Angela Lansbury, the British-born actress whose career spanned eight decades and produced indelible portraits of a wide range of characters from villainesses to sleuths and light comic roles in movies, on stage and on television, died at age 96, her family said on Tuesday in a statement.
Lansbury, who played a crime-solving mystery writer in the long-running U.S. television series “Murder, She Wrote,” “died peacefully in her sleep” at home in Los Angeles, according to a statement from her children.
The actress was just five days shy of her 97th birthday, the statement said.
In movies, Lansbury turned in riveting supporting performances, including her film debut as a teenager playing the conniving Cockney maid in “Gaslight” in 1944, as the doomed Sibyl in “The Picture of Dorian Gray” in 1945 and as Laurence Harvey’s evil, manipulative mother in “The Manchurian Candidate” in 1962. All three roles earned her Academy Award nominations.
Nearly seven decades after her first film, she was awarded an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement at age 88 in November 2013. Academy Award winners Geoffrey Rush and Emma Thompson offered a tribute to Lansbury at the ceremony. Rush lauded her as the “living definition of range,” while Thompson recalled tossing a pie at Lansbury during the filming of the 2005 comedy “Nanny McPhee.”..Reuters