The death of Angela Lansbury, who conquered Broadway before becoming a household staple with “Murder, She Wrote,” led to an outpouring of tributes from movie stars, filmmakers and stage actors. Lansbury died Tuesday at 96 after seven decades in the business.
“Angela Lansbury, who graced the stage for decades winning five Tony awards and brought the sleuthing Jessica Fletcher into our living rooms for a dozen years, has passed,” tweeted actor George Takei. “A tale as old as time, our beloved Mrs. Potts will sing lullabies to us now from the stars. Rest, great soul.”
Lansbury famously portrayed intrepid mystery writer Jessica Fletcher in “Murder, She Wrote” from 1984 to 1996. She voiced the animated teapot, Mrs. Potts, in Disney’s beloved “Beauty in the Beast” in 1991, which co-star Robby Benson, who voiced the titular Beast, never forgot.
“One of the most memorable moments in my life was being so very fortunate to be in the recording studio when Ms. Lansbury sang the title song, ‘Beauty and the Beast,’” Benson told The Hollywood Reporter. “For me, the 2 minutes and 46 seconds was a lifetime of inspiration.”
“It is rare that one person can touch so many multiple generations, creating a breadth of work that defines decade after decade,” tweeted Broadway star Josh Gad. “#AngelaLansbury was that artist. From ‘Mame’ to ‘Bedknobs’ to ‘Murder She Wrote’ ... she touched 4 generations. RIP Legend.”
Lansbury left Britain for the U.S. as a child during World War II, according to the BBC. She started a career on Broadway before pivoting to film and earning three Oscar nominations. She won an honorary Academy Award in 2013 and was made a dame by Queen Elizabeth II in 2014.
“Thought you would live forever,” tweeted actor Viola Davis. “What an absolutely beautiful legacy you’ve left. You have influenced generations of actors to aspire to excellence. Rest well!!! May flights of angels...”
Director Rian Johnson, whose mystery thriller “Knives Out” and its sequel, “Glass Onion,” were inspired by Lansbury’s work, tweeted simply: “An absolute legend.” From Harvey Fierstein and Jason Alexander to Maria Shriver and Robert Iger, dozens more tweeted their sympathies and expressed their admiration for the late star.
Lansbury “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 obtained by NBC News.