Dame Angela Lansbury, the star of the US TV murder series Murder, She Wrote, died at 96.
The three-time Oscar nominee has an eight-decade career in film, theatre and television.
She was one of the last surviving stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age, born in 1925.
According to her family, Dame Angela died in her sleep just five days before her 97th birthday.
“Dame Angela Lansbury’s children are saddened to announce that their mother died peacefully in her sleep at home in Los Angeles,” the family said.
A Hollywood producer observed her at a party in 1942 and cast her as a maid in the 1944 picture Gaslight, based on the 1938 play of the same name. The next year, her performance garnered her an Oscar nomination for best-supporting actress.
The phrase “gaslighting” comes from Patrick Hamilton’s play about a young woman whose husband gradually manipulates her into believing she is insane.
The British actress received two additional Oscar nods for her roles as Sibyl in The Picture of Dorian Gray in 1945 and Laurence Harvey’s manipulating mother in The Manchurian Candidate, which she co-starred in with Frank Sinatra in 1962.
She received three Tony Awards after moving to Broadway in the 1960s, including one for her performance as Nellie Lovett in Stephen Sondheim’s 1979 musical play Sweeney Todd.
A year later, she appeared in the Disney smash Bedknobs and Broomsticks. She also acted in several children’s films, including the animated Beauty and the Beast and, most recently, Mary Poppins Returns.
Her role of investigator Jessica Fletcher in the television series Murder, She Wrote, however, earned her millions of fans worldwide.
She started in the role in 1984 and stayed for 12 years and nine seasons.
The show made her one of the wealthiest women in the United States at the time, with a fortune believed to be worth $100 million.
“I worked far harder on a role in the theatre than I did on Jessica,” Lansbury revealed in a 1985 television interview.
“Jessica is considerably closer to home.” She’s a laid-back lady.
“It’s just that I relate to her,” she explained.
Frank Sinatra Enterprises are deeply saddened by the passing of Dame Angela Lansbury who worked closely with Frank Sinatra in ‘The Manchurian Candidate.’ Our deepest condolences to her family and loved ones during this time. 🕊 pic.twitter.com/V62KJ08fJc
— Frank Sinatra (@franksinatra) October 11, 2022
Her later accolades included an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement in 2013 at the age of 88.
During the ceremony, fellow actor Geoffrey Rush praised her as the “living definition of range”.
It followed a lifetime achievement award from Bafta in 2002, as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
She was made a Dame in 2014 for services to drama, charitable work and philanthropy.