Angela Lansbury (born October 16, 1925) is a British-born American actress and the granddaughter of politician George Lansbury.
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She made her Academy Award nominated film debut in 1944, in the Charles Boyer/Ingrid Bergman film Gaslight, followed by another Oscar nomination for the Oscar Wilde film The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945) and has since enjoyed a long and varied career, mainly as a film actress, appearing in everything from Samson and Delilah (1949) to Disney's Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971). Her performance in The Manchurian Candidate (1963) as the evil, manipulative mother who turned her son into an assassin won much praise and a third Oscar nomination plus a Golden Globe as a similarly distant mother in the comedy, The World of Henry Orient. She also played Miss Marple in The Mirror Crack'd (1981). She then turned to character voice work in animated films like The Last Unicorn (1984), winning a great deal of praise for her affectionate turn as a singing teapot Mrs. Potts in the Disney smash hit Beauty and the Beast (1991). She also did impressive character work as the Dowager Empress in the less well-received animated film Anastasia in 1997.
Lansbury is an accomplished, award-winning stage actress, with her outstanding acting talent and singular singing voice earning her rave reviews from her very first musical outing, the short-lived 1964 Stephen Sondheim musical Anyone Can Whistle. Her appearance in 1966's Mame earned Lansbury her first Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical. Subsequent Tony awards were earned for Dear World (1969) and the first Broadway revival of Gypsy (1974). Her stunning English music-hall turn as meat-pie entrepreneuse Mrs. Lovett in Sondheim's ballad opera Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street earned her yet another Tony Award in 1979. Lansbury has the honour of batting 1.000 in her four Tony awards nominations for Best Lead Actress in a Musical, with those four wins.
As Jessica Fletcher in the long-running television series, Murder, She Wrote (1984 - 1996, she found her biggest success and a worldwide following. It was to be the longest running prime time Detective drama series in US TV history and made her one of the highest paid actresses in the world and a record as the most nominated lead actress without a win in the prime time Emmy awards (with 12 nominations).
Lansbury received Kennedy Center Honors in 2000 and a Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997. In the early 1990s the British Government awarded her the CBE.