Saw her on stage last Spring on what she said would be her last tour, when she played Madame Arcati in Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit. She won Tony and Olivier awards for that role. Saw her at Kennedy Center in Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. That one earned her a Tony and a Drama Desk “Best Actress” award.
But my favourite Lansbury performance was in a film. As Eleanor Iselin in The Manchurian Candidate, she created one of the all-time great movie monsters.
Here’s the key scene: