Dame Angela Lansbury, the celebrated Murder, She Wrote actress whose career spanned more than 80 years, has died at the age of 96.
In a statement, the actress’ family announced she died on Tuesday, five days short of her 97th birthday.
“The children of Dame Angela Lansbury are sad to announce that their mother died peacefully in her sleep at home in Los Angeles at 1:30 AM today, Tuesday, October 11, 2022, just five days shy of her 97th birthday,” her family said.
Lansbury, a British, Irish and American actress, boasted a number of iconic roles across her long-standing career, including as Mrs Pott in Disney’s original Beauty and the Beast and as the maid in Gaslight, starring alongside Ingrid Bergman.
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Following the news of Lansbury’s death, tributes have been flowing from all corners of the entertainment business and beyond.
One of the first to share their condolences was Lansbury’s cousin, former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.
In a tweet, Turnbull shared his sorrow at the loss of “dear Angie”, and posted a photo of himself with Lansbury which was taken in 2013.
“You first dazzled me when I was 4 & you were Aunty Angela making a movie in Australia. In later years we always had politics & showbiz to talk and laugh about,” he wrote.
Turnbull is related to the actress through his mother, Coral Lansbury, who was her cousin.
Broadway icon Kristin Chenoweth thanked the star for her “art and wisdom”, while George Takei said she would “sing lullabies to us now from the stars”.
Seinfeld star Jason Alexander remembered the actress as ”one of the most versatile, talented, graceful, kind, witty, wise, classy ladies” he’d ever met.
Actor and screenwriter Harvey Fierstein also paid tribute, writing in a tweet, “Angela Lansbury – she, my darlings, was EVERYTHING!” alongside and picture of them together.”
American actor and TV director Ken Olin, who worked on TV shows like Alias, starring Jennifer Garner, Hill Street Blues and Brothers & Sisters, shared a sweet anecdote to remember Lansbury by.
“One of my first acting jobs in Hollywood was on #MurderSheWrote with the great Angela Lansbury,” he tweeted.
“She was very kind to me, extremely focused, dignified but not stuffy, and always prepared. I was very lucky to work with such a consummate professional early in my career.”
Lansbury gained her first Oscar nomination for her role in Gaslight before she was nominated once again for her supporting role in 1945’s The Picture of Dorian Gray and a third time for her supporting role in 1962’s The Manchurian Candidate.
In 1945, she married her first husband, The Age of Consent actor Richard Cromwell, but the pair split a year later.
She married again in 1949, to TV producer and actor Peter Shaw. Shaw sadly died in 2003 after 54 years of marriage.
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Lansbury made her greatest mark on Broadway, and won five Tony Awards in her time. Her most recent award came in 2009 for Best Featured Actress in a play for her work in Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit.
One of her most notable roles was as Nellie Lovett in the Broadway production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. She ultimately won the Tony for Best Musical Actress in 1979 for that role.
Lansbury’s other Tony wins came for Best Actress in a musical for Mame in 1966, Dear World in 1969 and Gypsy in 1975.
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One of the actress’ most endearing recent performances came in 2016, when she took to the stage at Lincoln Center in New York for the 25th anniversary of Beauty and the Beast. At the age of 91, she amazed audiences with her sweet rendition of the title’s lead song, which you can watch above.
Lansbury’s biggest claim to fame was as widowed mystery writer and amateur crime fighter Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote.
The American series ran for 12 seasons from 1984 to 1996, and became one of the biggest TV hits of the ’80s.