Broadway and film legend Angela Lansbury passed away at the age of 96. Her family confirmed her death, stating that she died peacefully in her sleep at her home in Los Angeles. Lansbury was just five days shy of her 97th birthday at the time of her passing. She is survived by her three children, three grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and her brother. A private family ceremony will be held to honor her memory.
Angela Lansbury’s Career and Achievements
Angela Lansbury had a remarkable career in both Broadway and film. She won five Tony Awards for her performances on Broadway and received a lifetime achievement award. Lansbury also earned Academy Award nominations for her roles in “Gaslight” and “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” She was nominated again in 1962 for “The Manchurian Candidate.” Lansbury’s portrayal of a Communist agent and the title character’s mother in the film was critically acclaimed.
Lansbury’s Stardom and Impact
Lansbury’s stardom came in middle age when she became a hit in the New York theater. She won Tony Awards for her performances in “Mame,” “Dear World,” “Gypsy,” and “Sweeney Todd.” Lansbury continued to make an impact on Broadway, receiving another Tony nomination in 2007 for her role in “Deuce” and winning her fifth Tony in 2009 for her performance in “Blithe Spirit.” She also won an Olivier Award in 2015.
Lansbury’s Widest Fame: “Murder, She Wrote”
While Lansbury had a successful career on stage and in film, her widest fame came from her role as Jessica Fletcher in the hit TV series “Murder, She Wrote.” The show, loosely based on Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple stories, centered around Fletcher, a middle-aged widow and former substitute school teacher who becomes a mystery novelist and amateur sleuth. The series ran for 12 years and remained high in the ratings throughout its run.
Lansbury’s Impact on Older Women
Lansbury’s portrayal of Jessica Fletcher served as an inspiration for older women. She challenged the notion that women in motion pictures should only be considered glamorous in their jobs. Lansbury wanted women her age to be represented as vital and productive members of society. She believed in showcasing the strength and capabilities of older women through her performances.
Lansbury’s Personal Life and Early Years
Angela Lansbury was born on October 16, 1925, in London. Her family had a distinguished background, with her grandfather being the head of the Labour Party and her mother a successful actor. Lansbury’s father owned a veneer factory but faced bankruptcy during the Great Depression. The family moved to the United States in 1940 to escape the German bombings in England.
Lansbury’s Acting Career and Hollywood Success
In Hollywood, Lansbury quickly found success in the film industry. She received an Oscar nomination for her debut role in “Gaslight” and went on to star in several notable films, including “The Picture of Dorian Gray” and “The Manchurian Candidate.” However, she grew tired of being typecast in roles much older than her actual age and decided to pursue a career on Broadway.
Lansbury’s Return to Broadway and Television Work
Lansbury’s return to Broadway proved to be a turning point in her career. She starred in successful productions such as “Mame” and “Sweeney Todd,” earning critical acclaim and Tony Awards. Lansbury also ventured into television, accepting the role of Jessica Fletcher in “Murder, She Wrote.” The show brought her 18 Emmy nominations but she never won one. She holds the record for the most Golden Globe nominations and wins for best actress in a television drama series.
Angela Lansbury’s Legacy
Angela Lansbury leaves behind a lasting legacy in the entertainment industry. Her talent, versatility, and dedication to her craft made her a beloved figure in both Broadway and Hollywood. She broke barriers for older women in the industry and served as an inspiration for aspiring actors. Lansbury’s impact will continue to be felt for generations to come.