The daughter of an actress and the granddaughter of a high-ranking politician, Angela Brigid Lansbury studied acting from her youth, departing for the United States in 1940 during the Battle of Britain. She was contracted by MGM while still a teenager and nominated for an Academy Award for her first film, Gaslight (1944). Two pictures later, she was again nominated for Best Supporting Actress, this time for The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945). Now established as a supporting player of quality, she began a long career, often as “the other woman” in major productions and as the leading lady in lesser films. Her features allowed her to play women with an air of maturity who were older, in some cases much older, than she actually was, and she began playing mother roles, often to players of her own age, while yet in her thirties. She concentrated more and more on stage work, achieving notable success in a number of Broadway plays and musicals, winning four Tony Awards in sixteen years. Although active in television since the early 1950s, she obtained her greatest fame in the 1980s by starring in the light mystery procedural Murder, She Wrote (1984). As Jessica Fletcher, she became known and loved by millions for well over a decade. She also became known for never winning the Emmy Award despite 18 nominations, many of which were almost annual nominations for her role on Murder, She Wrote (1984).
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