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NANNY MCPHEE

ANGELA LANSBURY (Aunt Adelaide) has enjoyed a career without precedent. Her professional career spans more than half a century, during which she has flourished, first as a star of motion pictures, then as a four-time Tony Award-winning Broadway musical star and most recently as the star of Murder, She Wrote, the longest running detective drama series in the history of television.

Angela Brigid Lansbury was born in London on October 16, 1925. Her father, Edgar Isaac Lansbury, was a timber merchant. Her mother, Moyna Macgill, was a popular actress. At age 10, Lansbury saw John Gielgud as Hamlet at the Old Vic and vowed that someday she would become an actress. She attended the Webber-Douglas School of Dramatic Art in London.

In 1940, in order to escape the London Blitz, Moyna Macgill evacuated 14-year-old Lansbury and her younger twin brothers, Edgar and Bruce, to the United States. The family lived in Putnum County for a year, during which time Lansbury commuted to the Feagin School of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan. She received her first professional job at age 16 when she performed a cabaret act in Montreal.

Eventually the family relocated in Los Angeles where 17-year-old Lansbury landed a seven-year contract at MGM after director George Cukor cast her as Nancy, the menacing maid, in Gaslight. Her cunning performance won her a 1944 Academy Award® nomination for Best Supporting Actress. The following year she received a second nomination, again for Best Supporting Actress, for her portrayal of the doomed Sybil Vane in The Picture of Dorian Gray. That poignant role earned her a Golden Globe Award.

Lansbury has appeared in 44 motion pictures to date. They include such classics as National Velvet, The Harvey Girls, Frank Capra's State of the Union, Cecil B. DeMille's Samson and Delilah, The Court Jester, The Long Hot Summer, The Manchurian Candidate (for which she received a second Golden Globe Award, the National Board of Review Award and her third Academy Award® nomination), The World of Henry Orient and Death on the Nile (a second National Board of Review Award). In 1991, she was the voice of Mrs. Potts in the Disney animated feature Beauty and the Beast, and in 1997, she was the voice of the Grand Duchess Marie in the animated movie Anastasia.

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.

In 1964, she starred on Broadway in her first musical. Anyone Can Whistle closed after only nine performances, but Lansbury returned to New York in triumph in 1966 as Mame. She played the role for two years on Broadway and later to sold-out audiences in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Mame earned Lansbury the first of her unprecedented four Tony Awards for Best Actress in a Musical. She received the others as the Madwoman of Chaillot in Dear World (1968), as Mama Rose in the 1974 revival of Gypsy and as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd (1979). In 1978, she starred as Mrs. Anna for a limited engagement of The King and I.

Concurrent with her musical ventures, Lansbury continued to act in serious dramas. In 1971, she returned to London to appear in the Royal Shakespeare Company production of Edward Albee's All Over. In 1975, again in London, she played Gertrude to Albert Finney's Hamlet in the National Theatre production. In 1976, she acted in two Albee one-act plays, Counting the Ways and Listening, at the Hartford Stage Company.

She was to find her largest audience on television. Although Lansbury had acted in live dramas during "the golden age of television” in the 1950s in such shows as Robert Montgomery Presents and Lux Video Theatre, when she starred as Mrs. Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in the 1982 miniseries Little Gloria...Happy at Last, she had

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