Veteran actress Angela Lansbury relocated her family across the world to rescue her daughter from “charismatic” Charles Manson and his “deadly pursuits” in the hills of Hollywood.
In a 2014 interview, the “Murder, She Wrote” star told The Daily Mail that her daughter Deirdre Shaw had fallen in with the infamous serial killer and his California cult the Manson Family.
“There were factions up in the hills above Malibu that were dedicated to deadly pursuits,” she recalled. “It pains me to say it but, at one stage, Deidre was in with a crowd led by Charles Manson.”
“She was one of many youngsters who knew him – and they were fascinated,” Lansbury detailed. “He was an extraordinary character, charismatic in many ways, no question about it.’
The three-time Academy Award nominee said that Deidre and her brother Anthony became heavily involved with drugs when they were teenagers in the 1960s.
‘It started with cannabis but moved on to heroin,” she explained, adding that she an her husband Peter Shaw, “had no idea” that their children spiraled into drug addiction.
“We had no experience of drugs,” the “Manchurian Candidate” star said. “We didn’t know the significance of finding a pipe in a drawer. Why would we? And when we did, we didn’t know how to help them.”
The family’s world was rocked when Anthony overdosed on heroin and went into a coma in 1970. After their house burned to ashes in a brush fire, Lansbury told her husband that they had to “leave” California.
They moved across the pond to County Cork, Ireland, where she took a year off work and helped her children wean off of hard drugs with doctor prescribed heroin substitute methadone.
“I was drawn to Ireland because it was the birthplace of my mother and it was also somewhere my children wouldn’t be exposed to any more bad influences,” she remarked.
Eventually, both of Lansbury’s children recovered and went on to lead successful lives. Anthony is a retired television director and Deidre runs an Italian restaurant with her husband in Los Angeles.
“I have no doubt we would have lost one or both of our two if they hadn’t been removed to a completely different milieu, the simplicity of life in Ireland,” she said.
Lansbury returned to work in Broadway smash hits “Gypsy” and “Sweeney Todd,” appeared on the silver screen in 1978’s “Death on the Nile,” and took on the iconic role of Jessica Fletcher in for 264 episodes of CBS Sunday night staple, “Murder, She Wrote.”
The Hollywood mainstay died in her sleep on Tuesday at the age of 96, five days before her 97th birthday.