Iconic British actor Dame Angela Lansbury, famous for playing Mrs Potts in Disney’s animated Beauty and the Beast and for solving murders as crime novelist Jessica Fletcher in the long-running TV series Murder, She Wrote, has died aged 96.
Lansbury once said “I want to play real women. I don’t want to play stereotypes. I want to play intelligent, smart ladies who happen to be 80 or 90 or whatever. They simply don’t write them. I could say that that’s a big mistake in our society” and that is exactly what she did.
She was the recipient of five Tony Awards for her Broadway performances and a lifetime achievement award and earned Academy Award nominations as supporting actress for two of her first three films, Gaslight (1945) and The Picture of Dorian Gray (1946), and was nominated again in 1962 for The Manchurian Candidate and her deadly portrayal of a Communist agent and the title character’s mother.
Of course, we all remember her for Disney roles as Mrs PottsBeauty and the Beast as well as Miss Price in Bedknobs and Broomsticks, but it was in 1984 when she launched the iconic TV series Murder, She Wrote based loosely on Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple stories that made her a household name.
The series centred on Jessica Fletcher, a middle-aged widow and former substitute school teacher living in the seaside village of Cabot Cove, Maine.
Lansbury passed on Tuesday at her home in Los Angeles, according to a statement from her three children. She died five days shy of her 97th birthday.