Tributes have been paid to the ‘truly inspirational’ Lady Angela Lansbury after her death at the age of 96.

the irish –British and American actress was best known for her portrayal of Jessica Fletcher in the American drama series Murder She Wrote.

Dame Angela died “peacefully” in her sleep five days before her 97th birthday, according to a family statement.

Catherine Zeta-Joneswho starred with Dame Angela in Broadway musical A Little Night Music, said their time together “will forever be one of the joys of my life.”

In the post on Instagram, Zeta-Jones wrote: “Dear, dear, lady Angela Lansbury. Rest in peace.

“Our Broadway double act will forever be one of the joys of my life. As the light fades for you on the Great White Way, you will forever shine in our hearts. Love you Angela, Katherine.’

Julian Morris starred alongside Dame Angela in Little Women in 2017 and hailed her as “a true inspiration”.

Appearing on Good Morning Britain, he said: “She was very kind with advice. She was just an inspiration in terms of being 90 and knowing her stuff so well.

“Knowing her lines, working, having energy, having care.”

Referring to a picture of them together, he added: “She saw me and I was in the lunch line and she said come and join me in her trailer.

“The two of us, we skipped the main and went straight to dessert. And she told me everything about her life, moving to America. It was 1940, which is hard to believe.

“She was just a wonderful, genuinely genuine person and truly inspirational.”

Antonio Banderas shared a selection of images of Dame Angela throughout the years and wrote, “Rest in Peace,” along with a red rose.

Marie Osmond called her “one of the brightest stars of the last decade” and added: “Rest in peace Angelo Lansbury. Thanks to you, the world has become a better place.”

West End star Elaine Page said Dame Angelo was “always so kind and generous” when they met.

“So saddened to hear the news that the legendary lady Angela Lansbury has passed away,” Paige tweeted, sharing a photo of them together.

“One of the last stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood and an icon of Broadway and the West End.

With a career spanning more than eight decades, Dame Angelo is a three-time Oscar nominee and five-time Tony Award winner.

She was born in London in 1925 and later moved to the United States during World War II, where she studied at the Fagin School of Dramatic Art in New York.

Dame Angela’s first film role was in George Cukor’s Gaslight as a young maid, Nancy Oliver, who worked in the home of the film’s main character, Paula Alquist, played by Ingrid Bergman.

At the time, 19-year-old Dame Angelo received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the 1944 film.

Dame Angela is widely acclaimed and perhaps best known for her portrayal of Murder, She Wrote novelist and researcher Jessica Fletcher, a retired school teacher from the fictional town of Cabot Cove who, after the death of her husband, became a successful author of detective novels.

She played the heroine in the crime drama series for a total of 12 years and nine seasons, after her first role in 1984.

Flowers were laid for Dame Angela’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, with the track’s producer Ana Martinez saying: “Sadly, we have lost another Hall of Famer.

“Beloved actress Angela Lansbury has passed away and Hollywood is once again mourning the loss of another one of our very talented performers.

“Our condolences go out to her family.”

In 2013, Dame Angelo was awarded an honorary Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Film Industry and was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by Bafta in 2002.

Dame Angela was married twice, first to American actor Richard Cromwell in 1945 when she was 19 and he was 35. The couple divorced in 1946 but remained friends until Cromwell’s death in 1960.

She married her second husband, actor and producer Peter Shaw, in 1949, and they remained together until Shaw’s death in 2003. The couple had two children of their own, Anthony Peter and Deirdre Ann, and Angela’s wife also became stepmother to David, Shaw’s son from a previous relationship.

Anthony became a television director and directed 68 episodes of Murder She Wrote.

Dame Angelo was made a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honors in 1994 and a DBE in the 2014 New Year Honors for services to drama, charity and philanthropy.

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