Their marriage was troubled; Cromwell was gay, and had married Lansbury in the unsuccessful hope that it would.
She nevertheless considered herself largely self-educated, learning from books, theatre and cinema.
As of 2009, she held the record for the most Emmy losses by a performer.
Her first cinematic role in seven years was as novelist and murder victim Salome Otterbourne in 1978 , an adaptation of 's that was filmed in both London and Egypt.
In March 1979, Lansbury first appeared as in , a musical directed by.
She portrayed the mistress of a dying New England millionaire, and although the play's reviews were mixed, Lansbury's acting was widely praised.