Theater World Pays Tribute to Angela Lansbury

Theaters in London's West End dimmed their lights
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 13, 2022 7:21 AM CDT
Theaters Dim Lights to Honor Angela Lansbury
Angela Lansbury sings during a rehearsal for the 42nd Annual Tony Awards in New York on June 5, 1988.   (AP Photo/Charles Wenzelberg, File)

Angela Lansbury was a star on the stage as well as the screen, and theaters in London's West End dimmed their lights Wednesday night in her memory. Lansbury died in Los Angeles on Tuesday, days before she would have turned 97. In 2014, she returned to the West End for the first time in almost 40 years to reprise her Tony-winning role in Blithe Spirit, Deadline reports. The theater world "is a smaller place tonight after the passing of Dame Angela Lansbury whose work touched so many generations," Claire Walker and Hannah Essex, co-chief executives of the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre, said in a statement. "She lit up every stage she graced, and her extraordinary talent will be very much missed."

Playbill rounds up other tributes to Lansbury from the theater world, including an anecdote from Joanna Gleason, who won the Tony for Best Actress in a Musical in 1988 for her role in Into the Woods. "I did a play with Angela that rehearsed in New York, went through three directors and eventually opened in Los Angeles. I was fired midway through the run," Gleason wrote in an Instagram post. "My final night she called me into her dressing room at half hour and gave me a beautiful leather handbag. 'You will fill this with magnificent work, I have no doubt.'" Years later, Gleason wrote, "when I won the Tony, she was waiting in the wings about to go on, she reached for me, looked at me and said 'told you so.' Class all the way." Deadline reports that even NASA paid tribute to Lansbury, tweeting an image of a "cosmic rose." (Read more Angela Lansbury stories.)

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