R.I.P. Angela Lansbury, star of Murder, She Wrote, iconic voice of Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast

Lansbury's illustrious career took home five Tony Awards and six Golden Globes, along with several Emmy nominations. She was even honored by the late Queen Elizabeth II.

The Everett Collection

There are few entertainers who have had a more versatile and successful career as Angela Lansbury, who died Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022 at the age of 96 according to NBC News.

In what was an impeccable career on the stage and on the screen, the London-born actress is best-known onscreen for her lead role as mystery writer Jessica Fletcher in the crime drama show Murder, She Wrote. The series ran from 1984-1996, featuring 264 episodes and recurring roles from Tom Bosley, William Windom and Ron Masak. 

Younger generations know Lansbury as the soft and melodic voice of Mrs. Potts from the 1991 classic Beauty and the Beast

Lansbury's roles in Murder, She Wrote and Beauty and the Beast very well could be her career-defining roles, but she had decades worth of success prior to the drama series and world-renowned film, respectively. 

Following the start of World War II, Lansbury and her family came to New York in 1940, and her bright career would shine it's first light shortly thereafter. Lansbury and her mother, actress Moyna Macgill, went to Los Angeles in the early-to-mid-Forties, which led to her first role. 

Lansbury played Nancy, the maid in the 1944 film Gaslight, about "a woman, played by star Ingrid Bergman, who was being manipulated to question objective truth," per a NBC obituary. The performance earned Lansbury her first Oscar nomination. Then came her second with her role in the 1945 film The Picture of Dorian Gray.

With over one hundred acting credits to her name, Lansbury was featured in several films in the Forites and Fifties as her career continued to climb. Lansbury's talents were not limted to the silver screen or classic television alone, as the multifaceted entertainer loved the stage and loved using her voice.

Her success speaks for itself, as Lansbury has five Tony Awards to her name, four of the five resulting from roles in musicals. Her first was in 1966 when she won best actress in a musical for Mame. She followed that up with two more in the same category for roles in Dear World in 1969 and for Gypsy in 1975. Her fifth and most recent Tony was for best featured actress in the play Blithe Spirit from 2009.

Throughout the Sixties, Seventies and into the Eighties, when she landed her lead role on Murder, She Wrote, Lansbury appeared in several classic TV shows including, The Eleventh HourThe Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Magnum, P.I.

Her time on the stage led to her iconic voice role of Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast in 1991. She reprised her role with a stunning perforance of the titular track at the 25th anniversary of Beauty and the Beast from New York City in 2016.

Along with the five Tony Awards, Lansbury has six Golden Globes on 15 nominations, and has been nominated for an Emmy 17 times throughout her impressive career. If that wasn't enough, Lansbury received the Dame Commander of the British Empire honor from the late Queen Elizabeth II in 2014, during a Windsor Castle ceremony, according to NBC. 

Starting in the early-Forties, Lansbury's career spanned more than seven decades, as her most recent credit came as Rose in the 2018 movie Buttons, A new Musical Film

Lansbury has memorable performances on stage, on the silver screen, and across classic television to an extent that is rarely seen in Hollywood. 

The star was five days away from her 97th birthday. 

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lee224 21 months ago
Lansbury was heading into her 60s when MSW debuted. That show ran so long that one of the last episodes of the series was a parody of Friends, which had just started at NBC and supposedly ate into MSW's popularity. The last episode was a commentary on changing tv demographics.

Can you imagine today's Hollywood creating a tv show with a 60 year old actress as the main lead? Jessica Fletcher couldn't drive and had trouble operating some modern computer by herself. Sheriff Metzger had to bail her out of trouble most of the time. Her strength and agency derived from her intellect and humanity. We'll probably never see the likes of Lansbury or Jessica Fletcher in our lifetime.
Michael lee224 21 months ago
Her character seemed to do fine with computers. She never seemed reluctant after she decided to abandon her typewriter.

I've never driven. I saw that as a choice she made, maybe helped by living in a small town.

Yes, Sheriff Metzger had to save her from the suspect of the week, but only because they were going to kill her. She was in that position because she'd figured it out.

Sheriff Tupper was always telling her he could handle things, but in one episode, the towns people are begging her to solve the case.

Claude Akins didn't last long.
teire 21 months ago
Saw her as Mrs. Lovett on Broadway, first memory of her is as Winifred in National Velvet on the late late show. So many iconic roles over such a long timeline, what a wonderful contribution. Thanking her, and thoughts to her family.
KJExpress teire 21 months ago
Cool that you got to see her as Mrs. Lovett! I've only seen a video of her in "Sweeney Todd."
Pacificsun teire 20 months ago
I looked all over for you too!


LOCATION: Trivia Quiz answers (WAIT if you want to play)

lynngdance 21 months ago
I’m not very good with words which is why I avoid commenting on these. But, here’s a drawing of her I did several months ago.

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lynngdance tootsieg 21 months ago
Thank you! 🙏🏻 😊
Coldnorth lynngdance 21 months ago
I felt the same as you about being hesitant to comment. I make a lot of typos, but I was welcomed and it’s actually fun once you realize most of us just like hearing other’s points of view.. this it’s a great forum. Keep commenting!!!
Coldnorth Coldnorth 21 months ago
P.S. I love your drawing. You are very talented
lynngdance Coldnorth 21 months ago
Thank you very much. 😊
Mike 21 months ago
And did you know:
Angela Lansbury held triple citizenship - the United Kingdom, the Irish Republic, and the United States (that latter from 1951).
The height of civic responsibility.
UTZAAKE 21 months ago
When he hosted CBS' The Late Late Show, Craig Ferguson had a recurring gag in which any mention of Paul McCartney would be followed by an image of Angela Lansbury and vice versa because of the facial similarities between the two at the time.
Lantern 21 months ago
I think her most stunning performance was in The Manchurian Candidate. Hard to believe she didn't win the Oscar she was nominated for.
cperrynaples Lantern 21 months ago
Fun Fact: Lansbury was actually YOUNGER than her movie son Laurance Harvey!
JeanInTN 21 months ago
She also had a comedic role playing Elvis Presley's character's mother in the movie "Blue Hawaii."
Michael JeanInTN 21 months ago
I sort of saw it. I was distracted by the notion of Angela Lansbury playing Elvis's mother.
Sway 21 months ago
R.I.P. Angela Lanbury. Talented woman. Thank you for decades of entertainment, movies, stage, TV.
cperrynaples 21 months ago
Bonus Question: Name the movie where Lansbury played opposite Raymond Burr as a crooked lawyer!
cperrynaples cperrynaples 21 months ago
The answer is Please Murder Me! Lansbury was a femme fatale and Burr was Perry Mason's evil twin...LOL!
KevinButler 21 months ago
She was also the last host/narrator of the CBS TV airing of"The Wizard Of Oz"in 1990 and again in 1996.
retired2019 21 months ago
VERY CLASSY LADY!😇 Rest in peace
tootsieg 21 months ago
Rest In Peace Angela Lansbury. Big fan of her movies especially Picture of Dorian Gray and World of Henry Orient. Always gave a first class performance.
Runeshaper 21 months ago
R.I.P. Angela Lansbury. I am a HUGE Murder, She Wrote fan and I loved her as the voice of Mrs. Potts! Can't forget Bedknobs and Broomsticks! I am so sad to hear of her passing. She will be greatly missed.
CarolKelley Runeshaper 21 months ago
I loved how she had many older actresses and actors on Murder She Wrote. Ruth Roman played a gossipy hairdresser, with Gloria De Haven and Kathryn Grayson as two of her regulars. Teresa Wright had her last role on an episode.
Michael CarolKelley 21 months ago
I read that the actor playing the librarian had been hired so she could get medical benefits. She was an actor, but needed to keep working to get the benefits.

I really like the Cabot Cove episodes, watching them last year I was surprised she was away from the start. I like Sheriff Tupper best, but I think he left to do Father Dowling.

They used a lot of actors, and so many were familiar. I just saw Jenny Agutter on one episode.
Mike Michael 21 months ago
The librarian was Madlyn Rhue, who'd had a lengthy career in TV and movies before falling ill.
Angela Lansbury had the part created for her so that her medical plan from the Screen Actors Guild would remain in force.
(At this point, her whole family, including her husband, son and brother, were in executive positions on Murder, She Wrote.)
Susilla 21 months ago
In addition to all the other movies mentioned, don't forget "The World of Henry Orient." And she narrated the 50th anniversary release of "The Wizard of Oz." She had been almost the last remaining actors actresses of the Golden Age of the studio system.... 🎬💖😥
DethBiz 21 months ago
RIP Dame Angela Lansbury. A true legend!
idkwut2use 21 months ago
She had SO many great roles. ;-; Beauty & the Beast, Anastasia, Bedknobs & Broomsticks, Sweeney Todd, National Velvet, MSW and everything else mentioned in the article...
Betty, Queen Elizabeth, Loretta, her--can't one of these gals in their 90s hit the big 1-0-0? C'mon!
jholton30062 idkwut2use 21 months ago
Olivia de Havilland lived to 104, if that counts for anything...
CarolKelley jholton30062 21 months ago
and so did Marsha Hunt. She died onSeptember 7 at the age of 104. Marsha would have turned 105 this October, 17th. Janis Paige turned 100 on September 17.
texasluva 21 months ago
I didn't check this out until now. Sorry to hear such a wonderful person and she was 96. Not only Murder she wrote but many block-buster movies she was in 40's and 50's. With 111 credits best known for:
1944 Gaslight

The Manchurian Candidate
Mrs. Eleanor Shaw Iselin

The Dowager Empress Marie (voice)

Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Miss Price

Murder She Wrote

Many many others. R.I.P. Angela Lansbury (1925–2022)
lynngdance texasluva 21 months ago
Yes! And she was great in the movie “The Harvey Girls” (1946). You might not realize it was her if you were just listening, she’s speaking with an American accent in that movie. 🙂
texasluva lynngdance 21 months ago
Yes. This was one of the 111 I noticed just the other day. She was one of those you just thought would live forever. Not many left that played in movies during the 40s. The list gets smaller every year. I think the first time I noticed her watching TV long ago was Samson and Delilah then when movies became more available the earlier ones and then of course her TV Series many years later.
texasluva lynngdance 21 months ago
I was just searching IA and found The Harvey Girls in not too bad condition. I do not think anyone will mind since the passing of Angela Lansbury. Just copy and paste into browser and on it comes. 1.5 G.

The Harvey Girls (1946) 1 hr 41 min -Comedy -Musical-Western
George Sidney
Judy Garland---Ray Bolger---John Hodiak---Angela Lansbury---Preston Foster


AgingDisgracefully 21 months ago
Hope she didn't die with that freeze-frame smile that ended each episode of MSW.
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