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Angela Lansbury – West End theatres to dim lights in memoriam

The stage and screen veteran has died at the age of 96

Angela Lansbury in Blithe Spirit
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

The theatre community was saddened last night to hear the news of the passing of a legend in the industry.

According to her family, Angela Lansbury died peacefully in her sleep at home in Los Angeles at 1:30am on Tuesday, October 11, 2022, just five days shy of her 97th birthday.

Co-chief executives of the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre, Claire Walker and Hannah Essex released the following joint statement: "The theatre world is a smaller place tonight after the passing of Dame Angela Lansbury whose work touched so many generations. She lit up every stage she graced, and her extraordinary talent will be very much missed."

In a separate note, producer Cameron Mackintosh also said: "The last of the legendary British Broadway stars has left us. Angela Lansbury's extraordinary varied career on film, TV and theatre was like no other, from the chilling ruthless scheming matriarch in the original Manchurian Candidate film to the murderous baker of pies in love with Sweeney Todd, via the irresistibly lovable and glamorous eccentric Mame, coaxing those blues right out of the horn.

"The super amateur sleuth of Murder She Wrote was still stealing the show and winning awards as she approached her 90s. Her last great performance was a time-defying, miraculously energetic and hysterically funny Madame Arcarti in Blithe Spirit at the Gielgud in 2014, only a few hundred yards away from the Piccadilly Theatre where I was lucky enough to see her scorching show-stopping performance as Mama Rose in Gypsy 40 years earlier, and first got to meet her. When her great friend Stephen Sondheim wrote ‘Here's to us. Who's like us? Damn few!' I'm sure he was thinking of Angela. Tonight 'I dim the lights and think about you' with eternal love."

West End theatres will dim their lights for 2 minutes at 7pm this evening, 12 October, in memory of the Olivier and mulitple-Tony Award-winning veteran.


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