Iconic actress Angela Lansbury coming to Susquehanna University March 15
“There are three things you can never have enough of in life: chocolate, friends and theater.”
Those words, spoken by Jessica Fletcher in the television show “Murder She Wrote,” might apply to Angela Lansbury, the actress who played Fletcher for 12 years.
Although best known for that role, Lansbury is seen by loyalists as a role model who depicts strong female characters, both in her youth and now at 90.
Lansbury will discuss her career with Ann Andes, Assistant Professor of Theatre at Susquehanna University, March 15 in question and answer format, providing opportunity for attendees to get a better understanding of her.
Although she is capable of a flawless American accent, many look forward to the actress’ British one.
Lansbury will discuss her life and career, which began in Britain where she was born in 1925. Although her memories are positive, Lansbury said she was never truly a youngster.
According to an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Lansbury calls the 1934 death of her father, Edgar, the “defining moment of my life.”
After his death, Lansbury lost interest in school work and focused on acting.
According to that interview, her “big break” came when she was 17 and working in an American department store.
Signed to MGM and not deemed a traditional beauty, she was cast in the 1944 thriller “Gaslight” and, a year later, the horror-thriller “The Picture of Dorian Gray.”
Looking back on that period of her life, Lansbury said in that interview being cast in secondary roles eventually took its toll. When she was released from her MGM contract in 1952, she found her niche in cinematic theater.
Still, she is most well known for playing the part of Fletcher beginning in 1984. She also played Miss Eglantine Price in the 1971 children’s film, “Bedknobs and Broomsticks.”
During the CNN interview, Lansbury said the 12 years she played Jessica Fletcher were only possible because of the support she received from her husband, Peter Shaw, who had been a successful businessman and was heavily involved in the production of the show.
“We were able to do it because we got up in the morning together and spent our days together,” she said.
Lansbury not only acted in the series, but served as executive producer beginning in the series’ seventh season.
She said Shaw’s death in 2003, after the series’ end, caused her to go into a deep depression and she stopped working for a period of time.
“I asked myself what he would have wanted me to do, and then I started working again,” she said. “But, I had to wait until I was ready.”
Often referred to as “legendary,” Lansbury has responded with a laugh, saying, “Goodness gracious.”
Tickets are sold out, however any unoccupied seats may be reassigned if ticket-holders fail to arrive by 8 p.m. on event night.
The event , 8 p.m. March 15 in Weber Chapel Auditorium at Susquehanna University is sponsored by the Dr. Bruce L. Nary Theatre Guest Artist Fund, is free and open to the public. Tickets are required, limited to four per customer and must be picked up in advance at the Susquehanna University Box Office located in the lobby of Degenstein Center Theater. Hours are noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Reach Geri Gibbons at 570-991-6117 or on Twitter @TLGGibbons
Dame Angela Lansbury on Twitter reflecting on film roles that don’t exist: “I want to play real women. I don’t want to play stereotypes.”