Actress Angela Lansbury attends the inaugural Robert Osborne Celebration of Classic Film event at Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills, California, October 7, 2019. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Angela Lansbury's Brilliant Acting Career Started With An Oscar Nomination For Gaslight
The MGM-produced "Gaslight" was a smash hit upon its release and garnered seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. Also nominated was a 19-year-old, first-time professional actress named Angela Lansbury as the maid, Nancy, a vaguely sinister presence constantly lurking behind Ingrid Bergman’s Paula.
While Bergman skillfully plays the fear and confusion of Paula and Charles Boyer comes across as a charming but untrustworthy lothario, it's Lansbury who carries the film's menace. Without her condescending stares, her mock-confused prodding, and her wraithlike presence, "Gaslight" would be a mere psychological hothouse.
Given the scope and breadth of her career, kicked off by playing a sardonic, threatening maid, one can't really point to what Lansbury was "known for." One will have to settle on the fact that she was known for everything — both kind and cruel — but there was no doubt she was always memorable.