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Award-winning actress Angela Lansbury, known for 'Murder, She Wrote,' dies at 96

Lansbury is best known for her roles in "The Manchurian Candidate," "Beauty and the Beast" and as crime-solving novelist Jessica Fletcher on "Murder, She Wrote."

LOS ANGELES — Angela Lansbury, known to movie fans for roles in "The Manchurian Candidate" and "Bedknobs and Broomsticks," and to television fans as the crime-solving author Jessica Fletcher, has died, according to a statement from her family. She was 96. 

Lansbury was born in London in 1925. 

Her first credited role was as Nancy in "Gaslight" in 1944. It was quite a debut, earning her a nomination for a supporting actress Oscar. 

Her second nomination would come a year later for playing Sibyl Vane in "The Picture of Dorian Gray." That was followed by another Oscar nod in 1963 for her role as Eleanor Shaw Iselin in the political thriller "The Manchurian Candidate, for which she won one of her many Golden Globes. 

Credit: Casey Curry/Invision/AP
FILE - Angela Lansbury poses for a portrait during press day for "Blithe Spirit" in Los Angeles on Dec. 16, 2014. Lansbury, the big-eyed, scene-stealing British actress who kicked up her heels in the Broadway musicals “Mame” and “Gypsy” and solved endless murders as crime novelist Jessica Fletcher in the long-running TV series “Murder, She Wrote,” died peacefully at her home in Los Angeles on Tuesday. She was 96. (Photo by Casey Curry/Invision/AP, File)

Her singing voice was on display as the apprentice witch Mrs. Price in Disney's "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" in 1971. She also lent her vocal talents as Mrs. Potts in the animated Disney hit "Beauty and the Beast" in 1991, singing the title song in the film. 

Perhaps her most recognizable role came in 1984 when she began a 12-year run on "Murder, She Wrote." She played Jessica Fletcher, a mystery writer who used her passion to help solve crimes. She was nominated for an Emmy for each one of those seasons and won four Golden Globes. The series also spawned four television movies in the years after the series ended. 

Lansbury was presented with an honorary Oscar in 2014. 

Credit: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
FILE - Angela Lansbury attends a photocall during the PBS Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour on Jan. 16, 2018, in Pasadena, Calif. Lansbury turns 97 on Oct. 16. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

Lansbury's family shared a statement, reading, "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. 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 proceeded in death by her husband of 53 years, Peter Shaw. A private family ceremony will be held at a date to be determined."

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