Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Angela Lansbury (born October 16, 1925) is a Tony-winning, Golden Globe-winning, Oscar-nominated, and Emmy-nominated English actress, best-known for playing mystery writer Jessica Fletcher on the television series "Murder, She Wrote."
Born in London, Lansbury is the granddaughter of the former Labour Party leader George Lansbury. Just prior to the German bombing campaign of London during WW II, Lansbury's mother fled the UK, and in the dark of night sailed for Montreal, from where they headed to New York City. Her mother settled in Hollywood and Angela,and later her brothers, joined her there.
As a struggling young actress, Lansbury worked at the Bullocks Wilshire department store in Los Angeles. At a party her mother hosted for British performers in their Laurel Canyon home, she met would-be actor Michael Dyne, who arranged for her to meet Mel Ballerino, the casting director for the upcoming film "Gaslight" with Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer, who offered her the role of the impertinent and slightly malevolent maid Nancy.
Lansbury was nominated for an Academy Award for her 1944 film debut, and the following year garnered another for her portrayal of Sibyl Vane in "Dorian Gray."