UK born actress, Angela Lansbury, the known for her commanding, ladylike presence to stage, screen and television has died. She was 96.
For over 12 years she played mystery novelist Jessica Fletcher on CBS’ Murder, She Wrote, which earned her rave reviews and popularity.
In a statement obtained by People, her family confirmed her death.
“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,”
“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,” the statement adds. “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.” the statement read
Born Angela Brigid Lansbury, the future character actress (the voice of Mrs. Potts in Disney’s animated Beauty and the Beast) and leading lady (Broadway’s eccentric aunt in the musical Mame) was the daughter of Belfast-born actress Moyna MacGill and her second husband, Edgar Lansbury.
As a 17-year-old Angela made her Oscar-nominated movie debut as the cockney maid in the Ingrid Bergman-Charles Boyer classic 1944 thriller Gaslight.
“It was thanks to my mother who recognized in me an ability to cut up, to make believe, to run around being somebody other than the little girl that I was,” Lansbury told Masterpiece Studio podcast in 2018 of getting into show business.
“It made her realize that I was a natural, and she, bless her heart, made the decisions for me very, very, very young.”
Playing the role of singer Sibyl Vane in MGM’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, she got another Oscar nomination.
She got married at 19 to a handsome man Richard Cromwell, who turned out to be gay, but she didn’t learn until they separated nine months later.
“My first great, great romance. It was a terrible tragedy,” she said, adding that the two remained friends until his death from cancer in 1960.
Shortly after the divorce, she met Peter Shaw, a British actor who later became a prominent Hollywood agent. They were married in London in 1949.
She also played the role of Elvis Presley’s mother in the 1961 hit, Blue Hawaii — even though Lansbury was barely 10 years older than Elvis.
She also got an Oscar nomination in 1962’s The Manchurian Candidate.
Four years later, she landed on the cover of Life magazine as the toast of Broadway in Mame, and earned the first of five Tony awards, a record matched only by Julie Harris and then finally broken in 2014, by Audra McDonald.