Angela Lansbury’s Best Music Moments

Angela Lansbury, who died Tuesday (Oct. 11) at the age of 96, never had a Billboard Hot 100 hit and never personally received a Grammy nomination. But, in a long string of Broadway and movie hits, she introduced many songs that are widely known and loved. Among them: “Beauty and the Beast,” the title song from the 1991 Disney film of the same name, which won an Oscar for best original song and a Grammy for song of the year.

Impressively, Lansbury received career-capping honorary awards from three of the four EGOT awards shows. She was inducted into the TV Academy Hall of Fame in 1996, received an honorary award from the Motion Picture Academy in 2013 and received a special Tony Award for lifetime achievement just this year. (Nothing like cutting it close, Tonys!)

Lansbury won four Tony Awards for best actress in a musical – which is still the record in that category – putting her ahead of fellow Broadway legends Mary Martin and Gwen Verdon, with three wins each. Lansbury won for Mame, Dear World, a revival of Gypsy and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. What’s more, Lansbury received a 1985 Emmy nomination (outstanding individual performance in a variety or music program) for a performance of Sweeney Todd on PBS’ Great Performances.

The original cast albums from Mame and Sweeney Todd won Grammys for what is now called best musical theater album. The award for Mame went to its composer/lyricist, Jerry Herman. The award for Sweeney Todd went to its composer/lyricist, Stephen Sondheim, as well as album producer Thomas Z. Shepard. Two of Lansbury’s other cast albums – for revivals of The King and I (1978) and A Little Night Music (2010) – were also nominated in that Grammy category.

Several of Lansbury’s cast albums and soundtracks registered on the Billboard 200. Among them: Beauty and the Beast, which reached No. 19 in 1992; Mame, which hit No. 23 in 1966; Sweeney Todd, which reached No. 78 in 1979; and Dear World, which reached No. 128 in 1969.

Lansbury was also an always-welcome host of awards shows. She hosted or co-hosted the Tony Awards five times, more often than anyone else, and hosted the Emmy Awards once (in 1993). Lansbury received an Emmy nomination for the first time she solo-hosted the Tonys (in 1987). The nod was for outstanding individual performance in a variety or music program.

In Lansbury’s memory, here are just a few of her greatest music moments.

Paul Grein