From the archive: 'I find Ireland an extraordinarily warm place to live' - Angela Lansbury

From the archive: 'I find Ireland an extraordinarily warm place to live' - Angela Lansbury

Hollywood star Angela Lansbury has passed away at the age of 96.

Most famous for her role as Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote, Lansbury was of Irish heritage and often spoke about her love for the country.

Here, we look back at when the legendary actress spoke to the Irish Post ahead of the debut of a her new play in London in 2014.


HOLLYWOOD star Angela Lansbury has spoken of her love for Ireland saying that she loves nothing better than a good cup of Barry’s tea to “really get me off and running”.

The 88-year-old Murder She Wrote star, who is an Irish citizen, owns a home in Co Cork and has a long association with the county.

She was born to an Irish mother – actress Moyna Macgill – in London in 1925 and recently became a Dame in the New Year's Honours list following the approval of the Irish Government.

Speaking in the English capital this morning Lansbury said: “I drink very strong tea. I have to get some Barry's but I don't know where to get it. I can’t find it in London.

"It really gets me off and running.”

The veteran actress was at the Gielgud Theatre in the West End this morning to launch a new production of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit, which is transferring from Broadway from March 18.

She will be threading the same boards as her mother who made her own acting debut at the Gielgud – then known as The Globe – in 1918.

Lansbury, who moved from the US to Ireland in the 1970s and until recently, lived outside the town of Ballycotton in Co Cork, added:  “I’m a bit Irish too you know, I have a house in Ireland and I go every year. I’m discovering my roots. My mother was born there, and my grandparents on that side of the family.

“I'm very very comfortable there; I find it an extraordinarily warm and informal place to live. I'm left alone there.

“On the street people say, 'hi how are you,' and I say 'I'm grand how are you?' It's a very easy going place to be and I love Ireland for that reason.”

She added that she spent many happy years in Ireland with her late husband, Peter, and children Deirdre and Anthony, and explained that they built the house in Cork “on the order of an old-fashioned Irish farmhouse.”

Lansbury’s current role as eccentric medium Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit, which she first played on Broadway in 2009, will see her make her first appearance on the London stage after 40 years.

As she is an Irish Citizen her British honour of the title ‘Dame’ had to be formally approved by the Irish Cabinet in order to allow her obtain the title. This is in accordance with the Irish Constitution.


Originally published 23 January 2014.