Angela Lansbury, beloved star of 'Murder, She Wrote,' dead at 96

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02:44 - Source: CNN

See iconic moments from Angela Lansbury's acting career

CNN  — 

Angela Lansbury, who enjoyed an eclectic, award-winning movie and signifier vocation successful summation to becoming America’s favourite TV sleuth successful “Murder, She Wrote,” has died, according to a connection from her household provided to NBC, whose genitor institution produced the long-running series. She was 96.

“The children of Dame Angela Lansbury are bittersweet to denote that their parent died peacefully successful her slumber astatine location successful Los Angeles astatine 1:30 AM today, Tuesday, October 11, 2022, conscionable 5 days shy of her 97th birthday,” her household said successful a statement.

CNN has contacted representatives of Lansbury for comment.

Not yet 20 years old, Lansbury garnered her archetypal Oscar information for her movie debut, “Gaslight,” successful 1944. Her 2nd came the adjacent twelvemonth for “The Portrait of Dorian Gray,” and again successful 1962 arsenic the parent who betrays her lad and her state successful “The Manchurian Candidate.” (She received Golden Globes for the second 2 films.)

The histrion accepted an honorary Oscar successful 2013, to spell with the 5 Tony Awards she collected implicit a 40-plus-year span – opening with “Mame” successful 1966, and yet for a revival of the Noel Coward play “Blithe Spirit” successful 2009. Lansbury besides amassed 11 Emmy nominations for her relation arsenic Jessica Fletcher successful “Murder, She Wrote,” but ne'er won.

Lansbury went from ingenue to playing much middle-aged roles practically overnight. She was conscionable 37, for example, erstwhile she portrayed Laurence Harvey’s conniving parent successful “Manchurian Candidate,” adjacent though her co-star was conscionable 2 years younger than her.

Born successful London, her mother, Moyna MacGill, was an actress, and begetter Edward Lansbury a politician. He died erstwhile she was conscionable 9 years old, and not agelong aft the onset of World War II the household moved to the US successful 1940, settling successful New York.

Angela Lansbury, Billy Bevan and Hurd Hatfield successful  a country   from the movie   "The Picture of Dorian Gray."

Lansbury studied play earlier moving astatine her mother’s urging to Los Angeles, wherever she concisely worked successful a section store until landing her breakthrough relation arsenic the young maid successful “Gaslight,” starring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer.

Other films included “National Velvet” (playing Elizabeth Taylor’s sister), “The Harvey Girls,” “The Three Musketeers,” the Danny Kaye drama “The Court Jester” and the Elvis Presley conveyance “Blue Hawaii.”

Lansbury made her Broadway debut successful 1957, aboriginal starring successful iconic Tony-winning roles successful “Mame,” “Gypsy” and “Sweeney Todd.” 

Generations of children revered Lansbury for her Disney roles, archetypal successful the 1971 movie philharmonic “Bedknobs and Broomsticks,” and aboriginal arsenic the dependable of Mrs. Potts successful the 1991 Oscar-nominated animated movie “Beauty and the Beast.” She besides played a tiny relation successful the 2018 sequel “Mary Poppins Returns.”

“Oddly enough, children admit my voice,” she told The Huffington Post successful 2012. “They’ll perceive maine and say, ‘Mom, that’s Mrs. Potts!’”

After a short-lived matrimony to histrion Richard Cromwell, Lansbury wed British histrion Peter Shaw successful 1949. They stayed unneurotic until his decease successful 2003 and had 2 children, Anthony – who directed galore episodes of “Murder, She Wrote” – and Deirdre. Shaw yet became her manager, and was instrumental successful the woody that made them the producers of the bid which premiered successful 1984.

Lansbury achieved her top fame successful her 60s for her starring relation successful “Murder, She Wrote” arsenic a crime-solving enigma writer. Of each her roles, Lansbury said Jessica Fletcher was astir similar her. 

 ”I had a batch of accidental successful it, and I didn’t privation the quality to beryllium quirky,” she told The New York Times successful 2009.  ”I wanted her to beryllium real. I didn’t privation to person to enactment connected immoderate benignant of veneer for 24 hours a day, which is what a tv docket sometimes feels like.”

Despite “Murder, She Wrote’s” success, the assemblage skewed older, and CBS irritated Lansbury by moving the bid to Thursday nighttime other NBC’s “Friends” successful 1995, successful what turned retired to beryllium the mystery’s last season.

“I’m shattered,” Lansbury told the Los Angeles Times, adding, “I truly consciousness aggravated for each the radical who watched us” connected Sunday, wherever the amusement had consistently delivered large ratings pursuing “60 Minutes.”

After the bid ended, Lansbury starred successful respective “Murder, She Wrote” TV movies. She continued to enactment into her 80s and 90s, including a 2017 miniseries mentation of “Little Women” and starring successful a 2015 Great Performances accumulation of “Driving Miss Daisy,” other James Earl Jones.

 “I emotion this manufacture and I emotion being successful it,” Lansbury said successful a 1998 interrogation with the Archives of American Television, adding successful respect to the “Murder” audience, “They loved it, and they were loyal.”