Five-Time Tony Winner Angela Lansbury Passes Away at Age 96

Angela Lansbury
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Angela Lansbury
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Photo Credit: Eva Rinaldi / CC by 2.0

Angela Lansbury has passed away at age 96 — five days before her 97th birthday.

Talented actress and Tony Award-winning singer Angela Lansbury, best known for her roles in “Murder, She Wrote” and “Beauty and the Beast,” has passed away, her family announced today. She was 96.

“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,” her family said in a statement.

The London-born Lansbury won five Tony Awards, most recently in 2009 for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her work in Noel Coward’s “Blithe Spirit.” Her best-known role on Broadway was perhaps as Nellie Lovett in “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” for which she won a Tony for Best Musical Actress in 1979. Her other Tony wins were for Best Actress in a Musical for “Mame” in 1966, “Dear World” in 1969, and “Gypsy” in 1975. 

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Angela Lansbury,” says a statement from Actors’ Equity, the union representing live stage performers, of which Lansbury has been a member since 1957 with her work in “Hotel Paradiso.” “A star of stage, TV, and movies, Lansbury was an Equity member for an astounding 65 years. She leaves behind a library of work to enjoy for many generations. We send our condolences to her friends and family.”

Lansbury took her singing talent from Broadway to the voice of an animated teapot in Disney’s 1991 musical, “Beauty and the Beast.” She voiced the matronly Mrs. Potts, a role that would become her most beloved character by generations of children.

The actress enjoyed a long and successful television career in a role many Americans will remember most, as mystery writer and amateur detective Jessica Fletcher on the CBS hit series “Murder, She Wrote.” The show ran for 12 seasons, from 1984 to 1996. Lansbury also enjoyed a celebrated film career in the black-and-white era, with three best-supporting actress Oscar nominations.

She was born Angela Brigid Lansbury on October 16, 1925, in London, the daughter of actress Moyna Macgill and timber executive Edgar Lansbury. She is survived by her three children, Anthony, Deirdre, and David; her three grandchildren, Peter, Katherine, and Ian; five great-grandchildren and her brother, producer Edgar Lansbury. Her family will hold a private family ceremony at an as-yet-undetermined date.