Monday, June 17, 2024

RIP Angela Lansbury, Beloved, Legendary Actress from “Manchurian Candidate” to “Sweeney Todd” to “Murder She Wrote”


Angela Lansbury was maybe the most popular actress in American history and one of the most gifted. She’s passed away today at age 96. But she will never be forgotten. Her role as Jessica Fletcher in “Murder She Wrote” immortalized her. The entertaining reruns will go forever.

She was our Judi Dench , excelling in TV, theater, and movies often at the same time. And in theater, she commanded drama, comedy and musicals. There as nothing she couldn’t do. So devious and cunning in “The Manchurian Candidate,” sweet and endearing Mrs. Lovett in “Sweeney Todd,” and then brilliantly charming as Jessica Fletcher. And those three roles were just a few highlights of a remarkable career.

Think of “Beauty and the Beast,” and her singing the famous title song. Or winning a Tony Award in 2009 for “Blithe Spirit” on Broadway. And that was just two years after a nomination in 2007 for Terence McNally’s “Deuce.” Certainly it’s time for a theater on Broadway to be named for her. (She did receive a Lifetime Tony Award this past season.)

What a life! Amazing lady! Condolences to her family and legions of fans around the world.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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