Actress Angela Lansbury, whose career spanned more than seven decades, has died at the age of 96.
In a statement released to NBC News, Ms. Lansbury’s children said their mother died peacefully in her sleep at 1.30am today at her home in Los Angeles.
They said she was just five days away from her 97th birthday.
Lansbury is perhaps best known for her role as Jessica Fletcher, the author and detective on the hit series murder she wrote.
She was born in London and moved to the United States during World War II.
She was signed to MGM where she appeared in her first film, gas light in 1944, for which she received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the age of just 19.
Lansbury has won five Tony Awards for her Broadway performances and a lifetime achievement award.
In addition to her Oscar nominations for supporting actress for Gaslight, she was also nominated for her performances in The picture of Dorian Gray (1946) and was again nominated for in 1962 The Manchu Candidate and her deadly portrayal of a female communist agent and the mother of the title character.
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Her mature demeanor led producers to cast her as much older than her actual age. In 1948, when she was 23, she had gray streaks so she could play a newspaper editor in her forties with a yen for Spencer Tracy state of the nation.
Her fame came in middle age when she became the hit of New York theater and won Tony Awards for mummy (1966), dear world (1969), gypsy (1975) and Sweeney Todd (1979).
She was back on Broadway and received another Tony nomination in 2007 in Terrence McNally’s Two, who plays a seedy, brash former tennis star, contemplating with another ex-star while watching a modern day game from the stands. In 2009 she received her fifth Tony for best actress in a revival of Noel Cowards happy spirit and won an Olivier Award for the role in 2015.
But Lansbury’s greatest glory began in 1984 when it was launched murder, she wrote on CBS. Freely adapted from Agatha Christie’s Miss Marble Stories centered on Jessica Fletcher, a middle-aged widow and former substitute school teacher who lives in the coastal village of Cabot Cove, Maine. She had become known as a crime writer and amateur detective.
The actress found the first season of the series exhausting.
“I was shocked to learn that I had to work 12 to 15 hours a day, relentlessly,” she recalls. “I eventually had to lay down the law and say, ‘Look, I can’t do these shows in seven days; it must be eight days.’”
CBS and the production company Universal Studio agreed, especially since murder, she wrote had become a Sunday night hit in the United States. Despite the long days—leaving her home in Brentwood, West Los Angeles, at 6 a.m. and returning after dark—and countless lines of dialogue to memorize, Lansbury maintained a steady pace. She was pleased that Jessica Fletcher served as an inspiration for older women.
“Women in movies have always had a hard time being role models for other women,” she noted. “They’ve always been considered glamorous in their jobs.”
https://www.independent.ie/style/celebrity/celebrity-news/angela-lansbury-star-of-murder-she-wrote-dies-aged-96-42059179.html Murder She Wrote star Angela Lansbury dies aged 96