Biography

Angela Lansbury received an Oscar nomination for her first film, Gaslight, in 1944, and has been winning acting awards and audience favor ever since. Born in London to a family that included both politicians and performers, Lansbury came to the U.S. during World War II. She made notable early film appearances as the snooty sister in National Velvet (1944); the pathetic singer in The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), which garnered her another Academy nomination; and the madam-with-a-heart-of-gold saloon singer in The Harvey Girls (1946). She turned evil as the manipulative publisher in State of the Union (1948), but was just as convincing as the good queen in The Three Musketeers (1948) and the petulant daughter in The Court Jester (1956). She received another Oscar nomination for her chilling performance as Laurence Harvey's scheming mother in The Manchurian Candidate (1962) and appeared as the addled witch in Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971), among other later films. On Broadway, she won Tony awards for the musicals Mame (1966), Dear World (1969), the revival of Gypsy (1975), Sweeney Todd (1979) and, at age 82, for the play Blithe Spirit (2009). Despite a season in the '50s on the game show Pantomime Quiz, she came to series television late, starring in 1984-1996 as Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote; she took over as producer of the show in the '90s. She returned to the Disney studios to record the voice of Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast (1991) and to sing the title song and later reprised the role in the direct-to-video sequel, The Enchanted Christmas (1997). Lansbury is the sister of TV producer Bruce Lansbury. ~ Rovi