Angela Lansbury: film, TV and stage career – in pictures

Angela Lansbury, best known for her role in Murder, She Wrote, has died at the age of 96

Angela Lansbury: Angela Lansbury publicity still 1940s
Angela Lansbury was born in Poplar, London in 1925. She was evacuated to Canada after the start of the Blitz during the second world war and then travelled to New York. She was granted American citizenship in 1951. This publicity still is from the 1940s. Photograph: Everett Collection/Rex Features
Angela Lansbury: Angela Lansbury in Gaslight
In her first major role, Angela Lansbury played Nancy Oliver in the 1944 film Gaslight, alongside Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer. The 19-year-old Lansbury’s performance was very well received and she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. At the time of accepting the role, Lansbury worked at Bullocks Department store in LA, her boss tried to encourage her to stay by offering to match the pay at her new job but the $500 a week was a little too much for him. Photograph: MGM/Allstar
Angela Lansbury: Angela Lansbury in The Picture Of Dorian Gray
The following year, 1945, Lansbury won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress and received another Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of Sibyl Vane in the movie The Picture Of Dorian Gray. Lansbury’s mother, Moyna MacGill also appeared in the film. Photograph: Everett Collection/Rex Features
Angela Lansbury: Angela Lansbury in The Private Affairs Of Bel Ami
In 1947, Lansbury starred alongside George Sanders in the film The Private Affairs Of Bel Ami. Photograph: Moviestore Collection/Rex Features
Angela Lansbury: Angela Lansbury in Samson And Delilah
1949 saw Lansbury appearing in Cecil B. DeMille’s hugely successful Samson and Delilah with George Sanders, Hedy Lamarr and Victor Mature. Photograph: Paramount/Allstar
Angela Lansbury: Angela Lansbury behind the scenes on The Court Jester
An accomplished singer, Lansbury appeared in the musical comedy The Court Jester in 1956. Here she is eating lunch with actor Basil Rathbone at Paramount Studio during a day of filming. Photograph: Alfred Eisenstaedt/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image
Angela Lansbury: Angela Lansbury in A Taste of Honey
Having debuted on Broadway in 1957, Lansbury went on to appear in A Taste of Honey in New York, playing Helen the mother of the main character played by Joan Plowright. Photograph: Alfred Eisenstaedt/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image
Angela Lansbury: Angela Lansbury in The Manchurian Candidate
Lansbury’s next major success in the film industry was again for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Mrs Iselin in 1962’s The Manchurian Candidate. Lansbury played Laurence Harvey’s manipulative mother despite being only three years Harvey’s senior. She won the Golden Globe and was nominated in the Academy Awards in that category. Photograph: Everett Collection/Rex Features
Angela Lansbury: Angela Lansbury on Life Magazine Cove
At the age of 40, Lansbury was given her first title role in the musical Mame. She played Mame Dennis for two years and won the Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, and she made the cover of LIFE magazine. Photograph: Mark Kauffman/Getty
Angela Lansbury: Angela Lansbury in Bedknobs And Broomsticks
The 1971 Walt Disney film Bedknobs And Broomsticks, set during the second world war, saw Angela Lansbury receive yet another industry award nomination. Photograph: Snap Stills/Rex Features
Angela Lansbury: Angela Lansbury in Death On The Nile
In 1978, Lansbury appeared alongside her former brother-in-law Peter Ustinov as Salome Otterbourne in Agatha Christie’s Death On The Nile. Once again a nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role followed. Photograph: EMI/Allstar
Angela Lansbury: Angela Lansbury in Murder She Wrote
Between 1984 and 1996 Angela Lansbury took on what was to become the role for which she is most famous, playing mystery writer and amateur sleuth Jessica Fletcher, Lansbury racked up 264 episodes of the popular TV show Murder She Wrote, winning four Golden Globes. Photograph: Cine Text/Allstar
Angela Lansbury: Angela Lansbury on set of Nanny Mcphee
Angela Lansbury played Great Aunt Adelaide Stitch in 2005’s Nanny McPhee. Here she is on set with co-star Emma Thompson. Photograph: Universal/Rex Features
Angela Lansbury: Angela Lansbury in Blithe Spirit
Deborah Rush, Rupert Everett, Angela Lansbury, Jayne Atkinson and Simon Jones are shown in a scene from the 2009 revival of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit at Broadway’s Shubert Theatre in New York, for which Lansbury won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play. Photograph: Robert J. Saferstein/Associated Press
Angela Lansbury: Angela Lansbury in A Little Night Music
More nominations followed for Angela Lansbury, here with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Keaton Whittaker, for her work in the 2009/10 revival of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music performed at Broadway’s Walter Kerr Theatre in New York. Photograph: Joan Marcus/AP
Angela Lansbury: Angela Lansbury at the Gielgud Theatre
Angela Lansbury, who became a Dame in the New Year’s Honours List, poses for a photograph before a news conference at the Gielgud Theatre in central London when she announced her return to the London stage for the first time in 40 years, reprising her role as Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit in 2014. Photograph: Reuters
Lansbury poses with the award for best actress in a supporting role for her performance in Blithe Spirit, during the Lawrence Olivier Awards at the Royal Opera House in London in 2015
Lansbury poses with the award for best actress in a supporting role for her performance in Blithe Spirit, during the Lawrence Olivier Awards at the Royal Opera House in London in 2015 Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images
Lansbury greets the audience at the Alice Tully hall for a 25th anniversary screening of Beauty and the Beast in New York in 2016
Lansbury greets the audience at the Alice Tully hall for a 25th anniversary screening of Beauty and the Beast in New York in 2016
Photograph: Kristina Bumphrey/Starpix/Rex/Shutterstock
Lansbury with Robert Wagner and others at a celebration of classic film at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills in 2019
Lansbury with Robert Wagner and others at a celebration of classic film at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills in 2019 Photograph: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

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Greg Whitmore

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