ANGELA LANSBURY as Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit at the Gielgud Theatre.
Angela Lansbury’s Broadway performance as Coward’s infamous clairvoyant earned her the 2009 Tony Award for Best Supporting Actress and became her fifth Tony Award.
Her professional career spans more than a half-century, during which she has flourished, first as a star of motion pictures, then as a Broadway musical star and most recently as the star of Murder, She Wrote. The actress made her Broadway debut in 1957 when she starred as Bert Lahr’s wife in the French farce, Hotel Paradiso.
In 1960, she returned to Broadway as Joan Plowright’s mother in the season’s most acclaimed drama, A Taste of Honey, by Shelagh Delaney. One year later, she starred on Broadway in her first musical, Anyone Can Whistle. Lansbury returned to New York in triumph in 1966 as Mame, for which she won the first of her Tony Awards as Best Actress in a Musical. She received the others as the Madwoman of Chaillott in Dear World (1968), as Mama Rose in the 1974 revival of Gypsy and as Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd (1979).
From 1984-1996 she starred as Jessica Fletcher, mystery-writing amateur sleuth, on Murder, She Wrote, for which she won four Golden Globe Awards. In 1982, she was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame, and in 1994 she was named a Commander of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II. Angela and her husband Peter were married in 1949. They worked together until Peter’s death in January 2003. Angela has three grown children, Deirdre, Anthony and David, and three grandchildren.
Lansbury was last seen on the London stage playing Gertrude in the National Theatre production of Hamlet in 1975. Prior to that, she starred in the celebrated production of Gypsy at the Piccadilly Theatre and in the RSC production of All Over at The Aldwych.
In November this year Lansbury received an honorary Oscar in recognition of her outstanding 70 years of contribution to the film industry.
The cast of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit at the Gielgud Theatre includes Angela Lansbury, Janie Dee and Charles Edwards. The play is directed by Michael Blakemore.