Dame Angela Lansbury, who starred in Murder’s hit television drama She Wrote, has died at the age of 96.

Her family said the actress died peacefully in her sleep at home in Los Angeles on Tuesday, just five days before her birthday.

The London star has won five Tony Awards for her performances on Broadway, was nominated for three Oscars and in 2013 received an honorary Oscar for her career in film.

On the big screen, she was known for her roles in Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971), The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Anastasia (1997) and 1991’s Beauty and the Beast, where she was the voice of Mrs. Potts.

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From left: Claude Akins, Angela Lansbury and Tom Bosley in Murder, She Wrote in the 1990s


In her best-known role, Lansbury played Jessica Fletcher, an amateur writer and detective, in Murder, She Wrote, which began in 1984. The show performed well on the charts until its 11th year.

Her mature demeanor prompted producers to choose her much older than her actual age. In 1948, when she was 23, Lansbury’s hair was streaked with gray so she could play a 40-something newspaper editor with a yen for Spencer Tracy in State of the Union.

He won Tony Awards for Mame (1966), Dear World (1969), Gypsy (1975) and Sweeney Todd (1979).

In 2009 she collected her fifth Tony, for Best Actress in a Revival of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit and in 2015 she won an Olivier Award for the role. Then in June of this year she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Tony of hers.

She earned Academy Award nominations for Supporting Actress for two of her first three films, Gaslight (1945) and The Picture of Dorian Gray (1946), and was again nominated in the same category in 1962 for The Manchurian Candidate with her performance of a Communist agent.

She holds the record for most Golden Globe nominations (15) and wins for Best Actress in a Drama TV Series (4) and the Most Emmy Nominations for Lead Actress in a Drama Series (12).

Actress Angela Lansbury attends a special screening and panel discussion of 'Beauty and the Beast' to celebrate the animated film's 25th anniversary on May 9, 2016 at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS ) in Beverly Hills, California.  / AFP / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should be ROBYN BECK / AFP / Getty Images)

In an interview in 2008, Lansbury said he still welcomed the right script but didn’t want to play “old and decrepit women”.

She said: “I want women my age to be represented as they are, who are vital and productive members of society.

“I am amazed at the amount of things I have been able to pack over the years I have been in the industry. And I am still here.”

Her family said in a statement: “In addition to her three children, Anthony, Deirdre and David, she still has three grandchildren, Peter, Katherine and Ian, plus five great-grandchildren and her brother, producer Edgar Lansbury.

“She was preceded by the death of her 53-year-old husband, Peter Shaw.

“A private family ceremony will be held at a later date”.

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