Murder, she thwarted.
Angela Lansbury saved her drug-addled daughter from Charles Manson’s cult in the late 1960s — shortly before its members carried out a series of slayings that shocked the world.
Lansbury — who died Tuesday at the age of 96 — recalled in a 2014 interview how her daughter, Deidre Shaw, fell in with Manson’s posse as a teenager.
“It pains me to say it but, at one stage, Deidre was in with a crowd led by Charles Manson,” the actress told the Daily Mail. “She was one of many youngsters who knew him and they were fascinated. He was an extraordinary character, charismatic in many ways, no question about it.”
At the time, Lansbury was living with her husband, Peter Shaw, and their children in Malibu.
“There were factions up in the hills above Malibu that were dedicated to deadly pursuits,” the star said, recalling how both daughter Deidre and son Anthony initially fell into drugs.
“It started with cannabis but moved on to heroin,” she continued. “It fills me with dread. Peter and I had no idea what had been going on. But then we had no experience of drugs. We didn’t know the significance of finding a pipe in a drawer. Why would we?”
After discovering the extent of their children’s drug problems, Lansbury and her husband decided to uproot their family and relocate to Ireland.
“I said to Peter, ‘We have to leave.’ So we upped sticks and moved the family to a house I found in County Cork. 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,” the five-time Tony winner recalled.
There, Lansbury devoted herself to raising her teenage children full time, and she learned to cook and garden.
The wholesome change help set both Deidre and Anthony on the straight and narrow, and the family eventually returned to California.
“Certainly, 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,” Lansbury recalled. “In the end we found a doctor who prescribed methadone, a heroin substitute, which helped with the withdrawal symptoms as Anthony and Deidre were weaned off hard drugs. We were so very, very lucky we spotted what was happening just in time.”
The “Murder, She Wrote” icon added that Anthony “pulled right out of his bad habits quite quickly,” while it “took Deidre a little longer” to get sober.
“She finally got married and she and her husband now live in Los Angeles, where they run their own Italian restaurant,” Lansbury proudly declared.
Deidre is now 69, while Anthony recently celebrated his 70th birthday.
Following Lansbury’s death on Friday, writer Christopher Moloney took to Twitter to recall how the star had previously spoken about her daughter’s brush with Manson.
“Angela Lansbury told a story about her daughter falling under the spell of a Hollywood deadbeat,” Moloney tweeted. “He would pick the girl up from school and get her to steal money and food from her parents for him. Worried, Lansbury moved the entire family to Ireland. The guy was Charles Manson.”
Manson led the Manson Family — a Southern California commune and cult — in the late 1960s. Several members committed nine murders during July and August of 1969, including the brutal slaying of Roman Polanski’s pregnant wife, Sharon Tate.
Manson was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder, despite never directly ordering the killings. The prosecution claimed, however, that the ideology of his cult constituted an act of conspiracy. He died behind bars in 2017.