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Hollywood is mourning the passing of award-winning film and theater actress Angela Lansbury, who died yesterday at the age of 96.
Lansbury is best known for her roles in “Murder, She Wrote” and “Beauty and the Beast”, for which she sang the main theme.
Angela Lansbury’s death was revealed in a statement her family provided to NBC, whose parent company produced “Murder, She Wrote.”
The statement 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.”
Awards & nominations
Lansbury’s talent was unique, earning her her first Oscar nomination for her film debut in 1944, before she was 20 years old.
Her second nomination came a year later for The Portrait of Dorian Gray.
In 1962, her portrayal of a mother who betrays her son and her country in The Manchurian Candidate earned her not only a nomination but also a Golden Globe.
It was the second Golden Globe after The Picture of Dorian Gray.
In 2013, Angela Lansbury received an honorary Oscar.
The award joined the five Tony Awards she had accumulated over more than four decades.
During her career as Jessica Fletcher on Murder, She Wrote, Lansbury received 11 Emmy nominations but never won one.
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Early life and career
Angela Lansbury was born in London to actress Moyna MacGill and politician Edward Lansbury.
Her father died when she was nine years old.
In 1940, shortly after the start of World War II, Lansbury and her family moved to the United States and settled in New York.
She studied acting before moving to Los Angeles at her mother’s request, where she worked briefly at a department store before taking on her breakthrough role.
Her other early works include:
- The Harvey Girls
- The Three Musketeers
- The Court Jester
- National Velvet
- Blue Hawaii
Angela Lansbury then made her Broadway debut in 1957, with roles in “Mame”, “Gypsy” and “Sweeney Todd.”
Impact on children
Angela Lansbury has had a few roles in Disney, but her impact has been huge as generations of children have admired her iconic voice.
She first appeared in the 1971 musical “Bedknobs and Broomsticks.”
However, she was nominated for an Oscar in 1991 for “Beauty and the Beast,” establishing her as a figure beloved by children.
“Oddly enough, children recognize my voice,” she said in 2012. “They’ll hear me and say, ‘Mom, that’s Mrs. Potts!’”
Lansbury later appeared in a small role in the 2018 sequel, Mary Poppins Returns.
Lansbury was briefly married to Richard Cromwell before marrying British actor Peter Shaw in 1949, with whom she had two children: Anthony and Deirdre.
Anthony then directed many episodes of Murder, She Wrote with his mother.
Shaw became her manager throughout her career and helped secure the deal that made them producers of the show.
The two remained together until Peter Shaw’s death in 2003.
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Murder, She Wrote
Angela Lansbury’s greatest success in the 1960s was her starring role as a crime-solving mystery writer in “Murder, She Wrote.”
According to the actress, Jessica Fletcher was her character who most resembled her.
“I had a lot of say in it, and I didn’t want the character to be quirky,” she said in 2009. “I wanted her to be real.”
“I didn’t have to have to put on any kind of veneer for 24 hours a day, which is what a television schedule sometimes feels like.”
Although the show was a success, CBS’s decision to move the series to Thursday nights in 1995 against NBC’s “Friends” annoyed the actress.
“I really feel angry for all the people who watched us,” she said as the show delivered big ratings after “60 Minutes.”
Despite the demise after 1995, Lansbury continued to appear in the TV movies for “Murder, She Wrote.”
Angela Lansbury, beloved star of ‘Murder, She Wrote,’ dead at 96