Murder, She Wrote star and broadway icon Angela Lansbury has passed away aged 96, a statement from her family has confirmed.
“The children of Dame Angela Lansbury are sad to announce that their mother died peacefully in her sleep at home in Los Angeles at 1:30 AM today, Tuesday, October 11, 2022, just five days shy of her 97th birthday," her family wrote.
"In addition to her three children, Anthony, Deirdre and David, she is survived by three grandchildren, Peter, Katherine and Ian, plus five great grandchildren and her brother, producer Edgar Lansbury. She was preceded in death by her husband of 53 years, Peter Shaw.”
The London-born star was just days away from her 97th birthday, with the statement adding that the family would be holding a private ceremony at a later date.
Lansbury has enjoyed a decorated career spanning an incredible eight decades, and went on to be inducted into the TV Hall of Fame in 1996.
She is perhaps best known for her role as amateur sleuth Jessica Fletcher in whodunit drama Murder, She Wrote, which span a whopping 12 seasons.
On her iconic role as Fletcher, Lansbury earlier said: ”What appealed to me about Jessica Fletcher is that I could do what I do best and have little chance to play — a sincere, down-to-earth woman. Mostly, I’ve played very spectacular bitches. Jessica has extreme sincerity, compassion, extraordinary intuition. I’m not like her. My imagination runs riot. I’m not a pragmatist. Jessica is.”
You may also recognise the star as the voice of the beloved Mrs Pott in the 1991 Disney flick Beauty and the Beast, as well as Nellie Lovett in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and the dreaded Aunt Adelaide in Nanny McPhee.
Her most recent on-screen appearance came in 2018 with Buttons and Mary Poppins Returns, although the star said she was reluctant to hang up her acting boots.
Speaking in a 2019, Lansbury admitted: “Yes, I do [think about it] on some days. I think, Oh, no, goodness gracious. I can’t pull myself together to do this today. But I keep doing it. There’s going to come a point, where I’ll think, I’m folding up now. I’m putting that person away in the closet and I’m going to just live out my remaining years with the family."