Angela Lansbury has died not too long ago (too soon, at the young age of 96), but her death has rekindled various wonderful anecdotes about the cherished acting legend.
One of these treats transported us to the Hollywood Hills of the 1960s when Charles Manson recruited children of famous and wealthy people to join what would later become his infamous murder cult.
Terry Melcher, son of Doris Day. Deanna Martin, Dean Martin’s daughter, and Lansbury’s children, Anthony and Deidre Shaw, were among the people Manson pursued romantically or attempted to pursue romantically.
During an interview with Mail Online in 2014, Dame Lansbury told how Diedre in particular succumbed to Manson’s influence and how she uprooted both her children from Hollywood and fled to Ireland to escape his influence.
“Initially cannabis was used, but then heroin was also used. There were sub-groups in the hills above Malibu that engaged in dangerous activities, “As reported by the Mail, Lansbury said.
“It pains me to admit it, but there was a time when Deirdre was part of a group led by Charles Manson. She was one of the many children who knew him, and they were all mesmerized by him. He undoubtedly possessed an outstanding personality and exuded charm in various ways.
Deidre seems to be helping support the Manson family financially, but in 1968. Lansbury and her husband Peter Shaw, found that Deidre was using drugs. They immediately canceled all her credit cards. However, in order to free herself from Manson’s influence and the counterculture, the Gaslight actress quit her profession, gathered her family and moved out of the US entirely.
“We lifted the barriers and moved the family to a property I found in County Cork,” Lansbury said. “I was drawn to Ireland because it was my mother’s birthplace and it was a place where my children would not be exposed to more harmful influences. Although I no longer live there, I still own a home there and make it a point to return there at least once a year. So I refused any work for a year and just kept the house.
She continued by saying: “It was a fantastic time in my life.” And the transplant has the desired effect on her children. Although it took Deidre “some more” to “give up his bad habits pretty quickly,” she finally got there.
Anthony “pretty soon gave up his bad habits.” Anthony became a successful television director and was responsible for directing 68 episodes of his mother’s critically acclaimed show, Murder, she wrote. Meanwhile, Deidre got married and opened an Italian restaurant in Los Angeles.
Angela Lansbury fled Los Angeles so her family could escape the cult of Charles Manson: “[My daughter] was one of the many youths who knew him—and [she was] charmed. He was an extraordinary character, charismatic in many ways, no doubt.” https://t.co/GwPgtxGK13
— Variety (@Variety) October 12, 2022
The timing was perfect for Lansbury, given that in 1969 three members of the Manson cult brutally killed Sharon Tate, who was pregnant at the time, along with four other people. Manson would spend the rest of his life in prison, dying in 2017 at the age of 83.
“Of course I have no doubt that we would have lost one or both of our two had they not been removed to a totally different environment, the simplicity of life in Ireland.” Lansbury scored. “We were so happy that we noticed what was happening just in time.”
Angela Lansbury passed away recently at the age of 96, far too soon, but now that she’s gone, great stories about the legendary actress are resurfacing.
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