Angela Lansbury, who enjoyed an eclectic, award-winning movie and stage career in addition to becoming America’s favorite TV sleuth in “Murder, She Wrote,” has died, according to a statement from her family provided to NBC, whose parent company produced the long-running series. She was 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 AM today, Tuesday, October 11, 2022, just five days shy of her 97th birthday,” her family said in a statement.
Not yet 20 years old, Lansbury garnered her first Oscar nomination for her movie debut, “Gaslight,” in 1944. Her second came the next year for “The Portrait of Dorian Gray,” and again in 1962 as the mother who betrays her son and her country in “The Manchurian Candidate.” (She received Golden Globes for the latter two films.)
The actress accepted an honorary Oscar in 2013, to go with the five Tony Awards she collected over a 40-plus-year span - beginning with “Mame” in 1966, and finally for a revival of the Noel Coward play “Blithe Spirit” in 2009. Lansbury also amassed 11 Emmy nominations for her role as Jessica Fletcher in “Murder, She Wrote,” but never won.
Lansbury studied drama before moving to Los Angeles, where she briefly worked in a department store until landing her breakthrough role as the young maid in “Gaslight,” starring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer. Other films included “National Velvet”, “The Harvey Girls,” “The Three Musketeers,” the Danny Kaye comedy “The Court Jester” and the Elvis Presley vehicle “Blue Hawaii.”
Lansbury made her Broadway debut in 1957, later starring in iconic Tony-winning roles in “Mame,” “Gypsy” and “Sweeney Todd.”