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Angela Lansbury Left Los Angeles To Save Her Children From Charles Manson's Influence
It’s hard to believe that someone as universally beloved as Angela Lansbury could catch the ire of Charles Manson, one of America’s most infamous cult leaders, but it happened. According to a 2014 interview, it was because her children, Anthony and Deidre, fell in with his group in the late 1960s.
According to Lansbury, her daughter Deidre was first introduced to Manson and then her son Anthony joined the fray. "[Deidre] was one of many youngsters who knew him," Lansbury recalled of the leader, "and they were fascinated. He was an extraordinary character, charismatic in many ways, no question about it."
Because of the dangers that the cult leader posed, Lansbury told her then-husband, Peter Shaw, that the family needed to move. She wanted their children, especially her daughter, as far away from Manson's influence as possible, as her drug addiction was getting worse under his influence. She decided on County Cork, Ireland, which she still visited up until her passing.
"[...] It was also somewhere my children wouldn't be exposed to any more bad influences," she explained. "So I refused all work for a year and simply kept house." Thankfully, the drastic change in scenery worked. Lansbury recalled Anthony recovering fairly quickly, and although Deidre took a bit longer to heal from her addiction, she eventually fully recovered as well.
While she was grateful, she couldn't help but fear what could have happened if they hadn't intervened. "Certainly, I have no doubt we would have lost one or both of our two if they hadn't been removed to a completely different milieu," Lansbury said. "We were so very, very lucky we spotted what was happening just in time."