This Decision Likely Saved Angela Lansbury's Life

While the beloved actress Angela Lansbury might be best known for her long-running role as the Maine-based mystery writer Jessica Fletcher on the popular show "Murder She Wrote," Lansbury was actually born in London, England, in 1925. She spent her early childhood in London's East End with her mother, an Irish actress, and a politician father, according to Biography.

However, Lansbury was forced to grow up very quickly. Her father passed away when she was only nine years old, and not long after, Great Britain joined World War II by declaring war on Germany in 1939. In September of 1940, the Germans began the Blitz of London, launching a strategic barrage of constant bombings and nighttime raids, according to Britannica. For eight months, the Luftwaffe rained down an intense bombing campaign on the city, tormenting the citizens of London. Due to the bombings, Lansbury's school was forced to evacuate, and the family briefly moved out of the city and into the suburbs of London, per PBS. However, soon the Lansbury family decided that living in England was too dangerous, and decided to take their chances immigrating to America.

Lansbury narrowly avoided the Nazi's bombing of Liverpool

In an effort to escape the ongoing terror of the war, the Lansbury family soon made a plan to flee the country. They safely arrived in New York in 1940, but chillingly, Lansbury and her family almost didn't make it out of England alive. The very same day they arrived in Liverpool to board the boat for America, the city was bombed by the Germans (via PBS).

"The day we sailed from Liverpool, it was bombed," Lansbury later told the Radio Times. "But we escaped! On a Canadian Pacific Line steamship called the Duchess of Atholl. And y'know, it's curious, we didn't really understand how crucial that journey was, or how imminent our demise might have been, if we had not been lucky enough to have an escort of destroyers, weaving around us, all the way." The fortuitous timing of their escape may very well have saved Lansbury's life, and had she not managed to flee England when she did, the world may have missed out on a great and talented actress.