Dame Angela Lansbury, the star of the American television drama series Murder, She Wrote, has passed away at the age of 96.
The three-time Oscar contender worked in theater, film, and television for eight decades.
She was one of the final Golden Age Hollywood movie stars still alive when she was born in 1925.
Just five days shy of becoming 97 years old, Dame Angela passed away in her sleep, according to a statement from her family.
The family released a statement saying, “The children of Dame Angela Lansbury are devastated to announce that their mother passed away quietly in her sleep at home in Los Angeles.”
Dame Angela, who was born in London, eventually relocated to New York and enrolled at the Feagin School of Dramatic Art.
At a 1942 party, she caught the attention of a Hollywood producer, who cast her in her debut role as a maid in the movie Gaslight.
Her ensuing career saw success on both the large and small screens, taking her from Broadway to Hollywood.
However, her role as sleuth Jessica Fletcher in the television series Murder, She Wrote is what made her famous worldwide.
She began in 1984 and performed in the part for 12 years, or nine seasons.
With a fortune estimated at $100 million, the show made her one of the richest women in the US at the time.
For her roles as the maid in Gaslight, Sibyl in The Picture of Dorian Gray in 1945, and Laurence Harvey’s cunning mother in The Manchurian Candidate in 1962, she received Oscar nods.
In 2013, she was 88 years old and received an honorary Oscar for her career of achievements.
She became well-known all around the world, though, for her part as sleuth Jessica Fletcher in the television program Murder, She Wrote. Twelve years, or nine seasons, passed after she started in 1984.
The show made her one of the wealthiest women in the US at the time, with a fortune estimated at $100 million.
She garnered Oscar nominations for her performances as the maid in Gaslight, Sibyl in The Picture of Dorian Gray in 1945, and Laurence Harvey’s crafty mother in The Manchurian Candidate in 1962.
She earned an honorary Oscar in 2013 for her distinguished career at the age of 88.
Actor Josh Gad wrote on Twitter: “It is rare that one person can touch multiple generations, creating a breadth of work that defines decade after decade. Angela Lansbury was that artist.”
Fellow actor Harvey Fierstein added that Dame Angela was “everything”.
Actress Mia Farrow, who starred in the 1978 film Death on the Nile alongside Dame Angela, wrote that it was “an honour” to have worked with her.
Many tributes mentioned Dame Angela’s work to raise awareness and money for Aids in the 1980s and 90s, fronting a TV information campaign and headlining fundraising events.
Dame Angela was married twice, briefly to the actor Richard Cromwell when she was 19, and later to the British actor and producer Peter Shaw.
They remained together for more than 50 years, until his death in 2003.
She is survived by three children and her brother, producer Edgar Lansbury, as well as several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
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