Angela Lansbury had no regrets about marrying a gay man

The late Angela Lansbury said she had no regrets about marrying a man she later realised was gay.

Age 19 in 1945, Angela Lansbury wed actor Richard Cromwell, who was 16 years older than her, during a brief ceremony in California.

The marriage lasted only nine months and the couple did not explain their reasons for parting at the time.

Speaking to Radio Times in 2017, the Murder, She Wrote star confirmed that her first husband had been gay.

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 01: Angela Lansbury attends The New York Public Library For The Performing Arts' 50th Anniversary Gala at The New York Public Library - Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on February 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)


“I had no idea that I was marrying a gay man,” she said.

“I found him such an attractive individual.

“He wanted to marry, he was fascinated with me, but only because of what he had seen on the screen, really.

“It didn’t injure or damage me in any way, because he maintained a friendship with me and my future husband [Peter Shaw].”

She added: “But it was a shock to me when it ended, I wasn’t prepared for that.

“It was just a terrible error I made as a very young woman. But I don’t regret it.”

Angela Lansbury attends the 64th Annual Tony Awards (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

Angela Lansbury accepts her honorary Oscar (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

At the time Cromwell made just one comment about the failed marriage.

He told the press: “All over the house, tea bags. In the middle of the night she’d get up and start drinking tea. It nearly drove me crazy.”

While the marriage failed, the pair remained firm friends until he died age 50 in October 1960.

Angela Lansbury went on to wed Peter Shaw, an English actor and producer, who she remained with from their wedding in 1949 through until his death in 2003.

Lansbury died in her sleep at her Los Angeles home on Tuesday (11 October), her family said in a statement. Her family said the news was especially tragic as Lansbury’s passing comes “just five days shy of her 97th birthday”.