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‘Murder, She Wrote’ Star and Hollywood Legend Angela Lansbury Dead at 96

Legendary actress of stage and screen Angela Lansbury has passed away at 96 years old. Lansbury’s family released a statement saying, “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.” The five-time Tony Award and honorary Oscar winner left an indelible impression on generations of audiences over the course of her 80 year career.

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Lansbury was an indelible part of our childhoods thanks to her performances in two Disney classics, Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971) and the animated feature Beauty and the Beast (1991), where she voiced Mrs. Potts and sang the titular song.

Lansbury may be best known for her starring role in the beloved CBS crime drama Murder, She Wrote, which ran for 12 seasons (1984-1996). Lansbury played mystery author and amateur detective Jessica Fletcher, a role which earned her 12 Emmy nominations and four Golden Globes. Born in 1925, Lansbury made her feature film debut in George Cukor’s Gaslight (1944). Only 17 at the time, she earned her first Oscar nomination for the role, and quickly was signed as a contract player by MGM. Lansbury went on to star in films like National Velvet (1944) and The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945). She later starred in The Manchurian Candidate (1962) in the chilling role of Mrs. Iselin, which earned her another Academy Award nomination.

Lansbury made a name for herself on Broadway, originating iconic roles such as Mame Dennis in Mame (1966), a role which made her an unexpected gay icon, and Mrs. Lovett in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979). Lansbury received a BAFTA Lifetime Achievement Award, a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award, six Golden Globes, and was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.

Many took to social media to remember the inimitable actress:

(featured image: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.