Dame Angela Lansbury, who gained international acclaim as the star of the US crime TV series Murder, She Wrote, has died at the age of 96.
- The three-time Oscar nominee has a career in film, theater and television spanning eight decades.
- Born in 1925, he was one of the last surviving stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema.
- Dame Angela died in her sleep just five days before her 97th birthday, her family said in a statement.
- “Dame Angela Lansbury’s children are sad to announce that their mother passed away peacefully at her Los Angeles home,” the family said.
Obituary: Angela Lansbury
Born in London, Dame Angela later moved to New York and attended Feagin School of Drama.
Discovered by a Hollywood executive at a party in 1942, she landed her first role as a maid in the 1944 film Gaslight, based on the 1938 play of the same name. Her performance earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress the following year.
The term “gaslighting” comes from Patrick Hamilton’s play about a young woman whose husband slowly leads her to believe she is going crazy.
The British star earned two more Oscar nominations in 1945 as Sybil in The Picture of Dorian Gray and in 1962 as Lawrence Harvey’s manipulative mother in The Manchurian Candidate – alongside Frank Sinatra.
After moving to Broadway in the 1960s, she won several Tony Awards, including one for her role as Nellie Lovett in Sweeney Todd in 1970.
A year later she appeared in the Disney hit “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” and later acted in another children’s film, where she voiced Mrs. Potts in the animated series “Beauty and the Beast”; instead, Mary Poppins returned.
- But it was her role as detective Jessica Fletcher in the TV series Murder, She Writes which won her millions of fans around the world.
- He took on the role in 1984 and remained for 12 years and nine seasons.
- The show made her one of the richest women in the US at the time, with an estimated net worth of $100 million.
- “I did more of the character in theater than the Jessica role,” Lansbury said in a 1985 television interview.
- “Jessica is much closer than home. She is an uncomplicated woman.
“I can only identify with him,” he added.
Subsequent awards include an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement in 2013 at the age of 88.
During the ceremony, fellow actor Geoffrey Rush praised him as “the definition of living reach.”
This was followed in 2002 by a Bafta Lifetime Achievement Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
She received a Dame for theater services, charity work and philanthropy in 2014.
The homage after his death celebrates the “legend” of Hollywood.
Actor Josh Gad tweeted, “Rarely is one person touching generations and creating a breadth of work that defines decade after decade. Angela Lansbury is that artist.”
Co-actor Harvey Fierstein added that Dame Angela was “everything”.
Actress Mia Farrow, who co-starred with Dame Angela in the 1978 film Death of the Nile, wrote that it was an “honor” to work with her.
Oscar winner Viola Davis wrote that she thought the late star would “live forever”. “What a legacy you left behind,” he wrote. “You have influenced generations of actors to strive for excellence.”
Seinfeld actor Jason Alexander tweeted that “one of the most versatile, talented, graceful, kindest, funniest, wisest and most stylish women I have ever met has left us,” adding, “Her incredible contribution to art and the world remains forever. . ”
Comedian and actress Kathy Griffin wrote, “I can’t tell you how many gay women and men are heartbroken, touched and nostalgic at the news of the passing of the great Lady Angela Lansbury.”
Many awards mention Dame Angela’s work to raise awareness and money for AIDS in the 1980s and 1990s by leading television awareness campaigns and hosting fundraisers.
Dame Angela has been married twice, briefly to actor Richard Cromwell when she was 19 and then to British actor and producer Peter Shaw.
They remained together for over 50 years until his death in 2003.
He is survived by his three children and brother, producer Edgar Lansbury, as well as several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.