Happy 90th Birthday to the truly great Dame Angela Lansbury. Here she is singing "Goodbye, Yellow Bird" from THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY 70 (!) years ago.
There are stars who are gifted with personalities that shine through everything they do, and she is certainly so gifted. Then there are performers so intelligent and hard-working that they continually seem to get even better, even when that scarcely seems possible. This also applies to Lansbury. She was not a movie star in the classic mold, but she made such an impression in roles such as the Cockney maid in GASLIGHT (1944) and singing Sibyl Vane in THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY (1945, see below) that the public saw her worth well before the studios did.
You would have to have your head in a bag not to see what was so special about Lansbury in this scene from THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY, made when she was barely out of her teens. The eyes have it. She's one of the great ones and we're lucky to have her. It was this performance that prompted Pauline Kael to muse: "I don't think I've ever had a friend who didn't treasure that girl and that song."