John Waters reveals Angela Lansbury’s presence at ‘dungeon-like sex club’ Hellfire made it ‘more welcoming’

John Waters reveals Angela Lansbury’s presence at ‘dungeon-like sex club’ Hellfire made it ‘more welcoming’
John Waters once bumped into actress Angela Lansbury at a New York City sex club (Jamie McCarthy/Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images)

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK: John Waters reveals the one time he came across beloved legendary actress Angela Lansbury at a New York City sex club that catered to "gay and straight perverts alike" in the '80s. While the filmmaker also noted the star was at the Hellfire club only to hang out and not partake in any action. 

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The 76-year-old 'Hairspray' director recalled the late actress who passed a week ago at the age of 96, was just five days shy of her 97th birthday, and said, "It may have been the only night she was ever there, but just her presence made Hellfire a little more welcoming," he told Page Six of the incident and added, "[Angela] was pure class even forty years ago when these kind of clubs were all the rage."

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Filmmaker John Waters speaks onstage during the The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on February 8, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.
 Filmmaker John Waters says, 'Angela Lansbury was pure class even forty years ago when these kind of clubs were all the rage' (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The filmmaker originally shared the encounter with Lansbury in his 2019 book, 'Mr Know-It-All: The Tarnished Wisdom of a Filth Elder'. The Irish-British and American actress was best known for her portrayal of mystery writer and amateur detective, Jessica Fletcher in the CBS series 'Murder, She Wrote', which ran from 1984-1996. Lansbury was nominated for ten Golden Globes for the show and won four. She passed peacefully at her home in Los Angeles early on Tuesday morning, October 11, 2022. The 76-year-old shed more light on the ordeal with Page Six, recalling her presence at the notorious sex club made it more welcoming while remarking she was pure class even forty years ago. 

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Actress Angela Lansbury speaks during the PBS segment of the 2018 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on January 16, 2018 in Pasadena, California.
Actress Angela Lansbury passed away peacefully at her home in Los Angeles on October 11, 2022 (Frederick M Brown/Getty Images)

Waters on his promotional tour for his book made sure to note, Lansbury was only at the sex club only to hang out, and not to partake in any of the action, stated LGBTQ Nation. "Everybody went. She wasn't doing anything. Hellfire was a straight, gay bar, people had sex," Waters said. "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." He added, "You might be sitting there talking to somebody and look down and someone’s licking your shoe. You just kick them away. But then they like that so then you had to say 'thanks!' and then they would go away." He also remembered seeing "lots of celebrities" as well as Andy Warhol and Truman Capote at the infamous sex club in New York. 

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