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

Her family said in a statement: “The children of Dame Angela Lansbury are sad to announce that their mother died peacefully in her sleep at home in Los Angeles at 1.30am today, Tuesday, October 11, 2022, just five days shy of her 97th birthday.

“In addition to her three children, Anthony, Deirdre and David, she is survived by three grandchildren, Peter, Katherine and Ian, plus five great grandchildren and her brother, producer Edgar Lansbury.

“She was proceeded in death by her husband of 53 years, Peter Shaw. A private family ceremony will be held at a date to be determined.”

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

The London-born actress won five Tony Awards for her Broadway performances, was nominated for three Oscars, and received an honorary award in 2013.

On the big screen, she was known for her roles in Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and Beauty and the Beast where she was the voice of Mrs Potts.

Lansbury played Jessica Fletcher, a writer and amateur sleuth, in the hit US crime drama series Murder, She Wrote which began in 1984. The series stayed high in the ratings until its 11th year.

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Her mature demeanour prompted producers to cast her much older than her actual age. In 1948, when she was 23, Lansbury’s hair was streaked with grey so she could play a forty-ish newspaper publisher with a yen for Spencer Tracy in State of the Union.

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

Her stardom came in middle age when she became the hit of the New York theatre, winning Tony Awards for Mame (1966), Dear World (1969), Gypsy (1975) and Sweeney Todd (1979).

She was back on Broadway and got another Tony nomination in 2007 in Terrence McNally’s Deuce, playing a brash former tennis star.

She holds the record for the most Golden Globe nominations and wins for best actress in a television drama series and the most Emmy nominations for lead actress in a drama series.

In an interview in 2008, Lansbury said she still welcomed the right script but did not want to play “old, decrepit women”.

She said: “I want women my age to be represented the way they are, which is vital, productive members of society.

“I’m astonished at the amount of stuff I managed to pack into the years that I have been in the business. And I’m still here.”