Angela Lansbury, one of Hollywood's most decorated actresses, has died

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Actress Angela Lansbury, internationally acclaimed for her role in the US television series Murder, She Wrote, has died at the age of 96, according to the BBC.

Angela Lansbury, one of Hollywood's most titled actresses, has died

Photo: IStock

The three-time Oscar nominee has a career spanning eight decades in film, theater and television.

Born in 1925, she was one of the last living stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema.

Angela Lansbury died in her sleep just five days before her 97th birthday, her family said in a statement.

“Angela Lansbury's children are sad to report that their mother passed away peacefully during dream at home in Los Angeles,” the family said.

Born in London, Angela Lansbury later moved to New York and enrolled at the Feagin School of Dramatic Art.

She was spotted by a Hollywood executive at a party in 1942 and was given her first role as a maid in the 1944 film Gas light, based on the 1938 play of the same name. Her performance earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress the following year.

The term “gaslighting” originated from Patrick Hamilton's play about a young woman whose husband slowly manipulates her into believing she is going insane.

The British star received two more Oscar nominations for her role as Sibyl in the film The Picture of Dorian Gray in 1945 and manipulative mother Lawrence Harvey in The Manchurian Candidate with Frank Sinatra in 1962. After moving to Broadway in the 1960s, she won several Tony Awards , including one for playing Nellie Lovett in Stephen Sondheim's 1979 musical play Sweeney Todd.

She appeared in the Disney hit “The Knob and the Broom” in 1971, and later starred in other children's films, voicing Mrs. Potts in the animated cartoon Beauty and the Beast; and most recently took part in the voice acting of Mary Poppins Returns.

But it was her role as detective Jessica Fletcher in the television series Murder, She Wrote that brought her millions of fans around the world.

She took for this role in 1984 and worked for 12 years and nine seasons.

The show made her one of the richest women in the US at the time, with an estimated net worth of $100 million.

“I worked much harder on the character in the theater than on the role of Jessica,” Lansbury said in a TV interview on 1985.

“Jessica is much closer to me. She is a calm woman,” she added.

Her later awards included an honorary Oscar for Lifetime Achievement in 2013 at the age of 88.

During of the ceremony, fellow actor Geoffrey Rush praised her as “the definition of range live.”

This followed a Bafta Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002, as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 2014, Lansbury was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her contributions to the dramatic arts and philanthropy.

Actor Josh Gad tweeted: “It's rare that one person can touch multiple generations, creating a scope of work that defines decade after decade. That artist was Angela Lansbury.”

Fellow actor Harvey Fierstein added that she was “everything”.

Actress Mia Farrow, who starred opposite Angela in the 1978 film Death on the Nile, wrote that it was an “honor” to work with her.

Oscar-winning Viola Davis wrote that she thought the late star “will live forever.” “What a wonderful legacy you left,” she wrote. – You have influenced generations of actors to strive for excellence.”

Seinfeld actor Jason Alexander tweeted that “one of the most versatile, talented, graceful, kind, witty, wise and awesome ladies I've ever met has left us,” adding, “Her tremendous contribution to the arts and the world remains forever.”

Comedian and actress Kathy Griffin wrote: “I can't tell you how many women and men are crushed and nostalgic for something in the past because of the news of the death of the fabulous Angela Lansbury” .

Angela ran television campaigns and AIDS fundraisers in the 1980s and 90s.

Angela was married twice: briefly to actor Richard Cromwell when she was 19, and then to British actor and producer Peter Shaw.

They remained together for over 50 years, until his death in 2003.

She left three children and brother, producer Edgar Lansbury, as well as several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The actress has played in more than a hundred films, among which are Little Women, The Grinch, Driving Miss Daisy, Mr. Popper's Penguins, Mr. Budwing, etc.