- Angela Lansbury is known for her decades-spanning career, including her 12-year run on “Murder, She Wrote” in the 1980s and 1990s
- Angela was married twice in her life, for one year to Richard Cromwell, and 53 years to Peter Shaw
- She believed she and Peter had the “perfect relationship”
Dame Angela Lansbury‘s award-winning acting career that spanned eight decades came to an end when she died on Oct. 11, 2022 at the age of 96. The actress left behind her three children: Anthony, Deirdre, and stepson David, and three grandchildren: Peter, Katherine, and Ian, according to NBC News. She was also survived by her five great-grandchildren and her brother, producer Edgar Lansbury. Her husband of 53 years and the father to her children, Peter Shaw, preceded her death by 19 years.
Angela and Peter walked down the aisle in 1949 just three years after Angela’s divorce from Richard Cromwell, who she married in 1945 when she was 19 and he was 34. He ended up leaving her a year later because he realized he was gay. “I had known so many gay people in Hollywood. It just had never really sunk in … I was in love with love,” Angela once recalled of the turbulent time in her personal life, per BANG Showbiz.
“When it turned out that he was [gay], I never blamed him for it in any way,” she continued. “And I realized that I had just made an excruciating error, you know, an emotional error … But I don’t regret it because I learned so much during … the short time that we were together.”
Although her first marriage went wrong, she and Peter stuck by each other’s side until he took his last breath. Read on to learn about Peter and his marriage to Angela below.
Peter Shaw’s Life
Peter was born in Reading, England as Peter Pullen in 1918. He served in the British army during World War II, according to the Los Angeles Times. After he was discharged, he decided to pursue acting and was signed by MGM Studios. He later became an agent and represented some of the top names in Tinseltown, such as Robert Mitchum, Katharine Hepburn, and Anna Magnani. Peter and Angela worked together on Murder, She Wrote, which he coproduced through his and his sons’ production company, Corymore Productions. They founded the company in 1987 after Peter had served as the assistant head of production at MGM.
He died on Jan. 29, 2003 due to congestive heart failure.
Angela Thinks She And Peter Had A ‘Perfect’ Union
“We had the perfect relationship. Not many people can say that,” a heartbroken Angela told the Daily Mail following Peter’s death. “He was everything to me: we were partners at work as well as husband and wife and lovers. I don’t know how we had such a long marriage, but the simple fact was that we were devoted to one another.”
“We made all decisions jointly and we helped and supported each other constantly. My career was important to me but our children, Anthony and Deidre, always came first,” she added in a 2014 interview with the publication.
Following Peter’s death, Angela told Closer Weekly that she used work to help with her grief. “Suddenly it happens, and that special person is gone,” she explained. “I said, ‘All right, enough already. Get off your ass and start moving forward.’” Some of her biggest films following Peter’s death include 2005’s Nanny McPhee and 2018’s Mary Poppins Returns.