Angela Lansbury is a British actress who has graced both the big and small screens since 1944. In ’44 Lansbury was cast in her first role in the film Gaslight. The film also starred Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman and was a major motion picture. For her role as a devilishy conniving maid the eighteen-year-old Lansbury received her first Academy Award Nomination.
After about ten more years on the big screen (and three more Academy Award nominations) Lansbury made her way to television where she appeared in many different shows and TV movies. In 1984 Lansbury landed the role as mystery novelist Jessica Fletcher on the new series Murder, She Wrote. Lansbury’s show became one of the longest-running detective dramas in TV history, and Lansbury herself became one of the most nominated women in Emmy history.
Lansbury was nominated for her first Emmy in 1983 for the TV special Little Gloria…Happy at Last. Then in 1985, with the premier of her new show, she was nominated again—this time for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for Murder, She Wrote. She was also nominated that year for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Musical Program for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
It appeared that Lansbury was on an Emmy nominations streak, little did she know…
Over the next 10 years Lansbury was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series all for her role as Jessica Fletcher; however, she never took home the award. She was also nominated twice during those years for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program for her appearances at the Tony Awards both in 1987 and 1990.
After twelve seasons on the air Murder, She Wrote was finally cancelled, and Lansbury was left with sixteen Emmy noms and not one win.
She was again nominated for Emmys both in 2004 and 2005 for a supporting actress role in a miniseries and a guest role on Law and Order.
After a long and lucrative acting career Lansbury has become known for her incredible talents on stage, on the big screen and on television. However, Lansbury also holds the record of most Primetime Emmy losses by a performer, with eighteen total nominations. Although one could get down on themselves about this Lansbury was quoted in 2007 stating, “at first I was terribly disappointed, but subsequently very glad that I did not win.” Lansbury believes her acting career was indeed more successful because of her looses rather than the other way around.
Although the Emmys didn’t show Lansbury any love, she did win four Golden Globes for her role as Jessica Fletcher and she has won five Tony awards (tying for the most Tony’s any performer has received).
While Lansbury hasn’t taken home the trophy, she’ll always be a shining star in the hearts of her fans and a true winner for her grace both on screen and off.