Happy 86th Birthday, Angela Lansbury! What's Her Greatest Screen Moment?


I hope Zachary Quinto pegged his coming out to Angela Lansbury's 86th birthday, because, indeed, it's a day of thunderous celebration. The brilliant actress was first nominated for an Oscar 67 years ago, and she remains just as vibrant today. (You may have seen her in the recent Mr. Popper's Penguins). What's your pick for Jessica Fletcher's greatest screen moment?

This is a matter of obligation, but she's most unforgettable in The Manchurian Candidate. We all know it. Here's the mind-blowing proof:

Chilling! But I'm going to add a sweeter clip of Lansbury in the '58 sensation The Long, Hot Summer. She comes in at the 2:45 mark with some Southern pertness and pride as Minnie Littlejohn, but if you can't stop yourself from watching a near-naked Paul Newman glisten in the moonlight before then, I understand.

Now: Your choice?


  • The Pope says:

    I suppose everyone is going to go for the kiss in Candidate, but I think she was very saucy with Charles Boyer in Gaslight.

  • Karen says:

    Happy Birthday to one of the greatest actresses of the 20th century! What a remarkable career - 50 films, 15 stage productions, one hit TV show that lasted 12 seasons, 3 Oscar nominations, 5 Tony Awards, 6 Golden Globes Awards and 18 Emmy nominations and yet, Ms. Lansbury shows no signs of slowing down after 67 years in business and still going strong.
    Greatest film performance - The Manchurian Candidate.
    Favorite - Something for Everyone.
    Happy Birthday to a wonderful lady and legendary actress!

  • milessilverberg says:

    She did a nice Manchurian-lite turn in the Tracy-Hepburner State of the Union, where she played a media empire heiress who tries to hijack the Republican convention with a hand-picked candidate to run against Truman. Tracy plays the hapless, folksy CEO who mistress Lansbury tries to mold into a cookie-cutter GOP candidate, and Hepburn is his suffering-yet-chipper wife who tries to keep him "honest." It's a film with some topical relevance today...

  • milessilverberg says:

    I'd include The Harvey Girls as well, if MGM hadn't foolishly overdubbed her singing voice.

  • Will says:

    On that happy day it seems appropriate to mention Miss Lansbury performance in Mrs. Santa Claus (1996), especially the musical number called Almost Young: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1g5BstV4B8
    Happy B-Day to a Great actress!

  • Will says:

    She was 71 years young at the time of filming, BTW.

  • Elizabeth says:

    LOVED her in Gaslight....saucy indeed!

  • KRIS the KLINGON says:

    I've enjoyed watching her as France's Queen in the Gene Kelly THE THREE MUSKETEERS; getting saved by D'Artagnan from public shame and humiliation for her...dalliance?... with England's Lord Buckingham.
    She's also delightful in THE COURT JESTER, as a fickle, funny, yet predatory princess.
    Angela Lansbury. Lovely. Tremendous. Happy Birthday.

  • hapy 86th birthday.......you are great actress

  • Skippy says:

    Anyone who's only seen Angela Lansbury from the "Murder, She Wrote" era on HAS to see her when she was young. Not only was she sexy, she was Bad Girl Sexy. It's amazing. She's had a tremendous career, in theater as well as film.

  • Hub Braden says:

    86 years young! With youthful enthusiasm and energy, abilities & talents, a wonderful sense of humor! And she dances & sings! Angela Lansbury is a true Hollywood & Broadway Star still surprising fans with her variety of achievements and acting roles! What a gal!

  • Hub Braden says:

    In her first film "Gaslight" - Angela explained although the film was in black & white, all of the sets & costumes were in vivid color. The Victorian ball gown Angela is wearing in "Gaslight" was originally made for Ingrid Bergman, except Bergman didn't like the costume and would not wear the gown. Angela was given the lush crimson velvet ball gown, to wear! In order to save the film's costume budget

  • aquarius1271 says:

    See also: her performances in National Velvet as the elder sister of child (!!!) actress Elizabeth Taylor, Death on the Nile and (voice only) Beauty and the Beast.

  • snideproject says:

    Since no one else will do it, I have to cast my vote for The Pirates of Penzance.

  • andrew says:

    happy birthday, angela ( some days late, sorry!) ! You're one of the last great actresses, live until 100 please!