Angela Lansbury, Star of TV, Film and Stage, Dies at 96

Angela Lansbury at TCA in 2018
Angela Lansbury at the 2018 TCA Winter Press Tour. (Image credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Angela Lansbury, star of Murder, She Wrote, died October 11 in Los Angeles. She was 96. Lansbury spent seven decades on stage and screen. 

Born in London in 1925, Lansbury was 18 when she was cast in the 1944 thriller Gaslight. She picked up an Academy Award nomination for the role, and did so again two years later for her work in The Picture of Dorian Gray. Her other film credits include State of the Union, Blue Hawaii, The Manchurian Candidate, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Beauty and the Beast and Mary Poppins Returns. 

Lansbury played Jessica Fletcher in the CBS drama Murder, She Wrote, which premiered in 1984 and ran for 12 seasons. Lansbury was nominated for 12 consecutive Emmys, but did not win any. 

Lansbury’s stage work, on Broadway and London’s West End, includes Hotel Paradiso, Anyone Can Whistle, Mame, Dear World, Sweeney Todd, Gypsy and Blithe Spirit.

Her other TV credits include Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Little Women (BBC). All told, Lansbury picked up 18 Emmy nominations, but did not win. ■

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.