Actress Angela Lansbury died on October 11 at the age of 96. If the general public knew her for her role as a detective in “Arabesque”, she had also won several Golden Globes and played for Frank Capra, Cecil B. DeMille or George Cukor.
After spending his childhood in his native England, Angela Lansbury moved to the United States with his family at the start of World War II. Based in New York, she studied at the Feagin School of Drama and Radio.
In 1944, she made her film debut playing a good ingenue in the psychological thriller haunting of George Cukornext to Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer. Her performance earned her her first Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actress.
At the same time, we find her alongsideElizabeth Taylor in The Grand National. It then spins in The Picture of Dorian Gray, where she plays Sybil Vaine, a fragile music-hall singer seduced and then abandoned by Gray. At only 20 years old, she was nominated for the Oscar for the best supporting role for the second time.
From then on, Angela Lansbury became in great demand and chained the big Hollywood productions like The challenge of Frank Capra with Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, The Singing Raina musical telling the life of the composer Jerome Kern with Judy Garland, Nice friendadapted from the book by Maupassant or The three Musketeers (1948), where she is Queen Anne of Austria alongside Gene Kelly. In 1949, she toured under the direction of Cecil B. DeMille in the epic Samson and Delilah.
A third Oscar nomination
Thereafter, mother of two children, she is more rare on the screens but still appears as a secondary role in small commercial successes such as The Fires of Summerwhere she plays the mistress ofOrson Welles, A scandal at court of Michael Curtiznext to Sophia Loren or What does Mom understand about love?a comedy by Vincent Minnelli. Of great maturity, she seems older than her age and very often plays the mother of a family at only 30 years old. For example, she is only 3 years older than Laurence Harveywho embodies his son, in A Murder in the Head. It is, moreover, thanks to this film by John Frankenheimer that she got her third Oscar nomination in 1962.
A versatile actress, Angela Lansbury made her theater debut in 1957 and quickly became one of the stars of Broadway. It also appears well in serious plays (A taste of Money) than in musicals (Sweeney Todd). In 16 years, she won four Tony Awards, a record! In the 1970s and 1980s, we see her especially on the small screen where she participates in the adaptations of the works ofAgatha Christie as Death on the Nile.
In 1980, she found at the cinema Elizabeth Taylor36 years after their first meeting, for The mirror shattered, still adapted from Agatha Christie. She also collaborates with Disney studios, appearing as an actress (notably in The teenage witch), guest or narrator in programs based on the Disney universe or by lending her voice to many of the company’s cartoons such as The beauty and the Beast Where Anastasia. This faithful collaboration earned him the Disney Legend award in 1995.
Arabesque, a great public success
But it was in 1984 that Angela Lansbury landed her best-known role, that of Jessica Flercher in the detective television series, Arabesque. This character who became a cult novelist/detective earned her 4 Golden Globes and marked the peak of her career. After 264 episodes, the series ends in 1996 but continues to be rebroadcast in many countries. Since then, Angela Lansbury has continued her career with discretion.
In the 2000s, we could see it in Nanny McPheewith Emma Thompson and Colin Firth, Mr. Popper and his penguinsin the successful detective series New York SVU or in television films derived from the series Arabesque.
In 2018, she appeared in cameo in Mary Poppins Returnsin the role of an old lady with balloons endowed with surprising powers.
His family announces his disappearance at the age of 96, 5 days before his birthday.
“Arabesque”, the cult series by Angela Lansbury: