So many congrats to Ms. Angela Lansbury who picked up her 5th Tony Award last night for her role in Blithe Spirit at the tender young age of 83 years-old.
As I watched her elegant presence on stage picking up "Best Featured Actress" , I felt honored to have painted this legendary performer for The Players' Club in New York, recently unveiled this April.
I couldn't take my eyes off her face to be honest on TV last night. And was really glad I had chosen to paint her in pearls as she so often seems to wear those. She also seems really quite tall and of course very elegant in her dress and carriage. I am hoping my 16 x 20 head and shoulders somehow caught that!
I read Ms. Lansbury's authorized biography before starting the painting, She has had one helluva career. From old Hollywood to present. From Broadway's "Mame" to TV"s iconic Jessica Fletcher on "Murder She Wrote". Ms. Lansbury, who has a love for gardening even has a rose named after her. That's why I chose to put that floral scarf on her in my portrait knowing her penchant for green fingers.
Ms. Lansbury is a reminder to us all who choose to be in The Arts that a lifetime of hard work, dedication, and practicing your craft to perfection is what it takes. Talent like she has sure helps but one just knows she has also had her share of knocks in the tough world of theatre, film and TV. Cream rises to the top. And the other good news, evidenced by Lansbury's win in her eighth decade s last night, is that those of us who want to, can go on for years and years with our performances for the sheer love of what we do.
For the record: Angela Lansbury won her first Tony Award for leading actress in musical in 1966 for "Mame": again for "Dear World" in 1969: another in 1975 and 1979 for "Sweeney Tood": culminating in 2009 for Blithe Spirit.