Murder, She Wrote star Angela Lansbury has died aged 96
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Dame Angela Lansbury, best known for her lead acting role in Murder, She Wrote has passed away at the age of 96.
Her family released a statement confirming the sad news today (11 October) which reads: "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 star was just five days away from her 97th birthday.
The statement continued: "In addition to her three children, Anthony, Deirdre and David, she is survived by three grandchildren, Peter, Katherine and Ian, plus five great grandchildren and her brother, producer Edgar Lansbury. She was preceded in death by her husband of 53 years, Peter Shaw."
The statement also shared that a private family ceremony will be held at a later date.
The actor was best known for playing mystery novelist Jessica Fletcher on Murder, She Wrote, as well as iconic roles in Disney films such as Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Beauty and the Beast.
In the animated 1991 version of Beauty and the Beast she played the teapot Mrs Pott and sang one of the film’s most memorable songs, 'Tale As Old as Time'.
The actor, born in London, won a string of awards for her performances including five Tony awards across her career for her musical performances, six Golden Globes and an Olivier Award.
She also received an Honorary Oscar and a Lifetime Achievement Award from BAFTA over the course of her career. In 2014 she was made by a dame by Queen Elizabeth II.
From the start of her acting career, Lansbury won praise and she picked up an Oscar nomination for her first film role at just 19 years old, in the 1944 film Gaslight. From this she also starred in a steady stream of other MGM productions and films during the 1940s.
In the 1960s she earned high praise for her roles in musicals including Mame, Gypsy and then Sweeney Todd.
Following accolades for her musical theatre performances, she then moved into one of her most iconic roles as Jessica Fletcher in the US crime drama Murder, She Wrote. The whodunit-style drama became an international success and ran from 1984 to 1996, making Lansbury into an international and global star as the crime writer turned would-be detective.
In an interview in 2019 with US magazine Parade, the veteran star revealed that she was not ready to retire. She explained: "Yes, I do [think about it] on some days. I think, Oh, no, goodness gracious. I can’t pull myself together to do this today. But I keep doing it.
"There’s going to come a point, where I’ll think, I’m folding up now. I’m putting that person away in the closet and I’m going to just live out my remaining years with the family."
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Topics: Film & TV, Film and TV, Celebrity