Angela Lansbury has died aged 96

What a long Film and Theatre career Angela Lansbury had. ‘Samson and Delilah’ was by no means her first but it was hugely successful at the Box Office. I don’t think it would have enhanced her film career that much as she played, very much second fiddle to Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr

She played Samson’s wife.

After this her film career was quite uneventful. Over 20 years later she was cast in ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’ for Walt Disney playing opposite David Tomlinson who had had great success in ‘Mary Poppins’

According to David Tomlinson’s son, he did not enjoy his time on set with Angela Lansbury and had the impression that she was overawed by him and seemed to try to upstage him when she could – something that, with his experience and talent she was not able to do

When Angela Lansbury accepted the lead in Bedknobs and Broomsticks, she was almost three decades into a film career that had already yielded a number of Academy Award nominations. She was also an established theatre star who’d won Tonys for her lead roles in Mame and Dear World. But despite her track record, she was already starting to be typecast in dull supporting roles by Hollywood. She noted that she was being prematurely aged on screen, playing roles such as Elvis Presley’s mother in Blue Hawaii despite being just 10 years older than him. “I must stop playing bitches on wheels—and people’s mothers,” she joked. “One of these days I’d like to get my hands on a part in which I can hit many chords.”

Bedknobs and Broomsticks drew on her experience as a Broadway star – the role was initially offered to Julie Andrews, who was unsure about it – possibly because of the film’s similarity to Mary Poppins.

Angela Lansbury proved to be the right casting choice as Eglantine Price, a reclusive aspiring witch living in World War II–era Britain. Asked to take in three orphaned children, she’s reluctant at first but quickly bonds with them over their love of the magical arts she’s still learning. Eventually, they link up with the con artist Emelius Browne (played by David Tomlinson), and through use of an enchanted bedknob, they visit other dimensions, rob a cartoon lion, and do battle with invading Nazis using witchcraft. A crazy story to be sure !! but a very good film

A scene from the film

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