Born: 16 October 1925
Birthplace: London, England
Best known as: Multiple Tony winner and star of Murder, She Wrote
Angela Lansbury came to Hollywood during World War II and earned an Oscar nomination for her screen debut, a supporting part in the 1944 drama Gaslight (starring Ingrid Bergman). During the 1940s, '50s and '60s she had character roles in dozens of films, often outshining lead players and picking up two more Oscar nominations along the way (for 1945's The Picture of Dorian Gray and 1962's The Manchurian Candidate). During the 1960s and '70s Lansbury had great success on the New York stage and won four Tony Awards: for Mame (1966), Dear World (1969), Gypsy (1975) and Sweeney Todd (1979). After four decades on stage and screen, she settled in to a long gig on television as Jessica Fletcher, the mystery writing amateur sleuth of Murder, She Wrote (1984-96). The show made Lansbury an American TV star and brought in more than twenty Emmy nominations during its run, including one each year for Lansbury (she never won). She returned to the Broadway stage in 2007 to star in Deuce and picked up yet another Tony nomination, then won another Tony for a 2009 revival of Blithe Spirit.
Extra credit: Lansbury played Laurence Harvey's manipulative mother in The Manchurian Candidate, but she was only three years older than Harvey... After Murder, She Wrote, Lansbury earned Emmy nominations for The Blackwater Lightship (2004), and for a guest role on Law & Order: Trial By Jury (2005).
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