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These included ‘Jane Eyre’, ‘Frenchman’s Creek’ and director Clarence Brown’s Academy Award winning ‘National Velvet’, all 1944 the latter with teenage daughter Angela Lansbury and noteworthy also for the first starring role of twelve year old Elizabeth Taylor.1945 was slightly better in terms of role significance, the best of which was her Hester Quincey, in director Robert Siodmak’s ‘The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry’, although she managed to work with her daughter again in ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’, for which Lansbury won a Best Supporting Oscar.
At the Guild Theatre in 1931 he enjoyed a long run in the sumptuous ‘Elizabeth the Queen’, in a cast headed by American Theatre’s golden couple, Lynn Fontanne and Alfred Lunt and the same year appeared at the Longacre Theatre as Cokey Davis , in his own production, the short lived and rather flat comedy ‘In Times Square’.The Hollywood he returned to in 1929 had now changed beyond recognition and was attracting the great and good from the world of theatre.His talkie debut that year was similarly low key, playing a character called Dogface in director Robert Flory’s mystery drama ‘The Hole in the Wall’, starring Edward G. He worked on another film ‘Secrets of a Secretary 1931, but once again his passion for the stage took him back to New York, where for a further six years he would ply his trade in some of Broadway’s most prestigious venues.Her big screen aspirations finally floundered in a handful of B features during 1951/52 but she did have her moment on the Broadway stage, cast as Lady Brockhurst in director Anton Coppola’s production of English born composer Sandy Wilson’s ‘The Boyfriend’, at the Royale Theatre in 1954.She found scraps of work on television and made her first small screen appearance as a dressmaker in an episode of the enduring drama series ‘Studio One’ in 1956.Moyna Macgill was an able but luckless actor, who was brave enough at age forty seven and with the none too trifling pressure of four children, to undertake and establish, largely without the comfort of a contract, a relatively modest career in the maelstrom of forties Hollywood.
Other Theatre, Film and TV credits: Theatre – Will Shakespeare(1921) Shaftesbury Theatre, London – Pagan in the Parlour(1952) Theatre Royal, Bath Film – Nothing Else Matters (1920) – Should a Doctor Tell (1923) – The Uninvited (1944) – Winged Victory (1944) – The Clock (1945) – Black Beauty (1946) – Green Dolphin Street (1947) – Kind Lady (1951) TV – Adventures in Paradise (1959) – Mr Ed (1963) Born Fermanagh 6th April 1889 Died Los Angeles 22nd February 1971 Unprepossessing character actor who had a protracted if functional Broadway career, which from the early twenties ran in tandem with a raft of minor Hollywood screen appearances encompassing both silence and sound.
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Born Belfast 10th December 1895 Died Los Angeles 25th November 1975 Obdurate and methodical character player, whose career although not glittering, will probably be forgotten and instead will be unfairly remembered as the mother of Angela Lansbury.
Her first marriage to actor/writer Reginald Denham ended in 1924 after seven years and soon afterwards she married Edgar Lansbury, the son of Labour party leader George Lansbury.
This union lasted until Lansbury’s death in 1934 and produced three children, the eldest of which was Angela, born in 1925 but her career, shelved from the late twenties due to family commitments, was by the end of the thirties all but defunct.
This period would prove to be her most industrious, as the latter half of the decade yielded nothing of consequence, save a co-starring role in the Fred M.