The entertainment community was heartbroken by the death of Angela Lansbury, and many shared their personal memories of working with the legendary performer. Soap star Vincent Irizarry has appeared on numerous daytime dramas like GUIDING LIGHT, ALL MY CHILDREN, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS, and DAYS OF OUR LIVES, but his acting career has taken him into films and primetime, including an episode of Lansbury’s beloved classic, MURDER, SHE WROTE.
“There are several veteran actors I’ve been very fortunate to work with throughout my life and career,” he shared on Instagram, “and this amazing talent was one of those same that I will never, ever forget. I enjoyed the great privilege of working opposite the iconic Ms. Angela Lansbury on her long-running series, MURDER, SHE WROTE, season seven, episode 11, entitled ‘Family Doctor.’”
In this episode, Jessica and Seth are entangled in a crime family’s power struggle after a sniper attack in Boston wounds a mob boss. Irizarry played the role of Michael Abruzzi, one of the power-hungry young members of the crime family in crisis.
“It was on that set that I learned a very valuable lesson,” Irizarry revealed, “a truism that has been consistently proven on any other set I’ve worked on since when it came to working with the ‘stars’ of the show. There is a trickling down effect among those whose name is above the title, and all others, those many cogs in the wheel, whom collectively, assist in breathing it all to life.
“Ms. Lansbury was the consummate professional in every which way one could imagine,” he continued, “from the moment she stepped onto set until her work was completed. Understand, this was the seventh season of her show, and because she set the tone by that professionalism, as well as her graciousness to everyone working beside her, it was truly one of the most pleasurable experiences I’ve ever had working on a set. Everyone was so mutually kind, gracious, and respectful to one another in accomplishing their task of continuing the show’s success, naturally mirroring those same qualities she herself had exhibited and shared with them throughout those years together.”
So while it was just a guest-starring role in one episode, it left a lasting impression on the Daytime Emmy winner that stuck with him throughout his career. “That experience working beside her just solidified my already lofty perception of her as an incredible talent from seeing her live on Broadway opposite Len Cariou in the original production of Sweeney Todd, as well as in the brilliant political suspense drama The Manchurian Candidate,” Irizarry related. “She was a brilliant force of nature, for sure.
“RIP, dear woman and stand-alone talent,” he concluded. “So grateful for the gifts you’ve blessed us with.”