(Jason Fraley’s article appeared on wtop, 3/23; via Pam Green.)

WASHINGTON — She became a TV icon solving crimes in “Murder, She Wrote” (1984), an animated fixture as Mrs. Potts in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” (1991) and a movie legend brainwashing a political assassin with a game of solitaire in “The Manchurian Candidate” (1962).

But did you know that Angela Lansbury launched her stage career right here at the National Theatre?

It was exactly 58 years ago, on March 16, 1957, that Lansbury made her pre-Broadway debut at National Theatre in “Hotel Paradiso.” Her co-star that night? Bert Lahr, aka the Cowardly Lion from “The Wizard of Oz” (1939).


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