Angela Lansbury dies aged 96

Dame Angela Brigid Lansbury DBE has died age 96.

Irish-British and American actress and singer Lansbury starred in many film, theatre and television roles – with one of the longest careers in the entertainment industry, her career spanned over 80 years, much of it in the United States; her work also received much international attention.

Upon the death of Olivia de Havilland in July 2020, Lansbury became the earliest surviving Academy Award nominee and one of the last stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema.

The actress, famed for her iconic roles in Murder, She Wrote and Beauty and the Beast died peacefully at her home in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

“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. 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 proceeded in death by her husband of 53 years, Peter Shaw. A private family ceremony will be held at a date to be determined.” -Her family said in a statement.

From the beginning of the British-born actress’ more than eight-decade career, it was clear that she was going places: MGM signed her to a contract while she was still a teenager, and she received an Academy Award nod for her feature debut, 1944’s Gaslight.

After being nominated twice more, for The Picture of Dorian Gray in 1945 and The Manchurian Candidate in 1962 — and creating characters as magical as Miss Eglantine Price in Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971) and Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast (1991) — Lansbury was finally given an honorary Oscar in 2013.

A star of stage as well as screen, the powerhouse vocalist earned five Tonys, including one apiece for her takes on the iconic roles of the titular blithe spirit in Mame (1966), Mama Rose in Gypsy (1974) and Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd (1979). But, as she noted during her acceptance speech at the Academy’s Governors Ball in ’13, “Murder, She Wrote has given me more worldwide attention than any role I ever played in movies or on the stage.”

Lansbury portrayal of mystery writer and amateur detective, Jessica Fletcher in the hit American crime drama series, Murder She Wrote, which ran for 12 seasons from 1984-1996.

For her role on the program, Lansbury was nominated for ten Golden Globes, winning four, along with nominations for 12 Emmy Awards, earning her the record for the most Golden Globe nominations and wins for Best Actress in a television drama series and the most Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

In her later career she also moved into voice work, contributing to animated films like Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (1991) and Don Bluth‘s Anastasia (1997).

She continued to toured in a variety of international productions and continued to make occasional film appearances such as Nanny McPhee (2005) and Mary Poppins Returns (2018).

Her final film role will be in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery and will be released in cinemas on November 23, 2022, before its streaming release on December 23, by Netflix.

Lansbury received an Honorary Academy Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the BAFTA, a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award and five additional Tony Awards, six Golden Globes, and an Olivier Award. She also was nominated for numerous other industry awards, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress on three occasions, and various Primetime Emmy Awards on 18 occasions, and a Grammy Award.

In 2014, Lansbury was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II. She was the subject of three biographies.

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