Murder, She Wrote And Beauty And The Beast Star Angela Lansbury Is Dead At 96

Angela Lansbury
(Image credit: Murder, She Wrote)

The entertainment industry has lost another heavyweight, as Angela Lansbury, known for her roles in movies, TV and on Broadway, died October 11 at the age of 96. Her career spanned 80 years, and to this day she is well-loved for her roles as Jessica Fletcher on Murder, She Wrote, Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast, and more recently, she appeared as the Balloon Lady in Mary Poppins Returns

Dame Angela Lansbury died in her sleep, just five days short of her 97th birthday, the Lansbury family said in a statement (via Broadway World):

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. 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 proceeded in death by her husband of 53 years, Peter Shaw. A private family ceremony will be held at a date to be determined.

Angela Lansbury was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2014 by the recently deceased Queen Elizabeth II. She was the winner of six Tony Awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award, which she received this year. She was nominated 18 times over the years for an Emmy award, as well as earning three Academy Award nods and a Grammy nomination in 1993 for her work on Beauty and the Beast.

In fact, she earned Academy Award Best Supporting Actress nominations for two of her first three movies, for the roles of Nancy in Gaslight (1944) and Sibyl Vane in The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945). Angela Lansbury was again nominated for Best Supporting Actress in 1962 for her role as Mrs. Eleanor Shaw Iselin in The Manchurian Candidate. In 2013 Lansbury was the recipient of an Honorary Academy Award, alongside Steve Martin.

She then conquered the Great White Way, winning Tony Awards for her roles in Mame (1966), Dear World (1969), Gypsy (1975), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979) and Blithe Spirit (2009).  

But it was when she left film and the big screen for Murder, She Wrote that many of the fans she has today were introduced to her. For 12 seasons and multiple TV movies, Angela Lansbury played mystery writer and amateur detective Jessica Fletcher, who attempted to solve murders in Maine's fictional Cabot Cove.

In 1991, Angela Lansbury sang her way into the hearts of a whole new generation, as the voice of the animated Mrs. Potts in Disney's Beauty and the Beast.

We at CinemaBlend send our thoughts and condolences to the family and friends of the legendary actress during their time of mourning. 

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.