Dame Angela Lansbury, the television, film, and theater icon, known for an illustrious career on stage and screen and her role on the CBS show, Murder She Wrote, died on Tuesday at her home in Los Angeles at the age of 96.
"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 a.m. today, Tuesday, October 11, 2022, just five days shy of her 97th birthday," her family said in a statement, according to People.
Born in London in 1925, Lansbury got her breakout role at the age of 17 as the cockney maid in the 1944 film, Gaslight. Her performance was widely praised and earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She would go on to earn two more nominations for her roles in The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Manchurian Candidate and though she never won, in 2013 the Academy presented Lansbury with an Honorary Award. Lansbury’s list of films is an impressive one, and includes classics like National Velvet, State of the Union, and Bedknobs and Broomsticks. She is also well known for voicing Mrs. Potts, the kindly teapot, in the 1991 Disney classic, Beauty & the Beast.
In 1957, the actress turned her attention toward the stage, where she went on to star in many musical productions, originating roles like that of Mame Dennis in Mame and the pie-making accomplice, Mrs. Nellie Lovett, in Sweeney Todd. Overall, Lansbury was nominated for seven Tonys, winning five times, and eventually receiving a sixth trophy in the form of a Lifetime Achievement Award. She also received an Laurence Olivier Award for her performance in the West End revival of Blithe Spirit in 2015. It is fitting that, in the ‘60s, the New York Times named Lansbury “The First Lady of Musical Theater.”
Despite all those accomplishments, Lansbury is likely most well-known to many for her 12-year stint as mystery novelist Jessica Fletcher on Murder, She Wrote, a role that earned her 12 Emmy nominations, one for each year she played the character. Though she never won the award, she did receive four Golden Globe awards for her performance (and 10 nominations). In 1997, the Screen Actors Guild presented the actress with a lifetime achievement award. “It has been an outstanding life, especially for me,” she said while accepting the honor. She also received an American National Medal of the Arts in 1997, a 2000 Kennedy Center Honor, and was officially made a Dame in 2014 by Queen Elizabeth II.
The actress worked late into her life and can be seen in her last role in a cameo in the upcoming Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery when it comes out later this year. Lansbury fittingly played herself in her onscreen swan song.
Lansbury is remembered by many for her contributions to culture, her love and support of the LGBT community, and her role in some of the most iconic shows, movies, and stage productions of the 20th and 21st century. See below for the many tributes being paid to the late icon following the news of her death.