The Great American Girl Is Not Being Considered by the Academy

Letters to the Editor: Angela Lansbury, the actress you really wanted to work with you!

I read with dismay, with alarm, and with great sadness the article last Sunday in the Wall Street Journal, “The Great American Girl,” by Angela Lansbury. In the article, she wrote about how she would have loved to be considered for an award for best actress in a musical for the 1954 movie “Hollywood Canteen.”

Lansbury, the star of stage and screen, was born on March 2, 1945, the daughter of a Broadway musical theater writer. Lansbury appeared in the 1956 film “The Yearling,” and on television in numerous other roles.

The Academy named her a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2004. An ardent and faithful member of the Academy since its inception, Lansbury’s dedication in making her award possible was not questioned.

What shocked me was Lansbury’s description of her being considered for the role. As a member of the “Hollywood Canteen” chorus, I have worked for years with some of the very gifted actors who have won Academy best actress awards, including Gene Kelly, Julie Harris and Patricia Neal.

I don’t know Lansbury or her talent. I am glad she was recognized for her years of hard work in making the Academy’s award possible, but I have seen many other actors (some of them far better than Lansbury) who have been considered to be worthy Academy Award winners through far less effort than Lansbury.

In contrast to Lansbury, other actresses who came close to being nominated have not achieved the recognition they deserve. Actors can work hard without being rewarded. Many have even achieved the highest accolades without recognition, which is the result of their ability to work hard.

In my opinion, Lansbury was a wonderful singer and actress and it was wrong of her to think that being nominated was being considered by the Academy. It is an honor to be nominated, but to be considered for an outstanding achievement is much more appreciated.

The actress who should have been nominated for Best Actress was Joanne Woodward. Her performance is so strong that to even consider awarding a prize for it is something special

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