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Her career has spanned seven decades, much of it in the United States, and her work has attracted international attention.Lansbury was born to an upper-middle-class family in Regents Park, central London, the daughter of actress Moyna Macgill and politician Edgar Lansbury.Moving into a bungalow in Laurel Canyon, both Lansbury and her mother obtained Christmas jobs at the Bullocks Wilshire department store in Los Angeles; Moyna was sacked for incompetence, leaving the family to subsist on Lansbury's wages of a week.At a party hosted by her mother, Lansbury met John van Druten, who had recently co-authored a script for Gaslight (1944), a mystery-thriller based on Patrick Hamilton's 1938 play, Gas Light.A villain is an "evil" character in a story, whether a historical narrative or, especially, a work of fiction. Tough, impatient, decisive, magnetic and infuriating. The blackest of blackguards." A writer for Inside Soap magazine warned that "soap psychos" are often overly keen on their partners, keep them separated from their families, have strange things hidden in secret rooms, will attempt to kill their partner's ex-partner, and are fond of fire or high places, and named a number of characters from East Enders, Emmerdale and Coronation Street who have behaved in such ways.In soap operas, the villain, sometimes called a "bad guy", is an antagonist, tending to have a negative effect on other characters. Moving into musical theatre, Lansbury finally gained stardom for playing the leading role in the Broadway musical Mame (1966), which earned her a range of awards and established her as a gay icon.
Proceeding to Hollywood in 1942, she signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and obtained her first film roles, in Gaslight (1944) and The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), earning her two Oscar nominations and a Golden Globe Award.Macgill secured work in a Canadian touring production of Tonight at , and was joined in Canada by her daughter, who gained her first theatrical job as a nightclub act at the Samovar Club, Montreal.Having gained the job by claiming to be 19 when she was 16, her act consisted of her singing songs by Noël Coward, and earned her a week.She has also been nominated for numerous other industry awards, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress on three occasions, and various Primetime Emmy Awards on eighteen occasions. In January 1930, when Angela was four, her mother gave birth to twin boys, Bruce and Edgar, leading the Lansburys to move from their Poplar flat to a house in Mill Hill, North London; on weekends they would vacate to a rural farm in Berrick Salome, near Wallingford, Oxfordshire."I'm eternally grateful for the Irish side of me. As for the English half–that's my reserved side ... The combination makes a good mix for acting." Facing financial difficulty, her mother became engaged to a Scottish colonel, Leckie Forbes, and moved into his house in Hampstead, with Lansbury receiving an education at South Hampstead High School from 1934 until 1939.Keen on playing the piano, she briefly studied music at the Ritman School of Dancing, and in 1940 began studying acting at the Webber Douglas School of Singing and Dramatic Art in Kensington, West London, first appearing onstage as a lady-in-waiting in the school's production of Maxwell Anderson's Mary of Scotland.
On September 27, 1945, Lansbury married Richard Cromwell, an artist and decorator whose acting career had come to a standstill.