The star passed away yesterday at the age of 96, prompting fans to remember her run in with cult leader Charles Manson and her family’s escape to Cork.
The star passed away yesterday at her Los Angeles Home, just days away from her 97th birthday.
In 2014, she shared her family’s close-call with cult leader and convicted murderer Charles Manson – and how they ran away to Cork to escape.
Her then-teenage daughter Diedre had been taken in by Manson’s followers in the 1960s, Lansbury told DailyMail.com.
"It pains me to say it but, at one stafe, Deidre was in a crowd led by Charles Manson.”
"She was one of many youngsters who knew him – and they were fascinated,” Lansbury said. “He was an extraordinary character, charismatic in many ways, no question about it.”
Deidre, now 69, has been using drugs at the time along with her brother Andrew.
"It started with cannabis but moved on to heroin.”
"There were factions up in the hills above Malibu that were dedicated to deadly pursuits.”
The teens fell down a slippery path, Lansbury explained, and the brush with Manson is a chilling reminder of where the story could have ended.
Instead, Lansbury said “she upped sticks and moved the family to a house I found in County Cork” in a bid to escape Manson’s clutches.
"I was drawn to Ireland because it was the birthplace of my mother and it was also somewhere my children wouldn't be exposed to any more bad influences.”
She described the period as “a wonderful time” in her life that pulled her children out of trouble.
"Anthony pulled right out of his bad habits quite quickly,” she said. “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.”
The star said the damage that would have come to her kids if they had stayed in LA is unimaginable.
"It fills me with dread.”
"Certainly, I have no doubt we would have lost one or both of our two if they hadn't been removed to a completely different milieu, the simplicity of life in Ireland.”
Writer Jeff Guinn revealed in 2014 that Diedre became wrapped up in the Manson movement and would “go stock up on clothes or car parts without a concern for cost, because Didi paid for everything with her mother's credit cards.”
In his book ‘Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson’ he said the teen never moved in with the members, but was useful to them before she left LA with her family.
The notorious killer’s group would go on to commit the infamous Tate-LaBianca murders in 1969. Pregnant actress and wife of director Roman Polanski, Sharon Tate was killed by Manson cult members alongside friends Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski and Steven Parent.
The following evening, supermarket executive Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary were targeted and killed by cult members under Manson’s direction.
Manson was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in 1971.
Although it is believed he did not outright order the killings, a jury was convinced his behaviour made him responsible.
He died in 2017 after spending 47 years on death row at the age of 83.