‘Murder, She Wrote’ star Angela Lansbury dies aged 96
The British-born star, who found fame and fortune as one of television’s most memorable characters, was also a hugely successful and decorated stage and film actress.
“The children of Dame Angela Lansbury are sad to announce that their mother died peacefully in her sleep at home in Los Angeles... just five days shy of her 97th birthday,” a statement widely quoted in U.S. media said.
Tributes came from across the world, with Australian former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull posting a picture of the pair, who were cousins.
“Thank you Angela for the joy & love you have shared with all the world all your life,” Turnbull tweeted.
Meanwhile NASA posted what it called “a cosmic rose,” a deep space constellation, in memory of the actress.
Lansbury was nearly 60 years old when she netted the role that made her famous: The mystery writer and amateur sleuth in the smash television series “Murder, She Wrote.”
In a career spanning more than seven decades, she appeared in about 60 films and starred in some of Broadway’s biggest musicals.
She snapped up six Golden Globes, five Tony Awards for her work in American theatre and, in 2013, an honorary lifetime Oscar.
But most remember her as the down-to-earth, middle-aged widow Jessica Fletcher who ferreted out criminals in the television series “Murder, She Wrote”, which ran from 1984 to 1996 on US television and was exported to dozens of countries, making her recognized the world over.
“I was amazed, almost everywhere in the world knew Jessica Fletcher. They treated me like a rock star,” Lansbury said in 2016.
The 264-episode series won her four of her Golden Globes, as well as a fortune: She garnered up to $300,000 per episode.
Even so, in 2017 at the age of 91, the still-lively actress spoke of her wish to play the role of Jessica Fletcher “just one more time,” British media reported.