Actress Angela Lansbury, who had a career in film and TV stretching eight decades, passed away at her home in Los Angeles on 11 October, aged 96 - she was five days away from her 97th birthday. Over her long career, Lansbury worked with some of the biggest names in cinema, including Ingrid Bergman, Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, Katharine Hepburn, and Robert Redford. She leaves behind an impressive body of work and a huge acting legacy, though she will always be synonymous with one particular role, detective Jessica Fletcher, in the 1980s mystery series Murder, She Wrote.
What films has Angela Lansbury been in?
Lansbury appeared in more than 60 films over her career - her debut came in the 1944 classic crime mystery Gaslight, where she starred alongside Ingrid Bergman. The film, which is where the term gaslighting comes from, follows a woman, played by Bergman, who believes her husband is trying her crazy. Lansbury plays Nancy, the couple’s maid, whom the husband secretly flirts with. She was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress for her role.
One of Lansbury’s most well-known films is The Manchurian Candidate (1962) - about an American POW (played by Sinatra) who is brainwashed by the communists and sent back to America as an assassin. Lansbury played Mrs. Eleanor Shaw Iselin, a communist secret agent, in another Oscar nominated performance.
Lansbury also starred in the sprawling 1965 biblical epic, The Greatest Story Ever Told, alongside Max von Sydow as Jesus, Charlton Heston, as John the Baptist, and Roddy McDowall as Matthew. The movie, which had an original running time of 4 hours and 20 minutes, is one of the longest commercial films ever made. Landsbury played Claudia, the wife of Pontius Pilate.
Lansbury also starred in Bedknobs and Broomsticks as Miss Price and her more recent films include several other Disney appearances - she was the voice of Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast, and of The Dowager Empress Marie in Anastasia. In one of her last films, Mary Poppins Returns, she had a cameo role as a balloon lady.
Landsbury’s final film appearance was in the heartwarming 2018 Christmas film, Buttons, where she played a guardian angel, alongside Dick Van Dyke who help two orphan children whose Christmas wish is to find a home for the holidays.
What TV shows has Angela Lansbury been in?
Lansbury is and will forever be known as Jessica Fletcher, a character based on the Agathie Christie character Miss Marple. Lansbury played the role in 264 episodes of Murder, She Wrote which aired over 12 seasons from 1984-1996. She also reprised the role for four TV movies which were released between 1997 and 2003.
She had small roles in the 1960s spy series, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., classic ‘80s crime show Magnum, P.I., and modern crime series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Her last TV role was as Aunt March in the 2017 PBS miniseries Little Women.
Can you watch Murder, She Wrote online?
Murder, She Wrote is not available online, but you can watch episodes on TV in the UK on channel 5USA (freeview channel 21). Eight episodes from season two of Murder, She Wrote will air on 5USA from 9.10am on Satuday 15 October. They will be followed by the TV movie A Story To Die For at 5.15pm, and South by Southwest at 7.05pm.
Where can you watch Angela Lansbury’s other films and shows?
You can rent Lansbury’s debut film Gaslight on Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV+. You can also rent The Manchurian Candidate, and The Greatest Story Ever Told (this version with a 3hr 10 runtime) from Amazon.
All of Lansbury’s Disney film appearances can be watched on Disney Plus, as can Mr Popper’s Penguins, which she also featured in. Lansbury’s last film, Buttons, is available to rent on Apple TV+.