John Waters claims he once saw Angela Lansbury in a ‘dungeon-like’ sex club: ‘She was pure class’
Legendary filmmaker John Waters has claimed he once saw the late icon Angela Lansbury in a “dungeon-like sex club” in New York City.
Waters first revealed that he saw Lansbury, who tragically died at the age of 96 on 11 October, in the sex club Hellfire in the eighties in his 2019 book Mr Know-It-All: The Tarnished Wisdom of a Filth Elder.
However he revealed to Page Six on Tuesday (18 October) that her presence in the club – which catered to “gay and straight perverts alike” – was not surprising, but “welcoming”.
The Pink Flamingos director told the outlet: “[Lansbury] was pure class even 40 years ago when these kind of clubs were all the rage.
“It may have been the only night she was ever there, but just her presence made Hellfire a little more welcoming.”
He added that it was not uncommon to see “lots of celebrities” at clubs like Hellfire, explaining that he had also seen Andy Warhol and Truman Capote at the sex club.
“Everybody went. She wasn’t doing anything,” Waters added.
“Hellfire was a straight, gay bar [where] people had sex. You would be standing there talking about the new novel of Alain Robbe-Grillet, and a [penis] would come through a glory hole and then you just move down to a different spot.”
Angela Lansbury, often described as a gay icon, not only won five Tony Awards, six Golden Globes and an Olivier Award throughout her career, but was a keen advocate during the AIDS crisis, and led campaigns resulting in over one million dollars being raised for the American Foundation for Aids and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Several actors paid tribute to her after her death, with Catherine Zeta-Jones, who starred in Broadway’s A Little Night Music, with Lansbury, describing the role as “one of the joys of my life”.
American actor Josh Gad, best known for voicing Olaf in Frozen, said: “It is rare that one person can touch multiple generations, creating a breadth of work that defines decade after decade.”
Lansbury, who voiced Mrs Potts in Disney‘s Beauty and the Beast, was praised by the studio for bringing “such incredible warmth and personality” to the character.
Disney Animation Studios added: “Her unforgettable performance will forever be a classic.”