RIP

Let’s not forget what Angela Lansbury did during the worst years of the AIDS epidemic

Angela Lansbury
Angela Lansbury at the Creative Emmy Awards in 2005 (Photo: Shutterstock)

Beloved actress Angela Lansbury died yesterday, just a few days short of her 97th birthday. Tributes have been pouring in from around the world, with many recalling her iconic and award-winning roles.

However, others have been singing her praises for other reasons. Among these was her fundraising for AIDS-related causes during the worst years of the epidemic, before effective treatment became available.

This tweet celebrated the time she sent Christmas cards to 10,000 Aid for AIDS supporters, wishing them a happy season and reminding them of the need for further donations.​​

Related: Angela Lansbury has some choice words about her gay ex-husband

In September 1987, Lansbury was among the headliners at a huge AIDS fundraiser in Chicago.

Lansbury helped raised millions for AIDS-related causes

In 1996, the Majestic Theatre on Broadway hosted a gala tribute night to Lansbury to celebrate both her career and her fundraising for the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR) and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Among those to pay tribute was Dr. Mathilde Krim, the founding Co-Chair and then Chairman of the Board of AmFAR. He praised Ms. Lansbury, saying “in more than 10 years, Angela has never said ‘no’ when asked to help.”

Lansbury herself gave a 10-minute speech at the event. She said she’d been partly inspired to raise money for AIDS research by the death of Fritz Holt. He was the producer of Lansbury’s Gypsy and the former lover of the evening’s director/producer, Barry Brown. She ended by saying, “Never give up on the fight until the war is won. And we will win!”

Related: This is how the world first learned about AIDS 40 years ago today

Celebrities pay tribute to Lansbury’s advocacy and support

Others have praised Lansbury for her work advocating for women, and for the support she showed toward other performers.

Sex And The City star Cynthia Nixon was among those to remember her fondly.

 

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Kathy Griffin tweeted, “I cannot tell you how many ladies and gays are crushed, moved and feeling nostalgic about something in the past with the news of the passing of the fabulous Dame Angela Lansbury.”

Previously unseen video interview released

Lansbury fans can check out a video interview the New York Times posted yesterday. The media outlet sat down with her in 2010. The outlet says, “She spoke with us with the understanding the interview would be published only after her death.”

The interview covers her career and personal life, including her marriage to her first husband, actor Richard Cromwell, who turned out to be gay, and her children’s battles with drugs.