Angela Lansbury, Screen and Broadway Icon, dead at 96

Angela Lansburythe London-born actress who for seven decades has brought a genteel presence to the stage, screen and television – especially over the course of 12 years playing the brave mystery novelist Jessica Fletcher on CBS. She wrote the murder – Die. She was 96 years old.

“The children of Mrs. Angela Lansbury are saddened to announce that their mother passed away peacefully in her sleep at her home in Los Angeles at 1:30 a.m. this Tuesday, October 11, 2022, just five days before her 97th birthday,” her family says in a statement obtained by People.

“In addition to her three children, Anthony, Deirdre and David, she is survived by three grandchildren, Peter, Catherine and Ian, as well as five great-grandchildren and producer brother Edgar Lansbury,” the statement added. “She died by her husband Peter Shaw, 53 years old. A private family party will be held at a date to be determined.”

Angela Brigid Lansbury, actress with a futuristic character (voice of Mrs. Potts in the Disney cartoon) was born Beauty and the beast) and the leading lady (the strange Broadway aunt in the musical Mami) was the Belfast-born daughter of actress Moina McGill and her second husband, timber merchant Edgar Lansbury. A “real Irish beauty” is how Lansbury described her mother in a 1993 profile of People.

Eager to steer her daughter’s future, Moena took young Angela to play at London’s Old Vic and enrolled her in an art and dance school, until the family–Angela and her younger twin brothers (aged five), Edgar and Bruce, who would later become successful producers, and a half-sister–found themselves almost broke when Edgar the Elder died in 1934. Angela was nine years old.

The war worsened the family’s situation, so in 1940 the Lansbury family moved to New York, where Moina restarted her acting career and went on tour while Angela looked after her siblings. She moved her bosom to Los Angeles and now works in a department store, and helped Moina get a screen audition for her daughter at MGM—which prompted the 17-year-old to make her Oscar-nominated film debut as Cockney Maid in Ingrid Bergman Charles’ 1944 Boyr classic thriller Gaslight.

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“It was thanks to my mom who realized in me the ability to cut, believe, and run being someone other than the little girl I was,” Lansbury said. masterpiece studio audio notation In 2018 from entering into show business. “I made her realize I was normal, and she, blessed in her heart, made decisions for me, very, very, very young.”

The following year brought another Academy Award nomination, this time for the role of singer Sibyl Vane on MGM’s Dorian Gray’s photowho was hot in the aftermath of Lansbury after she played a very young sister Elizabeth Taylor in the beloved National Velvet.

However, being on contract with the biggest Dream Factory on the planet did little to boost the teen’s confidence, especially with Ava Gardner, Lana Turner, and Hedy Lamarr working on neighboring sound systems.

“I was a young woman looking for charm and attention, and I didn’t really get it,” Lansbury told PEOPLE. “So what did I do? I got married at nineteen.”

The groom was the handsome leading man Richard Cromwell, who turned out to be gay, something Lansbury didn’t learn until they separated nine months later. “My first wonderful romance. It was a terrible tragedy,” she said, adding that the two remained friends until his death of cancer in 1960.

A new beginning

Soon after the divorce, she met Peter Shaw, a British actor who later became a prominent Hollywood agent. They married in London in 1949, and Moina served as the honorary chairperson.

This was followed by film, live TV and Broadway roles, including the role of Elvis Presleymother in 1961, Blue Hawaii – although Lansbury was barely ten years older than Elvis.

A bigger role for the mother, as Mother Monster by Lawrence Harvey in 1962 prismatic filter (This time, she was only three years older than her on-screen son), and established Lansbury’s reputation as a character actress, as well as earning her a third Academy Award nomination.

Four years later, she landed on the cover life Magazine as a Broadway toast in MamiHe won his first five Tony Awards, a record he met only Julie Harris and later Finally in 2014, by Audra McDonald.

family precedence

The parents discovered problems of a very personal nature – Shaw’s children, Anthony (born in 1952) and Deirdre (in 1953), were using hard drugs, the parents found out – forcing a family in 1971 to move to County Cork, Ireland, which, Lansbury said “It was one of the last places on Earth that was fairly drug-free.”

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While commuting between Ireland, London, and New York over the next decade until the kids came clean, Lansbury relived his career in 1978, when she created the iconic role of partner in murder Mrs. Lovett in Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway musical. Sweeney Todd.

Along with winning another Tony, Lansbury was paved for the role she will likely remember best, and certainly most loved, Jessica Fletcher. It debuted in 1984, She wrote the murder It put Lansbury front and center for 256 episodes, earning her an impressive 12 Emmy Award nominations – although, oddly enough, she’s never won.

“It’s very hard to tell the difference between the two,” Peter Shaw told PEOPLE when asked to compare his wife to Fletcher. (Shaw, 84, died 2003.) “Angela has that adorable crap, and that’s one of the nicest things that Jessica has.”

Guess, in fact. After her latest television murder happened, Lansbury embarked on several other projects, both on television and on Broadway. And although the Emmys continued to elude her (she was nominated 18 times), she was awarded the 1996 Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, the 1997 US National Medal of Arts, the 2000 Kennedy Center Honors, and at the 2014 ceremony at Windsor Castle, Mrs. Angela was officially introduced by Queen Elizabeth – While she was playing the role of spiritualist Madame Arcati in the London production of one of Noel Coward’s works Blythe spirit.

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Lansbury received an award Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theater In June, on the occasion of her sixth All-round Tony Award.

The Broadway legend has won four Tunisians between the time she appeared as Mamie Denise in 1966 Mami and Mrs. Lovett in 1979 Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. And she went on to win the 5th Tony of 2009 Blythe spirither first Tony for her performance in a play versus a musical.

“It’s been a wonderful life, especially for me,” Lansbury told her colleagues when she received the SAG honor. “The good news is, girls, opportunities are available to us at all ages. I mean, look at some of the amazing work women are doing in cinema today. I am so excited to keep working and start a new career goals… after all, the path Professional, for me, is still a work in progress.”

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At 92, the actress still does not plan to slow down. After starring in a TV show little Women Mini-series where she worked with director Vanessa Caswell, and The first female director she worked with in her 80-year careerLansbury was asked if the show would be her last.

“Well, I wouldn’t say it’s my swan song,” said Lansbury. “It’s not the last thing I’m going to do. I’m already doing other things, but it’s been said to be my swan song. But it’s not,” said Lansbury, who played Lady of the Balloon in 2018. Mary Poppins is back.

“I know at 92 I have to think in terms of going out, but I don’t know if you have the energy, enthusiasm and interest, I don’t think you’ll ever stop,” she added.

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