Dame Angela Landsbury Passes Away at 96

Dame Angela Landsbury, known for her role as Jessica Fletcher on Murder, She Wrote, has passed away at 96 just days before her 97th birthday.

Dame Angela was born on October 16th, 1925 in the St. Pancras area of London, England to Moyna Macgill and Edgar Lansbury.

(copyright Eva Rinaldi)

Her family moved to the USA in 1940 due to the Blitz. At 17, she signed a seven year deal with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM.) Her first movie was Gaslight in 1944, followed quickly by National Velvet. She met Elizabeth Taylor while working on National Velvet, developing a life long friendship.

She would go on to star in a number of other movies, including The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Harvey Girls, The Three Musketeers, Mutiny, The Manchurian Candidate, The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders, The Pirates of Penzance, and The Greatest Story Ever Told.

Dame Angela would become a household name though, in thanks to her starring in Murder, She Wrote as Jessica Fletcher, from 1984 to 1996.

Beatrice Arthur and Angela Landsbury in 1989 (copyright: Alan Light)

She would also provide the voice for Mrs. Potts in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast in 1991.

She would alos work extensively on stage, including appearing in the title role in Mame, as Nellie Lovatt in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, as well as appearing as Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit – appearing in The West End, Toronto, and on Broadway in the role.

Dame Angela would win six Tony Awards, six Golden Globe Awards, and one Academy Award. She would also be nominated 18 times for a Primetime Emmy Award.

She was married twice: first to Richard Cromwell (1945-1946), and then to Peter Shaw (1949 until his death in 2003.)

She was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 1994 and was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire (DBE) in 2014. On becoming Dame Angela Landsbury, she was quoted as saying, “I’m joining a marvellous group of women I greatly admire like Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. It’s a lovely thing to be given that nod of approval by your own country and I really cherish it.”

Dame Angela passed away peacefully at home at about 1:30 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time in Los Angeles. She leaves behind two children, Anthony Peter and Deirdre Ann, three grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

About Edward Brain

I am a long time condo activist and have a background in Business Administration.
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