Angela Lansbury, a beloved star of stage, film and television, was honored with a special Tony Lifetime Achievement Award on Sunday night.
Len Cariou, 82, who starred alongside Lansbury in the Broadway production of “Sweeney Todd,” presented the award. Lansbury, 96, was not present to receive the award in person at Radio City Music Hall.
The New York City Gay Men’s Chorus also sang “Mame” as a special tribute to Lansbury. (Read on to learn more about this show.)
“There’s no one I’d rather run a ruthless business with,” Cariou said. “Angela’s extraordinary 75-year career has been marked by many moments of joy on stage.”
Lansbury first appeared on Broadway in 1957, in a farce titled “Hotel Paradiso,” and in 1964 she starred in her first Broadway musical, “Anyone Can Whistle.” In 1966, she landed her first Broadway role, as the free-spirited lead character in “Mame.” She won her first Tony Award for this performance.
His last Broadway appearance was in a 2012 revival of “The Best Man,” a play by Gore Vidal.
In total, Lansbury has been nominated for a Tony seven times, winning in all but two cases. Here are some of what New York Times critics have said about these Broadway performances over the years:
“This star vehicle deserves its star, and vice versa. No one may be surprised to learn that Angela Lansbury is an accomplished actress, but we may not all know that she has an adequate singing voice, that she can dance with finesse and she can combine all of these things into music. performance.” — Stanley Kauffman
Dear World (1969)
“But for a little miracle, I suspect ‘Dear World’ would never have seen the dark of day. That little miracle is Miss Lansbury and whether or not the musical is worth seeing – for she is extraordinarily tenuous – no connoisseur of the musical can afford to miss Miss Lansbury’s performance. It’s adorable.” —Clive Barnes
“Most important of all, this new Broadway ‘Gypsy’ has brought in Angela Lansbury as Rose. Her voice doesn’t have Merman’s belt, but it’s enchanting, tragic, disconcerting and confusing. Miss Lansbury has no only a personality as big as the Statue of Liberty, but also a small core of nervousness that can make the outrageous real. —Clive Barnes
Sweeney Todd (1979)
“Her initial number, in which she sings about selling the worst pies in London, while beating the dough and making as many deliberately agitated gestures as a pinwheel, is a triumph.” —Richard Eder
“After an absence of nearly 25 years, Angela Lansbury is back on the New York scene. And she is so vital and indelible that she even occasionally fleshes out a piece as vaporous as ectoplasm. —Ben Brantley
Joyful Spirit (2009)
“But it’s Madame Arcati who walks away — or rather who dances — with the show, as she always used to do. Those who only know Ms. Lansbury as the bland, level-headed Jessica Fletcher from TV’s “Murder, She Wrote” may not be aware of the depth and variety of this actress’ techniques. —Ben Brantley
A Little Night Music (2009)
“But there is only one moment in this production where all of its elements come together perfectly.
That moment, midway through the first act, belongs to Mrs. Lansbury, who so far has been thoroughly entertaining, playing Madame Armfeldt with the overmature aristocratic condescension of a Lady Bracknell. —Ben Brantley