 'Gaslight,' which was released in 1944, featured her in the character of Nancy. Additionally, she made an appearance as Edwina Brown in another film, 'National Velvet,' which was released the same year. Angela also appeared in a number of films between 1945 and 1946, including 'The Picture of Dorian Gray,' 'The Harvey Girls,' 'The Hoodlum Saint,' and 'Till the Clouds Roll By.' Several other films and television programs have followed since then, and she continues to work in the entertainment industry. In total, she has more than 100 acting credits to her name.
Other films and television series in which Lansbury has appeared include 'Buttons,' 'Great Performances,' 'Driving Miss Daisy,' 'Mr. Popper's Penguins', 'Nanny McPhee,' 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, 'Touched by an Angel,' 'Mrs. Santa Claus', 'Mrs. Arris Goes to Paris', 'The Shell She has also made appearances in various stage productions and is known as the 'First Lady of Musical Theatre,' in addition to her work in films and television.
Off-screen, Lansbury has always had an English accent, which she has maintained throughout her life. She is a citizen of the Republic of Ireland. Her biographer Martin Gottfried described her as follows: "Extremely conscientious. Cautious. Self-editing. Deliberate. Her demeanor is described as "reserved"by the British, who also stated that she was "as concerned, sensitive, and empathetic as anyone could wish for in a friend." "..... He also mentioned that she had a "deep sense of privacy," and that she was not a fan of flattery attempts on her part.
Lansbury has been married twice, the first time to actor Richard Cromwell when she was 19 and he was 35. Lansbury has two children with Cromwell. Cromwell and Lansbury were married in a tiny civil ceremony on September 27, 1945, after eloping with each other. However, they remained friends after the divorce was finalized in 1946, and they did so until his death in 1960. When she married actor and producer Peter Shaw, they had been married for 54 years when he died in 2003, and they had three children together. Shaw's first marriage resulted in the birth of a stepson, David, for her. They were the parents of two children, Anthony Peter and Deirdre Ann. Even though Lansbury has consistently claimed that she wants to prioritize her family over her job, she has revealed that she has had to leave her children in California for extended periods of time when she is working elsewhere. She brought raised her children to be Episcopalians, despite the fact that they were not members of a particular parish. Previously, she declared, "I believe that God is within all of us, that we are all perfect, precious beings, and that we must place our confidence and trust in that."
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