Angela Lansbury, ‘Murder, She Wrote’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’ star, dies at 96

Angela Lansbury is a multi-talented actress whose family has announced she has won over generations with memorable roles as murderous baker, singing teapot, Soviet spy and small-town detective To fans’ praise, she died on Tuesday.

She is 96 years old.

“The children of Mrs Angela Lansbury are saddened to announce that their mother passed away peacefully at her home in Los Angeles on Tuesday, October 11, 2022 at 1.30am, just five days before her 97th birthday,” Her family said in a statement.

The London-born actor is taking one final bow in her life as one of the most high-profile actors in stage history.

Lansbury has won five Tony Awards, most recently in 2009 for Best Actress for her performance in Noel Coward’s “Soul of Joy.”

She is probably best known for her role in “The Great White Road” as Nellie Lovett, the ghoul pie maker, in “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” In 1979, she crafted a Tony Award for Best Musical Actress for the role.

Her three other Tony Awards were Best Actress in a Musical for “Mom” in 1966, “Dear World” in 1969 and “Gypsy” in 1975.

Audra MacDonald and Julie Harris are the only actors to win six Tony Awards; Harris’ sixth Tony is a lifetime achievement.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Angela Lansbury,” According to the statement At the Actors Fair, a union representing live stage performers.

In 1957, Lansbury received an actor’s rights card for his work on “Hotel Paradise”.

“A star of stage, TV and film, Lansbury was a member of Equity for 65 years. She left behind a working library that will be enjoyed by generations. We extend our tribute to her friends and family. Condolences.”

Actor Eric McCormack, known for his work on the long-running NBC sitcom “Will & Grace,” fondly recalls his relationship with Lansbury on Gore Vidal’s “Best Men” in 2012. time.

“I am honored to spend time with this incredible woman,” he said in a statement. “No one likes her.”

Lansbury brought her singing skills from Broadway to the big screen through an animator’s drawing board in the 1991 musical Beauty and the Beast.

She expresses a sentimental lady. Potter, this is one of the most beloved moments in this popular movie.

In 2016, she took the stage at New York’s Lincoln Center to celebrate the film’s 25th anniversary, and performed the house with a theme from the title.

Citing lyrics from the “Beauty and the Beast” theme, NASA posted a photo of “Cosmic Rose” in tribute to Lansbury.

The actor has enjoyed a long and successful career as mystery writer and amateur crime fighter Jessica Fletcher on CBS Sunday Night as she plays many of America’s most memorable small-screen roles. of the hit “Murder, She Wrote.”

Murder, which ran for 12 seasons from 1984 to 1996, starred Lansbury as a widowed mystery writer whose keen observation always outsmarts criminals before the real killer is uncovered within an hour. local police.

Angela Lansbury as mystery writer and crime solver Jessica Fletcher on CBS TV crime drama "murder her writes" the year 1990.
Angela Lansbury played mystery writer and crime solver Jessica Fletcher in the 1990 CBS television crime drama “Murder, She Wrote.”CBS via Getty Images

The show was a staple of Sunday’s 8 p.m. TV show and was one of CBS’s biggest hits in the 1980s.

It’s followed by “60 Minutes,” and a National Football Conference game in the fall. CBS host Pat Summerall would famously tell viewers to stay focused on “Murder…she wrote it,” with a significantly prolonged pause.

“We found our audience, and they were loyal to the end,” Lansbury said in a 1998 interview with the Television Academy.

Shows like “Murder, She Wrote” ushered in a new era of television, with an increasing number of female actors taking lead roles on the small screen in America. The Television Academy nominated Lansbury for 12 Emmys for “Murder,” though she never took home the trophy.

Lansbury was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1996.

“‘Murder, She Wrote’ has given me more global attention than any other role I’ve played in film or on stage,” she said when she won an honorary Oscar in 2013. “It’s a wonderful thing to be known in Spain, Portugal, Paris, France and Germany and around the world.”

Lansbury became such a major TV personality that some fans may have forgotten her significant film career in the era of black and white, and her three Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominations for three legendary works.

She played the maid in the 1944 classic, Gaslight, about a woman, played by Ingrid Bergman, who is manipulated to question objective truth. The term “gaslighting,” meaning psychological manipulation with lies and false narratives, became a popular term in 21st-century American vocabulary, especially after Donald Trump was elected president.

The role earned Lansbury her first Oscar nomination, followed by another for her brief but crucial role in 1945’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray.”

Image: Angela Lansbury
[AngelaLansburyin1945[1945年的安吉拉蘭斯伯里。AP document

Lansbury recalls that while working with director John Frankenheimer on the 1962 film “All Fall Down,” the film master slammed a book on the table in front of her and ordered her to read it. The book is The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon.

“I took it home and read it, and I called him and said, ‘Wow,'” Lansbury told the Television Academy in 1998.

She was chosen as Mrs. Eleanor Iselin, a scheming, domineering mother—a role that earned Lansbury his third Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

“We certainly didn’t expect this Cold War-era thriller to have such a long lifespan,” Lansbury said in 1998. “We felt that, because of the extraordinary themes and the way the plot was designed, it was so extraordinary that it was getting Development either sinks or swims. It swims and it swims.”

Future acting superstar Angela Brigid Lansbury was born in October. The daughter of actress Moina McGill and lumber company executive Edgar Lansbury in London on January 16, 1925.

Both her father and grandfather (George Lansbury) were active in British liberal politics. Edgar Lansbury was mayor of Poplar in London, while George Lansbury was Labour leader from 1932-34.

“My grandfather was a very important figure in my childhood,” Lansbury told the Television Academy. “He was an extraordinary man who won the admiration and affection of the British labour movement he led, because he was the most charismatic figure, a very kind and down-to-earth man. He never drank, never smoked.”

In 1966, Angela Lansbury starred in the Broadway musical
In 1966, Angela Lansbury starred in the Broadway musical “Mama.”Jack Mitchell/Getty Images

Although Lansbury was born into a culturally elite family, his childhood was chaotic.

Lansbury’s father died in 1935 when he was 9 years old. When World War II broke out a few years later, Lansbury’s mother feared that London would soon be bombed by Nazi Germany.

“My mom sold everything she could and we got on the boat,” Lansbury said.

In the summer of 1940, the Duchess of Athol brought Lansbury, her mother and two younger brothers to Canada, who immediately boarded a train to New York.

Lansbury lands at the Lucy Fagan School at Rockefeller Center, where she gets a bird’s-eye view of the ice rink, which seems like the perfect epitome of utopian life in America.

“I’ll never forget the first Christmas,” Lansbury recalls fondly. “America hasn’t had a war yet, the trees have grown up, and everything is fine.”

She got her first professional gig at the samovar club in Montreal. The 16-year-old sang his 19-year-old’s song and performed a role in Coward’s “I Was at a Fantastic Party” for $60 a week – a deal Lansbury thought at the time Not a small fortune.

After that three-week show, Lansbury’s mother was in Western Canada with the “8:30 Tonight” tour company.

McGill had the brilliant idea of ​​preaching for his daughter and sending them both to Los Angeles, the young film industry capital of the world.

The duo was soon surrounded by ex-British showbiz in Hollywood, and those connections saw Lansbury take her first screen test of “Gaslight” and “Dorian Gray.”

She signed a seven-year contract with MGM, and at age 17 she was earning $500 a week. Under the old studio system, MGM took control of her work and cast the young actor in roles that Lansbury said she was ineligible to play.

But it turned out to be a boon and launched her remarkable and versatile career

Angela Lansbury in New York in June 1966.
Angela Lansbury in New York in June 1966.NBC

“It was like an intense training period, playing roles, playing roles that were bigger than me, learning a lot of skills that I would never have learned,” Lansbury said.

Despite Lansbury’s long and illustrious career in America, she never lost touch with her roots, and Britain never forgot her.

In 2014, Queen Elizabeth II awarded Lansbury the DBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) at a ceremony at Windsor Castle.

Lansbury said that day: “It was a very proud day for me to be recognised by the country of my birth and it was a rare and lovely moment to meet the Queen under these circumstances.”

She is survived by her three children Anthony, Deirdre and David, her three grandchildren Peter, Catherine and Ian, and five great-grandchildren and her brother producer Edgar Lansbury.

Her husband of 53 years, Peter Shaw, died before her. The private family ceremony will take place on a specific date, her family said.

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