Welcome to “Henry Kissinger Is Right There,” an occasional series in which we point out, for no reason at all, that Henry Kissinger is right there.
On Tuesday, Angela Lansbury, legendary star of stage and screen, died at 96.
Everybody loved Angela Lansbury unless they were some kind of sick freak. She was Angela Lansbury! Forget Murder She Wrote and Beauty and the Beast for a second (though I mean absolutely no disrespect by that). Let’s talk about Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Let’s talk about Sweeney Todd and Gypsy and Mame. Let’s talk about her six Tony Awards. Let’s talk about Gaslight and The Manchurian Candidate! Let’s talk about how she was equally adept at comedy, drama, musicals, theater, TV, and movies. Let’s talk about the range, the talent, the longevity! How could you not but stan?
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Lansbury had one of those extraordinary lives that people kind of don’t have anymore. She was born into a legendary socialist political family in England (another point in her favor) and got the acting bug very young. When World War II broke out, her mother, who was also an actor, moved teenage Angela and her brothers across the sea to the U.S. on a ship that was later sunk by the Germans. She worked all over the place. She even lied about her age to get a nightclub act going in Montreal when she was just 16. Then she moved to Hollywood and got her first role in Gaslight at 17, and was immediately nominated for an Oscar, and then she was the Angela Lansbury forever more.
OK, that’s simplifying a lot of things—there were whole decades where she was more striver than icon, plenty of ups and downs before she finally became a Broadway triumph, and even more ups and downs before she became Jessica Fletcher and her stardom shot into the stratosphere—but it’s not simplifying them that much. She was Angela freaking Lansbury! I don’t think I have to explain much here. I saw her in Blithe Spirit in London, when she was a whole 88 years old, and she was purely, effortlessly magical.
Here’s three Lansbury moments: one from Sweeney Todd, one from The Manchurian Candidate, and one from Blithe Spirit. RIP to one of the best.
In unrelated news, 99-year-old war criminal Henry Kissinger is, like, RIGHT THERE.
This has been “Henry Kissinger Is Right There.”
Previously on “Henry Kissinger Is Right There”:
On one hand, the day that Hank dies, a bunch of Cambodians/Laotians/Chileans, dead and alive, will dance a happy jig.
On the other hand, we'll all be forced to pretend that he was a glorious statesman, not a ghoul with blood on his hands. It will be like when Nixon died, and the various newsreaders were uncomfortably saying, "Yeah...uhh...well, you can't deny he was definitely the 37the President..." (H/T Tom Tomorrow).
This just in: During an interview at an event at the Council of Foreign Relations a few weeks back, he was decrying "Wokeness in education as a national security threat." Ahh, Henry. Always playing the hits, and I assumed the audience at CFR...mmm...I'm not sure what is appropriate discourse here, but let's just say there wasn't a pair of non-sticky oldman boxers in the joint after Kissinger said that. https://www.educationnext.org/kissinger-warns-on-education-wokeness-as-national-security-threat/
I still maintain that Kissinger, while living, is hopefully in dreadful pain every waking second of the day.
It's a fantasy, I acknowledge that, but I have to keep my child-like belief in karma.