Kristin Chenoweth and Kathy Griffin pay tribute to actress Angela Lansbury

Kristin Chenoweth, Kathy Griffin and Josh Gad join chorus of stars paying tribute to actress Angela Lansbury… hours after her passing at age 96

Kristin Chenoweth, Kathy Griffin and Josh Gad have joined the chorus of celebrities paying tribute to the late actress Angela Lansbury, who passed away on Tuesday. 

While mourning the loss of one of the entertainment industry’s most prolific stars,  Chenoweth, 54, penned a heartfelt tweet thanking Lansbury for her ‘art & wisdom.’

‘Nobody did Mame quite like her. Rest in peace, Angela Lansbury,’ the Broadway star, who is best known as the originator of Glinda in the hit musical Wicked. 

Sad day: Kristin Chenoweth, Kathy Griffin and Josh Gad have joined the chorus of celebrities paying tribute to the late actress Angela Lansbury, who passed away on Tuesday

Sad day: Kristin Chenoweth, Kathy Griffin and Josh Gad have joined the chorus of celebrities paying tribute to the late actress Angela Lansbury, who passed away on Tuesday

Meanwhile, Griffin, tweeted: ‘I cannot tell you how many ladies and gays are crushed, moved and feeling nostalgic about something in the past with the news of the passing of the fabulous Dame Angela Lansbury.’ 

The tributes come just hours after Lansbury passed away at the age of 96, just five days before her 97th birthday.

Gad marveled at Lansbury’s impact on the world and how ‘rare’ it is that ‘one person can touch multiple generations’ with a ‘breadth of work that defines decade after decade.’ 

Gad marveled at Lansbury's impact on the world and how 'rare' it is that 'one person can touch multiple generations' with a 'breadth of work that defines decade after decade'

Gad marveled at Lansbury’s impact on the world and how ‘rare’ it is that ‘one person can touch multiple generations’ with a ‘breadth of work that defines decade after decade’

Grieving: Meanwhile, Kathy Griffin, tweeted: 'I cannot tell you how many ladies and gays are crushed, moved and feeling nostalgic about something in the past with the news of the passing of the fabulous Dame Angela Lansbury'

Grieving: Meanwhile, Kathy Griffin, tweeted: ‘I cannot tell you how many ladies and gays are crushed, moved and feeling nostalgic about something in the past with the news of the passing of the fabulous Dame Angela Lansbury’

'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. A tale old as time, our beloved Mrs. Potts will sing lullabies to us now from the stars. Rest, great soul,'  George Takei tweeted

‘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. A tale old as time, our beloved Mrs. Potts will sing lullabies to us now from the stars. Rest, great soul,’  George Takei tweeted

'The great Angela Lansbury - one of the most versatile, talented, graceful, kind, witty, wise, classy ladies I’ve ever met has left us. Her huge contribution to the arts and the world remains always. #ripAngelaLansbury,' Jason Alexander wrote on Twitter

‘The great Angela Lansbury – one of the most versatile, talented, graceful, kind, witty, wise, classy ladies I’ve ever met has left us. Her huge contribution to the arts and the world remains always. #ripAngelaLansbury,’ Jason Alexander wrote on Twitter

‘#AngelaLansbury was that artist. From “Mame” to “Bedknobs” to “Murder She Wrote” to “B&TB” to “Mary Poppins Returns” she touched 4 generations. RIP Legend,’ he tweeted. 

Sean Hayes shared a photo of the performer smiling as he reacted to losing ‘another amazing woman and talent.’

‘Your talent and career were an inspiration to the world. Rest in peace, dearest Angela. ❤️ 

Big fan: Uzo Aduba tweeted a photo with the actress back in 2012 and gushed about being a 'VERY excited #theaterkid' upon their meeting after one of her Godspell performances

Big fan: Uzo Aduba tweeted a photo with the actress back in 2012 and gushed about being a ‘VERY excited #theaterkid’ upon their meeting after one of her Godspell performances

'Even though I had to pee I refused to leave my seat during intermission. I spent the 15 minutes chatting with her instead. She was incredibly lovely and I'm so glad I had that brief time with her. RIP Angela,' he tweeted

‘Even though I had to pee I refused to leave my seat during intermission. I spent the 15 minutes chatting with her instead. She was incredibly lovely and I’m so glad I had that brief time with her. RIP Angela,’ he tweeted

'I will NEVER forget the magical night I got to perform in front of and get to MEET the legend, Angela Lansbury. She was a true giant and a kind, humble and charming person. I’m blessed to have met her. Rest In Peace,' Kevin McKidd tweeted

‘I will NEVER forget the magical night I got to perform in front of and get to MEET the legend, Angela Lansbury. She was a true giant and a kind, humble and charming person. I’m blessed to have met her. Rest In Peace,’ Kevin McKidd tweeted

'We lost another amazing woman and talent - Dame Angela Lansbury. Your talent and career were an inspiration to the world. Rest in peace, dearest Angela. ❤️,' Sean Hayes tweeted

‘We lost another amazing woman and talent – Dame Angela Lansbury. Your talent and career were an inspiration to the world. Rest in peace, dearest Angela. ❤️,’ Sean Hayes tweeted

'One of the brightest stars in the last decade—rest in peace Angela Lansbury. The world is a better place because of you,✨' Marie Osmond wrote in her tribute

‘One of the brightest stars in the last decade—rest in peace Angela Lansbury. The world is a better place because of you,✨’ Marie Osmond wrote in her tribute

'Angela Lansbury, for all of us who had the extreme joy of working with her, loved actors. She cared deeply that we were taken care of, and made us feel like we were a part of her family. She was absolutely authentic, always kind, and something about her always touched my heart,'  Raphael Sbarge tweeted

‘Angela Lansbury, for all of us who had the extreme joy of working with her, loved actors. She cared deeply that we were taken care of, and made us feel like we were a part of her family. She was absolutely authentic, always kind, and something about her always touched my heart,’  Raphael Sbarge tweeted

Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson recalled ‘sitting next to Angela Lansbury at an opening night.’ 

‘Even though I had to pee I refused to leave my seat during intermission. I spent the 15 minutes chatting with her instead. She was incredibly lovely and I’m so glad I had that brief time with her. RIP Angela,’ he tweeted.

Uzo Aduba tweeted a photo with the actress back in 2012 and gushed about being a ‘VERY excited #theaterkid’ upon their meeting after one of her Godspell performances. 

‘She poured so much love into each of us. An icon of the stage, and legend across so many mediums but, we all knew…she was always one of us :). Thank you, Angela Lansbury. Thank you,’ the Orange Is the New Black star recalled.

Mia Farrow tweeted: ‘Gratitude for the magnificent Angela Lansbury who gave us so many great performances. It was an honor to have worked with her and to know her as a friend. Thank you dearest Angie. Love forever.’ 

So loved: Harvey Fierstein described the late legend as 'EVERYTHING' in a tweet

So loved: Harvey Fierstein described the late legend as ‘EVERYTHING’ in a tweet

The Irish-British and American actress, famed for her roles in Murder, She Wrote and Beauty and the Beast died peacefully at her home in Los Angeles, her three children revealed.

A statement from her family read: ‘The children of Dame Angela Lansbury are sad to announce that their mother died peacefully in her sleep at home in Los Angeles at 1:30 AM today, Tuesday, October 11, 2022, just five days shy of her 97th birthday.’

Lansbury became a legend in Hollywood and on Broadway during a career that spanned an impressive eight decades and saw her taking on roles alongside some of the industry’s best-known stars when she was just a teen – with the actress landing her first major movie job just four years after she fled wartime London at the age of 14. 

Sad: News broke about on Tuesday morning that Lansbury passed away at the age of 96, just five days before her 97th birthday; seen in 2018

Sad: News broke about on Tuesday morning that Lansbury passed away at the age of 96, just five days before her 97th birthday; seen in 2018

The Irish-British and American actress, famed for her roles in Murder, She Wrote and Beauty and the Beast died peacefully at her home in Los Angeles, her three children revealed (pictured in the 1971 film Bedknobs and Broomsticks)

The Irish-British and American actress, famed for her roles in Murder, She Wrote and Beauty and the Beast died peacefully at her home in Los Angeles, her three children revealed (pictured in the 1971 film Bedknobs and Broomsticks)

Having moved to New York with her actress mother after leaving their home in the UK, Lansbury dedicated herself to her love of drama, and she burst onto the film scene in spectacular fashion at the age of 18, when she landed her first role in the 1944 thriller Gaslight, which saw her holding her own on the big screen alongside Hollywood heavyweights like Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer.

The job would ultimately earn her the first of three Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actress – the second of which came one year later for her role in The Portrait of Dorian Gray – and marked the beginning of an illustrious career on the stage and screen, during which she would star alongside a number of industry icons, including Gene Kelly and Katharine Hepburn.

However, to many TV lovers, Lansbury, who is survived by her three children and three grandchildren, was best known for her portrayal of mystery writer and amateur detective, Jessica Fletcher in the hit American crime drama series, Murder She Wrote, which ran for 12 seasons from 1984 until 1996.

A major loss: A statement from her family read: 'The children of Dame Angela Lansbury are sad to announce that their mother died peacefully in her sleep at home in Los Angeles at 1:30 AM today, Tuesday, October 11, 2022, just five days shy of her 97th birthday'

A major loss: A statement from her family read: ‘The children of Dame Angela Lansbury are sad to announce that their mother died peacefully in her sleep at home in Los Angeles at 1:30 AM today, Tuesday, October 11, 2022, just five days shy of her 97th birthday’

For her role on the program, Lansbury was nominated for ten Golden Globes, winning four, earning her the record for the most Golden Globe nominations and wins for Best Actress in a television drama series.

She was also recognized for her work on the hit show with 12 Emmy Award nominations – once again making history for achieving the most Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, despite never winning the award.

The series itself received three Emmy nominations for Outstanding Drama Series, as well as six Golden Globe nominations in the same category, with two major wins.

In addition to her work on the hit CBS series, Lansbury also earned global fame through a wide variety of other roles on the stage and the screen.

An icon: Lansbury (seen in 1989) became a legend in Hollywood and on Broadway during a career that spanned an impressive eight decades and saw her taking on roles alongside some of the industry's best-known stars when she was just a teen - with the actress landing her first major movie job just four years after she fled wartime London at the age of 14

An icon: Lansbury (seen in 1989) became a legend in Hollywood and on Broadway during a career that spanned an impressive eight decades and saw her taking on roles alongside some of the industry’s best-known stars when she was just a teen – with the actress landing her first major movie job just four years after she fled wartime London at the age of 14

Even her voice earned her recognition the world over, after she lent it to the iconic Beauty and the Beast character Mrs. Potts in Disney’s 1991 animated movie Beauty and the Beast.

In 2013, she received an Honorary Academy Award in recognition of her 80 year acting career, having been nominated for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress on three separate occasions for her roles in Gaslight (1944), The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), and The Manchurian Candidate (1962).

Beyond the big and small screens, Lansbury became a legend on the stage, having trod the boards of Broadway in a number of different productions, with her work on the Great White Way earning her five Tony Awards, as well as a lifetime achievement award.

Having earned Oscar nods for two of her first three roles on the big screen, it seemed to many that Lansbury was destined to become one of Hollywood’s greatest leading ladies – however she later revealed that her mature demeanor prompted producers to pigeonhole her as older characters.

In 1948, when she was just 23, her hair was streaked with gray so she could play a fortyish newspaper publisher with a yen for Spencer Tracy in State of the Union.

Speaking to the New York Times in 2009, Lansbury noted that she ‘wasn’t very good at being a starlet’ and ‘wasn’t cut out’ for the bright glare of the spotlight that came with life as one of Hollywood’s glamorous leading ladies.

‘I wasn’t very good at being a starlet,’ she confessed. ‘I didn’t want to pose for cheesecake photos and that kind of thing. It was very difficult. I tried to fit in, but I really wasn’t cut out for it.’

The actress also noted that she wasn’t skilled at playing the industry game, joking at the time that she ‘maybe’ should have ‘slept with’ more people or even ‘played’ MGM producer and co-founder Louis B. Mayer in order to get ahead.

‘I don’t know what I did wrong,’ she continued. ‘Maybe I didn’t sleep with enough people. I think that had something to do with it. I really do. Maybe I didn’t play Louis B. Mayer the way I might have.’

Impressive career: Beyond the big and small screens, Lansbury became a legend on the stage, having trod the boards of Broadway in a number of different productions, with her work on the Great White Way earning her five Tony Awards, as well as a lifetime achievement award; seen in 1996

Impressive career: Beyond the big and small screens, Lansbury became a legend on the stage, having trod the boards of Broadway in a number of different productions, with her work on the Great White Way earning her five Tony Awards, as well as a lifetime achievement award; seen in 1996

Her stardom came in middle age when she became the hit of the New York theater, 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 scrappy, brash former tennis star, reflecting with another ex-star as she watches a modern-day match from the stands.

In 2009 she collected her fifth Tony, for best featured actress in a revival of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit and in 2015 won an Olivier Award in the role.

But Lansbury’s widest fame began in 1984 when she launched Murder, She Wrote on CBS.

Based loosely on Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple stories, the series centered on Jessica Fletcher, a middle-aged widow and former substitute school teacher living in the seaside village of Cabot Cove, Maine.

She had achieved notice as a mystery novelist and amateur sleuth.

The actress found the first series season exhausting.

‘I was shocked when I learned that had to work 12-15 hours a day, relentlessly, day in, day out,’ she recalled. ‘I had to lay down the law at one point and say ‘Look, I can’t do these shows in seven days; it will have to be eight days.'”

Fun roles: Lansbury pictured in the 2005 comedy-drama fantasy film, Nanny McPhee, in character as Great Aunt Adelaide Stitch

Fun roles: Lansbury pictured in the 2005 comedy-drama fantasy film, Nanny McPhee, in character as Great Aunt Adelaide Stitch

Fun roles: Lansbury pictured in the 2005 comedy-drama fantasy film, Nanny McPhee, in character as Great Aunt Adelaide Stitch

Fun roles: Lansbury pictured in the 2005 comedy-drama fantasy film, Nanny McPhee, in character as Great Aunt Adelaide Stitch

Lansbury seen in Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)

Lansbury seen in Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)

CBS and the production company, Universal Studio, agreed, especially since Murder, She Wrote had become a Sunday night hit. Despite the long days – she left her home at Brentwood in West Los Angeles at 6 a.m. and returned after dark – and reams of dialogue to memorize, Lansbury maintained a steady pace. She was pleased that Jessica Fletcher served as an inspiration for older women.

‘Women in motion pictures have always had a difficult time being role models for other women,’ she observed. ‘They´ve always been considered glamorous in their jobs.’

In the series’ first season, Jessica wore clothes that were almost frumpy. Then she acquired smartness, Lansbury reasoning that, as a successful woman, Jessica should dress the part.

Murder, She Wrote stayed high in the ratings through its 11th year. Then CBS, seeking a younger audience for Sunday night, shifted the series to a less favorable midweek slot. Lansbury protested vigorously to no avail.

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

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

As expected, the ratings plummeted and the show was canceled. For consolation, CBS contracted for two-hour movies of Murder, She Wrote and other specials starring Lansbury.

Murder, She Wrote and other television work brought her 18 Emmy nominations but she never won one. 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 a 2008 Associated Press interview, Lansbury said she still welcomed the right script but did not want to play ‘old, decrepit women’.

‘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!’

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