Angela Lansbury, the actress best known for portraying Jessica Fletcher on ‘Murder, She Wrote’, died in Los Angeles on Tuesday just five days before her 97th birthday. She leaves behind three children, three grandchildren, five great grandchildren and a seven-decade legacy as one of television’s most beloved faces.
“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,” read a statement from the Lansbury family, published by Broadway World.
Lansbury’s second husband, British actor and producer Peter Shaw, died in 2003. The pair had been married for 53 years.
Lansbury’s career spanned three quarters of a century. After making her Broadway debut in 1957, Lansbury would win five Tony Awards and appeared on stage until 2014, when she won the Olivier Award for playing Madame Arcati in a production of Noel Coward’s ‘Blithe Spirit’ in London.
She made her feature film debut in 1944’s ‘Gaslight’, a performance that saw her nominated for an Academy Award. While she received an honorary Oscar in 2013, it was her performance as Jessica Fletcher on the small screen that most endeared Lansbury to fans.
Over 12 seasons, ‘Murder, She Wrote’ became a staple of CBS’ Sunday night schedule, and one of the most successful shows in television history. Throughout the show’s 1984-1996 run, Lansbury was nominated for an Emmy Award each year and won four Golden Globes.
When she finally received her honorary Oscar in 2013, Lansbury remarked that it was ‘Murder, She Wrote’ that “has given me more worldwide attention than any role I ever played in movies or on the stage. It’s a wonderful thing to be known in Spain, Portugal, in Paris, in France and Germany and everywhere.”