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Angela Lansbury rescued her daughter from Charles Manson’s clutches by uprooting from the US to Ireland

The late Angela Lansbury – who died just days before her 97th birthday in the early hours of Tuesday at her home in Los Angeles – once had to rescue her daughter from the clutches of convicted murder Charles Manson.

In a 2014 interview with, Lansbury revealed that Diedre, now 69, had started walking with a crowd led by the musician-turned-mass-murderer in the 1960s.

To protect her daughter and the rest of her family, the Murder, She Wrote actress moved her entire family from her home in Los Angeles to Ireland, where her mother’s family was from.

Lansbury said the problems with Diedre and her older son Anthony, now 70, began in the 1960s when they became under the influence of drugs.

“It started with cannabis but then transitioned to heroin,” the Sweeney Todd star explained.

Her drug use brought her children, who were then just teenagers, into unsavory circles.

“There were factions up in the hills above Malibu that were dedicated to deadly pursuits,” she continued. “It pains me to say it, but at one point Deidre was with a crowd led by Charles Manson.”

Like some of Manson’s followers who would go on to commit the horrifying Tate-LaBianca murders, Diedre was reportedly drawn to the charms of cult leaders.

“She was one of many youngsters who knew him — and they were intrigued,” Lansbury continued. “He was an extraordinary character, charismatic in many ways, no question.”

Fearing the trouble her daughter might get into if she stayed in Manson’s circle, Lansbury proposed a major move abroad.

“I said yes [husband] Peter [Shaw], “We must go.” So we raised the bar and moved the family into a house that I found in County Cork,” she said, explaining that despite being born in London, it was a bit of a homecoming.

“I was drawn to Ireland because it was my mother’s birthplace and it was also a place where my children weren’t exposed to bad influences,” Lansbury continues. “I have another house there that I try to visit at least once a year.

“So I refused all work for a year and just kept house. I bought Elizabeth David’s books and learned how to cook,” she added, referring to the popular British cookery author. “It was a wonderful time in my life.”

A change of scenery proved just the thing for their children, who were thriving in Ireland.

“Anthony broke his bad habits pretty quickly,” Lansbury shared. “It took Deidre a little longer but she finally got married and she and her husband now live in Los Angeles where they run their own Italian restaurant.”

Anthony later followed in his mother’s footsteps in the entertainment industry and the two even worked together when he directed 68 episodes of her series Murder, She Wrote.

Even though everything had worked out with her family, the thought of what might have happened to her children still terrified Lansbury decades later.

“It fills me with fear. Peter and I had no idea what was going on,” she admitted. “But we had no experience with drugs. We didn’t know what it meant to find a whistle in a drawer. Why should we? And when we did that, we didn’t know how to help them. There were also no experts back then who could advise parents of children from good families who used drugs and sometimes overdosed. It was like an epidemic.”

“Sure, I have no doubt we would have lost one or both of our two had they not been transferred to a completely different milieu, the simple life of Ireland,” she added.

“We ended up finding a doctor who prescribed methadone, a heroin substitute that helped with withdrawal symptoms when Anthony and Deidre were weaning from hard drugs. We were so lucky that we realized what was happening just in time.”

Manson was eventually convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to murder in 1971 for seven murders committed by his followers in 1969.

Although he is not believed to have specifically ordered the murders, his behavior and teachings convinced a jury that he was responsible for the murders.

On the night of August 8/9, Manson’s followers murdered pregnant actress Sharon Tate (who was the wife of director Roman Polanski) along with her boyfriend Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger of the Folger family, Polish writer and director Wojciech Frykowski and Steven’s parents. On August 10, Manson’s followers broke into the home of Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary and brutally murdered them both.

Manson died in prison in 2017 at the age of 83.

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