Angela Lansbury, ‘Murder, She Wrote’ Star, Dies at 96

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Angela Lansbury, the legendary star of television, movies and the Broadway stage, died Oct. 11 at the age of 96.

The former “Murder, She Wrote” star’s passing was announced in a statement by her family members.

“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,” the statement read.

Hollywood and Broadway legend Angela Lansbury’s distinguished career included roles in TV’s “Murder, She Wrote” and the film “Beauty and the Beast.”CBS via Getty Images

Though she was perhaps best known for portraying the widowed mystery novelist and amateur sleuth J.B. Fletcher from 1984 to 1996 in CBS’ hit whodunnit series “Murder, She Wrote,” Lansbury never won an Emmy Award for the role despite being repeatedly nominated. All told, Lansbury garnered 17 Emmy nominations for various TV projects. Lansbury was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1996.

Lansbury’s acting career began when she was a teen. She won early raves — and her first Academy Award nomination — playing a young maid alongside Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer and Joseph Cotten in George Cukor’s chilling 1944 classic “Gaslight.”

Angela Lansbury during "Sweeney Todd" Opens at Kennedy Center
Angela Lansbury enjoys a moment backstage while starring as the murderous pie maker Nellie Lovett in “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

The London-born actor was nominated for an Academy Award for a second time for her role in 1945’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” She went on to appear in dozens more Hollywood movies, including “The Manchurian Candidate” (1962), which earned her a third Oscar nomination, and Disney’s whimsical “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” (1971).

Lansbury famously voiced the role of the tenderhearted teapot Mrs. Potts in Disney’s animated musical “Beauty and the Beast” (1991) and later made a cameo in Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns” (2018).

Her final Hollywood performance can be seen in the upcoming “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.”

Angela Lansbury accepts the Tony for best performance by a featured actress
Angela Lansbury accepts the Tony for best performance by a featured actress in a play for “Blithe Spirit” at the 63rd Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 7, 2009, in New York City. Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images

Lansbury was even more celebrated as a Broadway actor, earning five Tony Awards for her performances in “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (1979), “Mame” (1966), “Dear World” (1969), “Gypsy” (1975) and “Blithe Spirit” (2009).

Though a sensation in the U.S., Lansbury never lost touch with her British roots and continued to be popular back home.

In a 2014 ceremony at Windsor Castle, the late Queen Elizabeth II bestowed the DBE (Dame Commander of the British Empire) honor on Lansbury.

“It is a very proud day for me to be recognized by the country of my birth, and to meet the queen under these circumstances is a rare and lovely occasion,” Lansbury said that day.

Lansbury is survived by her three children, Anthony, Deirdre and David, as well as three grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and her brother, producer Edgar Lansbury. She was proceeded in death by her husband of 53 years, Peter Shaw.

A private family ceremony will be held at a date to be determined, according to the family statement.

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