When she was just 18, Angela Lansbury made her screen debut in Gaslight. The rookie actress played a cockney maid opposite Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer and Joseph Cotten. In fact, when filming began the year before, Lansbury was 17. No one was allowed to smoke or swear in front the minor. "Of course the director was the great George Cukor and his language was really ripe and rare and marvelous," she later told David Letterman. "They literally covered my ears."
The psychological thriller earned seven Academy Award nominations, including one for Lansbury in her first film role! The following year she earned another Oscar nomination as a sweet singer in The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Audiences have been dazzled by Lansbury ever since. During her prolific career which has spanned seven decades, the actress and singer, who has won an Honorary Oscar, five Tony Awards, six Golden Globes and an Olivier Award, can masterfully shift between theater, television and film with artful grace and finesse. And even at 90, there's no hint that she's slowing down."I think of myself as a journeyman actress," she has said. "I will attempt almost anything that I think that I can bring off. It could be almost anything."
With all her projects, has she ever had any career regrets? When David Hartman on Good Morning America asked Lansbury if she wished she had handled things differently, she offered a candid reply. "Say I had a very exciting career at MGM which grew and blossomed... and I had become a great leading lady there and a great movie star. What would have happened to me once I had gone just a little over the edge in my looks and started to deteriorate? I don't think I would have had a career today....," said Lansbury. "I was never thought of as a leading lady. I've always been a character actress....And I don't really have any regrets about my career... I wonder at certain periods, how I took certain turns, but they were all in the end OK. "
We say she's better than OK! In honor of her 90th birthday, click to this Parade.com story and see some of the great roles that Angela Lansbury has played.