Remember watching the movie “The Long Hot Summer” and loving to hear the southern twang of Lansbury’s voice as she played Minnie Littlejohn, the love interest of Will Varner (Orson Welles). That movie was made in May 1958, and also starred the legendary Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Lee Remick, and Anthony Franciosa. It was wonderful to see Angela Lansbury honored at the 2010 Tony Awards when she was named the first honorary chairman of the American Theatre Wing.
Lansbury is most famous for her long running series “Murder She Wrote,” but she’s had many other wonderful moments on and off screen. Her acting career spans more than 50 years and includes Broadway, motion pictures, and television. Angela’s speech was emotional and reflected on her trip to America 70 years ago with her mother and brothers, and how there was not enough money for her to continue her training to become an actress. The American Theatre Wing arranged a scholarship for Lansbury at the New York drama school, where she received training and went on to enjoy a fabulous career in show business.
Angela tells Hollywood hopefuls that it really does not happen overnight, and they should dedicate their time to learning everything they can about acting and how to apply their skills in the ever changing world of theater. Angela is a five-time Tony winner and a true life Hollywood legend. Just picture Minnie sitting on the front porch with Varner (Welles) making the Buzz sound like a bee. Lansbury says, “I got a hum in my blood, and I feel as if I’d swallowed a bee.” Welles responds with, “You swallowed five bottles of beer in the hot sun. That’s what you swallowed.” Warm congratulations to Angela Lansbury for her legendary moment at the 2010 Tony Awards.