The scene-stealing British performer Angela Lansbury, who kicked up her heels in the Broadway musicals “Mame” and “Gypsy,” has passed away. In the long-running TV series “Murder, She Wrote,” Lansbury played crime novelist Jessica Fletcher, who solves numerous crimes. She was 96.
Angela Lansbury died on Tuesday at her home in Los Angeles, according to a statement from her three children. Five days before turning 97, she passed away.
On October 16, 1925, she was born in London, where she was given the name Angela Brigid Lansbury. Her father owned a veneer factory; her mother, Moyna MacGill, was an accomplished actor; and her grandpa was the fiery leader of the Labour Party.
She is survived by her three children, Anthony, Deirdre, and David, as well as her brother, producer Edgar Lansbury, and three grandkids, Peter, Katherine, and Ian.
Richard Cromwell, a soulful young star of the 1930s, and Angela Lansbury were married for nine miserable months in the middle of the 1940s. In 1949, she wed Peter Shaw, a British man who had been employed by MGM as an actor and later rose to the position of studio executive and agent. He took over as Lansbury’s manager. He had a son named David from a previous marriage in addition to their two children, Peter and Deirdre.
She became a big success in New York theatre during her middle years, earning Tony Awards for “Mame” (1966), “Dear World” (1969), “Gypsy” (1975), and “Sweeney Todd” (1976). (1979).
Producers chose to cast her considerably older than her true age because of her composed manner. When she was 23 years old and appearing in “State of the Union,” her hair was streaked with grey so she could portray a newspaper editor who was in her forties yet had a thing for Spencer Tracy.
Lansbury won five Tony Awards and a lifetime achievement award for her Broadway appearances. She was nominated for a supporting actress award for two of her first three films, Gaslight (1945)
The first season of the TV show was too much for the actor.
I was surprised to learn that I had to work 12 to 15 hours a day, nonstop, every day, she recounted. Once I had to say, “Look, I can’t perform these shows in seven days; it will have to be eight days.”
The Picture of Dorian Gray (1946), and she gained another nomination in 1962 for “The Manchurian Candidate,” in which she portrayed the mother of the title character and a deadly Communist agent.
With the debut of “Murder, She Wrote” on CBS in 1984, Lansbury achieved her greatest level of celebrity. loosely based on Miss Marple tales by Agatha Christie
With “Murder, She Wrote” became a Sunday night hit, CBS and the production company, Universal Studio, agreed.
She noted that it has never been easy for women to serve as role models for other women in the entertainment industry.
In the first season of the show, Jessica wore attire that was essentially ugly. After Lansbury suggested that a successful woman should dress suitably, Jessica started to think critically.
She had 18 Emmy nominations from “Murder, She Wrote” and other television projects, but she never took home a prize.
She has gotten the most Golden Globe nominations overall and the most Emmy nominations for lead actress in a drama series. She is the record holder in both categories as well.