Angela Lansbury facts: Murder She Wrote star's, films, husband and children revealed

11 October 2022, 21:32 | Updated: 12 October 2022, 11:23

Dame Angela Lansbury
Dame Angela Lansbury. Picture: Getty

Angela Lansbury was one of the world's best-loved actresses with a career spanning eight decades.

British-American actress Dame Angela Lansbury played countless theatre, TV and film roles, and she was recognized as the earliest surviving Oscar nominee, and one of the last surviving stars from the 'Golden Age of Hollywood' cinema.

Read on for all the big facts you need to know about Dame Angela Lansbury:

  1. Where was Angela Lansbury born?

    Angela Lansbury was born in Regent's Park, London on October 16, 1925. She marked her 96th birthday in 2021.

    She passed away just before her 97th birthday on October 11, 2022.

    Her mother was an Irish actress called Moyna Macgill and her father was a wealthy English timber merchant and politician, Edgar Lansbury.

    Angela had an older half-sister, Isolde, and younger twin brothers Bruce and Edgar.

    "Little Women" FYC Reception And Panel Discussion
    "Little Women" FYC Reception And Panel Discussion. Picture: Getty

    The family lived in Mill Hill, London during the week and at their rural farmhouse in Oxfordshire on the weekends, until Angela's father tragically died when she was nine. Her family eventually moved to live with her mother's new fiancé in Hampstead.

    Angela was very keen on books, theatre and cinema as a child and was a self-proclaimed "complete movie maniac" before moving to the United States with her family.

  2. What were Angela Lansbury's most famous roles?

    After living briefly in New York, Angela moved to Los Angeles in 1942 and signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer, proceeding to appear in eleven films with the studio.

    Angela Lansbury in publicity portrait for the film 'The Court Jester', 1955
    Angela Lansbury in publicity portrait for the film 'The Court Jester', 1955. Picture: Getty

    After earning an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe for her performance in Dorian Gray she went on to receive another Oscar nomination for her role in The Manchunian Candidate, confirming her place as a lauded Hollywood actress.

    Angela appeared in the fan favourite Bedknobs and Broomsticks in 1971 and on stage in productions including The King And I and Sweeney Todd before landing her most famous role as Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote in 1984.

    Angela Lansbury as Jessica Fletcher in 'Murder, She Wrote', 1984
    Angela Lansbury as Jessica Fletcher in 'Murder, She Wrote', 1984. Picture: Getty

    The TV show lasted for an astonishing twelve seasons - one of the longest TV detective shows in history - and made Angela a worldwide household name.

    Angela also provided her voice for a number of projects, perhaps most famously as Mrs Potts in Disney's Beauty and the Beast.

    Throughout her eight-decade career, the actress won five Tony Awards, six Golden Globes and an Olivier Award and in 2014 The Queen gave her the title of Dame Angela Lansbury.

  3. Was Angela Lansbury married and did she have children?

    Angela Lansbury was married twice and had three children.

    In 1945 she eloped and married her first husband, actor Richard Cromwell, when she was 19 and he was 35.

    Angela Lansbury and Peter Shaw pictured on their wedding day in London on July, 26, 1949.
    Angela Lansbury and Peter Shaw pictured on their wedding day in London on July, 26, 1949. Picture: Getty

    They divorced a year later but remained good friends until his death in 1960.

    She married her second husband, Peter Shaw, in 1949 and they were together 54 years before his death in 2003.

    She had a step-child called David who was Peter's from a previous marriage and the couple had two children together: Anthony Peter and Deidre Ann.

    Anthony, 68, is a television director who has directed 69 episodes of Murder, She Wrote and Deidre, 67, owns a restaurant in West Hollywood.