Angela Lansbury’s passing several days ago brought to mind an encounter I had had with the legendary actress nearly ten years ago. The impression she left with me was one of utter grace, elegance – and more than a glimmer of humor. I wrote a blog post about this very encounter at the time without revealing her name. I am reposting it here as a tribute to her and her extraordinary career. Brava.
While browsing the aisles of an LA shop well known to makeup artists and their clients, I suddenly saw Ms. Acting Legend. Awarded and beloved for decades for her work on stage, screen, and television, there she was. Not a young woman by any means, but absolutely regal in how she carried herself and in how she looked. Living in LA, it’s not hard to see celebs on a somewhat frequent basis, but even by those standards, this sighting was truly a find.
Being the cool chick I am (!), I gave Ms. Acting Legend her space and privacy, only to find myself standing right beside her at the cashier desk a few minutes later. Because this store deals with the entertainment community so closely, it offers a discount to actors, professional makeup artists, etc. The young cashier asked, and Ms. Acting Legend said yes, she was in the industry. (You’re actually asking her that? Don’t you know who she is?). But then came the shocker – the cashier asked to see her SAG card for verification.
Really? You work in a store that caters to movie and television clientele and have no idea who the actress standing right in front of you – larger than life – is? Even if you don’t know her name, she doesn’t look even the least bit familiar? And you’re asking for proof of her actorhood?
And then it occurred to me. The cashier was just too young to know whose credit card she was swiping.
It took me a few seconds to recover from the realization that I’ve reached an age where the legends in my reality may not even exist in the lives of people 25 years younger than me. Whoa. Mind warp.
To give the actress credit, she wasn’t the least bit put out or offended. She was utterly gracious about it all. She smiled, signed for the purchase, thanked the cashier, and, as she turned to leave, gave me a conspiring wink.
And that, as they say, is all she wrote.
©2013,©2022 Claudia Grossman