Angela Lansbury, star of Beauty and the Beast and Murder, She Wrote, has died aged 96.
She was one of the last surviving stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema.
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Her family wrote in a statement: “The children of Dame Angela Lansbury are sad to announce that their mother died peacefully in her sleep at home in Los Angeles at 1:30am on 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 preceded in death by her husband of 53 years, Peter Shaw.”
The statement added that the family would be holding a private ceremony at a later date.
Lansbury famously voiced Mrs Potts in the 1991 Disney classic Beauty and the Beast, in which she sang one of the film’s most famous songs, ‘Tale As Old as Time’.
rest in peace, the absolute legend and superstar, dame angela lansbury. you were the hero of so many of my childhood memories. your pioneering work and outstanding talent will always be remembered and treasured ♥️ pic.twitter.com/2rNl0CIOgW
— sophia ✨ (@musicallaneous) October 11, 2022
While her role as sleuth Jessica Fletcher in the television series Murder, She Wrote gained her millions of fans across the world.
She took up the role in 1984 and continued for 12 years and nine seasons.
The show made her one of the wealthiest women in the US at the time, with a fortune estimated at $100 million, the BBC reports.
Lansbury moved to the US in 1940 to escape the Blitz and studied acting in New York City.
Two years later, she signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer while still a teenager and landed her first big film roles in Gaslight (1944) and The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), for which she earned two Oscar nominations and a Golden Globe.
Her stellar career saw her win five Tony awards – recognising excellence on Broadway – with her last coming in 2009 for her portrayal of Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit.
She won a 1979 Tony for the Best Musical Actress following her performance as Nellie Lovett in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
She also won a Tony for her roles in Mame (1966), Dear World (1969) and Gypsy (1975).
Tributes have started to pour in following the announcement of Lanbury’s death.
Star Trek actor George Takei said: “Angela Lansbury, who graced the stage for decades winning five Tony awards and brought the sleuthing Jessica Fletcher into our living rooms for a dozen years, has passed.
“A tale old as time, our beloved Mrs Potts will sing lullabies to us now from the stars. Rest, great soul.”
Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson tweeted: “I’ll never forget sitting next to Angela Lansbury at an opening night.
“Even though I had to pee I refused to leave my seat during intermission. I spent the 15 minutes chatting with her instead.
“She was incredibly lovely and I’m so glad I had that brief time with her. RIP Angela.”
Karate Kid star Ralph Macchio wrote: “Now, this truly defines Legendary. What a career and life.”
Rest in peace, Angela Lansbury.
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