Angela Lansbury, one of the last surviving stars in the Golden Age of Hollywood, has died at 96.
Dame Angela Brigid Lansbury DBE was an actress who established her presence in the entertainment industry with her roles in Gaslight and The Picture of Dorian Gray. Both performances earned her Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress. Since then, she starred in additional films, television, and theatrical works, earning numerous awards in her 80-year long career.
Angela Lansbury’s Illustrious Lifelong Career
Lansbury starred in 11 more films with MGM until 1952, often typecast as older, antagonistic women. Her dissatisfaction with the roles MGM assigned to her led her to have her contract terminated. Many of her roles were older than her age, as she put it herself: “Hollywood made me old before my time.” In 1962, Lansbury starred in The Manchurian Candidate, with her role earning a third Academy Award nomination.
For theatre, Lansbury made appearances in numerous productions. She was nominated for 8 Tony Awards, winning 6. She won Best Actress for Mame, Dear World, Gypsy, and Sweeney Todd: The Barber of Fleet Street. She additionally won Best Featured Actress for Blithe Spirit, and her achievements for the theatrical scene earned her a Lifetime Achievement Tony.
One of Angela Lansbury’s best-known television roles was Jessica Fletcher in CBS’s Murder, She Wrote. The crime drama ran for 12 seasons from 1984 to 1996, with a total of 264 episodes. For her leading performance, Lansbury was nominated for 10 Golden Globes and 12 Emmys, winning 4 of the former. She made the record for most Golden Globe nominations and wins for Best Actress in a television drama series, along with most Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.
Contrary to her typecast roles, modern audiences may recognize Lansbury for her performances in Disney features. She was Miss Eglantine Price in Bedknobs and Broomsticks as well as the voice of Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast (1991). Her performance as the kind, motherly teapot was a gift for her grandchildren, and the title song won numerous awards. She additionally provided the voice of Dowager Empress in Don Bluth’s Anastasia (now part of Disney with their purchase of FOX).
Angela Lansbury made her final, posthumous film appearance as herself in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, to be released for American audiences in November 23, 2022. It is dedicated to her memory.
Outside of entertainment, Lansbury supported numerous charities. These included charities combating domestic abuse, drug addiction, and HIV/AIDS. In 2014, Lansbury was also appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire by the late Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022).
In Loving Memory of Lansbury
Angela Lansbury died peacefully in her sleep at her Los Angeles home, just 5 days shy of her 97th birthday. She is survived by her two children, three grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. She will be greatly missed by family, friends, fans, and colleagues.
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