London - She endeared herself to millions as the crime-solving writer Jessica Fletcher.
When it comes to solving marriage problems, however, actress Angela Lansbury, 87, may not have quite so many fans – at least, not among the male half of the species.
Contrary to what men might think, the key to wedded bliss is definitely not sex, Lansbury says.
And, worse, she claims some women have become so exasperated with men that they turn to other women instead.
Lansbury, who was married for 54 years, said a “good man” should try to make his marriage work by realising sex is not the be all and end all.
The actress, most famous for the long-running television series Murder, She Wrote, said: “Unfortunately, what goes on in bed has come to be considered all-important, but that really isn’t the most important thing in a relationship, ultimately. It’s not the thing that’s going to support a marriage necessarily through 40 or 50 years.
“I think a good man is someone who pays attention to a marriage and is prepared to work at it.”
Lansbury, whose 70-year career has spanned the stage, film and TV, has been married twice. Her first marriage, to American actor Richard Cromwell, lasted just a year, ending in divorce in 1946.
After that she married British actor and businessman Peter Shaw, with whom she had two children. Shaw died in 2003. The couple had been married for 54 years.
Of Shaw, she said: “Peter was one of the handsomest men you’ll ever see. He was friendly, a sportsman, a very good businessman, and a terrific guy.”
But today’s women are unlikely to be so fortunate. Lansbury, the granddaughter of 1930s Labour Party leader George Lansbury, said: “Women are now suffering for the lack of enough men to go around. Many women have given up. In many cases I think women prefer to have a relationship with a woman.
“Anyway, there are many inherent differences between the sexes. It can be an area that is insurmountable and women put up with a hell of a lot. Not necessarily philandering, I mean generally.
“Men are going to get up to some nonsense sometimes and we don’t want to know about it. Well we do ultimately!”
Men may prefer the marriage advice of real-life writer Barbara Taylor Bradford, who last month advised wives they should admire their husbands.
Taylor Bradford, 79, who has been married to film producer Bob Bradford for almost 50 years, said: “I think that, basically, you can’t just be in love with man. You have to work at marriage. You have to like and respect the man you are married to.” - Daily Mail