Angela Lansbury Becomes a Dame in Queen's New Year's Honors; Other Honorees Include Gillian Lynne, Michael Crawford and More

News   Angela Lansbury Becomes a Dame in Queen's New Year's Honors; Other Honorees Include Gillian Lynne, Michael Crawford and More
Angela Lansbury has received a damehood in the New Year's Honors announced by the Queen Dec. 31. Other theatrical personalities being honored include actress Penelope Keith and choreographer Gillian Lynne (both also being made Dames), veteran theatre producer Michael Codron (who is to be knighted), and Michael Crawford (who receives a CBE).

Angela Lansbury
Angela Lansbury

The London-born Lansbury, who is listed under her full name Mrs. Angela Brigid Lansbury Shaw, is awarded the DBE "for services to drama and to charitable work and philanthropy." In March she returns to the West End stage for the first time in nearly 40 years to reprise her Tony Award-winning Broadway performance as Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit at the Gielgud Theatre from March 1.

Keith, who is best known for her TV appearances in the series "The Good Life" and "To the Manor Born," is a stage regular, receives a DBE "for services to the arts and charity." She told The Guardian of her honor, "You know I sort of feel elated, exhausted and thrilled. It's the big one. I had already got an OBE and then a CBE, so I don't know what is better than the icing on the cake, but this is."

Codron, who is now 83 and produced a revival of Quartermaine's Terms in the West End this year, is best known for championing and producing the plays of Harold Pinter, Simon Gray, Michael Frayn, David Hare, Tom Stoppard, Alan Ayckbourn and Christopher Hampton. He has also produced extensively on Broadway.

Lynne, who is 87 and who is currently represented in the West End and on Broadway by her work on The Phantom of the Opera, returned to the London stage earlier this year when she directed the London premiere of Jerry Herman's Dear World at the Charing Cross Theatre starring Tony winner Betty Buckley. She told The Guardian, "Passion for my art has been the motivating factor throughout my career, but for Her Majesty the Queen and the Cabinet Office to see what I have done to be worthy of this accolade is an honor."

Crawford, who is 71 and best known for the TV sitcom "Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em" as well as originating the title role of The Phantom of the Opera in the West End and on Broadway, is recognized "for charitable and philanthropic services, particularly to Children's Charities." He told The Guardian that the honor was "the most wonderful surprise." Others from the world of arts and entertainment to receive honors include Nichoalas Parsons (CBE), Sandi Toksvig (OBE), Lynda Bellingham (OBE), singer Katherine Jenkins (OBE) and dancer Carlos Acosta (CBE).

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