- Finian Hackett
All About Angela: My favourite performances from the legendary actress
From Jessica Fletcher to Mame Dennis and everyone in between, Dame Angela Lansbury was one of a kind. Her extensive credits prove that with an array of roles most can only dream of. Her passing at the age of 96 on the 11th of October was truly the loss of an absolute legend. Tributes have flooded in from all areas of the entertainment industry from Patti LuPone to Viola Davis. She had an impact on so many people's lives (including my own) and she will be greatly missed. To celebrate her glorious career I've put together a selection of my favourite Angela Lansbury YouTube videos for everyone to enjoy!
The opening of the 45th Oscars
This is the BEST awards show opening. Seeing Angela tap dance (which she didn't often do in her stage appearances) is joyous. The costumes are stunning and it's a very catchy tune. She certainly made a little magic here!
'Thoroughly Modern Millie' at the 1968 Oscars
Another Oscars gem from Angela. The title track from Thoroughly Modern Millie was nominated for Best Original Song, and Angela was the chosen performer! Despite losing the accolade to Doctor Dolittle - we definitely won with this performance.
'Bosom Buddies' with Bea Arthur
When Angela was hosting the 1987 Tony Awards ceremony, one of her five times hosting, it was the perfect time for a reunion. She had starred alongside Bea Arthur in Mame on Broadway back in 1966 and 'Bosom Buddies' had become a classic. Both ladies were at their career highs at this point in time. Bea was starring as Dorothy Zbornak in The Golden Girls and Angela was playing Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote. This performance is now legendary, and rightly so.
Gypsy in 1974
Angela won her third Tony for portraying Mama Rose in the first Broadway revival of Gypsy. She had previously played the part to great acclaim in London's West End. For years there was no footage but now there is! 'Some People', 'Together Wherever We Go' and 'Rose's Turn' all feature in this one video.
'Liaisons' at the Olivier Awards
In 2010, Angela received a Tony nomination for her performance as Madame Armfeldt in Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music. The following year, she appeared at the Olivier Awards and recreated her performance for Cameron Mackintosh and Sondheim himself. The results are wonderful.
The title track from Mrs Santa Claus
My all-time favourite Christmas film. Written especially for Angela by Jerry Herman, this camp musical movie is pure Xmas joy. Here, Mrs Santa Claus is fed up with Santa himself ignoring her so she decided to take the sleigh for a little test drive - around the world!
Send In The Clowns for Sondheim
To honour Sondheim at the Kennedy Center Honors, Angela performed his well-known hit 'Send In The Clowns' just for him. Sondheim looks emotional, and I imagine there wasn't a dry eye in the house!
Another Sondheim classic...
Lansbury completely transformed herself when she played Nellie Lovett in Sondheim's Sweeney Todd in 1979. I could've easily chosen 'The Worst Pies In London' but for me, 'By The Sea' is where you see how truly deluded Mrs Lovett is and Angela does it perfectly!
How'd You Like To Spoon With Me?
Back in 1947(!), Angela appeared in one of her first singing roles on film in Till The Clouds Roll By. The greatly named song is a Cockney delight and proved all those years ago that she was a force to be reckoned with!
A chaotic We Need A Little Christmas!
In 2007, there was a Broadway stagehand strike and Broadway shut down for 19 days (the longest shutdown in its history until recently...) and to celebrate a host of current Broadway stars performed a concert on the set of The Drowsy Chaperone. Angela arrived at the end to perform the iconic Christmas tune from Mame and it is CHAOS. Try and spot your other favourite performers alongside the Dame.
So there are my top 10 favourite Angela Lansbury performances. Obviously, there are many many more I could've included but I couldn't list them all or we'd be here for days! Let me know your favourite performance's by the legendary Dame Angela.