Dame Angela Lansbury, best known for playing Jessica Fletcher on long-running detective series Murder, She Wrote, has passed away aged 96. Lansbury’s other popular roles included Mrs Potts in classic Disney movie Beauty & the Beast.
Lansbury made her film debut in 1944’s Gaslight (which is where the phrase gaslighting comes from) at the age of 19, and earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination. She was nominated again for her supporting role in The Picture of Dorian Gray in 1945. Some of her other notable roles include The Three Musketeers (1948) and The Long Hot Summer (1958). She played the mother of Elvis Presley in Blue Hawaii (1961) when she was only 10 years older than him. She was once again Oscar nominated, for The Manchurian Candidate in 1962.
In 1971, Lansbury starred in beloved family movie Bedknobs and Broomsticks as the witch Miss Price. Before becoming a famous TV detective, she appeared in several detective movies. In 1978 she starred in Death on the Nile, alongside Peter Ustinov’s Hercule Poirot. In 1979 she starred in a remake of Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes, alongside Elliott Gould and as Miss Marple in 1980’s The Mirror Crack’d.
In 1991, she was introduced to a new legion of fans in the Disney animated classic, in which she sang the title song. But Lansbury will always be associated with the long-running TV series Murder, She Wrote which ran for twelve seasons between 1984 to 1996. Lansbury plays Jessica Fletcher, a mystery writer and amateur detective. It was a ratings hit, earning 30 million viewers per week during its prime.
Lansbury was born in London in 1925 and moved to the US when the Second World War broke out. She was also a star of the Broadway stage, and won four Tony awards. One of her last film roles was as the balloon lady in 2018’s Mary Poppins Returns.
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