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.
During the worst years of the AIDS crisis, Angela Lansbury was a staple at AIDS benefits, helping raise millions of dollars to fund AIDS research & patient care. “This illness is robbing us of our friends and our futures. This disease knows no discrimination.” https://t.co/6jUwswZ2eT pic.twitter.com/rMMaoIEG35
— Eric Gonzaba (@EGonzaba) October 11, 2022
In September 1987, Lansbury was among the headliners at a huge AIDS fundraiser in Chicago.
A thing you should know:
In September, 1987, Angela Lansbury headlined a show that packed the Chicago Theater with 2,400 people to raise money for AIDS research. It was the first major AIDS benefit in Chicago, and it raised $1 million. 🧵 pic.twitter.com/lpKHNlGbsu
— Rebecca Makkai (@rebeccamakkai) October 11, 2022
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!”
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.
My favorite fact about Angela Lansbury is that during her MURDER SHE WROTE era she made it a practice to hire guest actors of the golden age that had aged out of the game because it allowed them to earn the union points they needed for insurance, pensions, etc.
— Tess Sharpe (@sharpegirl) October 11, 2022
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.”
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.
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) October 11, 2022
Angela Lansbury, who graced the stage for decades winning five Tony awards and brought the sleuthing Jessica Fletcher into our living rooms for a dozen years, has passed. A tale old as time, our beloved Mrs. Potts will sing lullabies to us now from the stars. Rest, great soul.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) October 11, 2022
Love, Always. pic.twitter.com/7jvPJeBiX9
— RuPaul (@RuPaul) October 11, 2022
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.