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Page 3 Profile: Angela Lansbury, actress

Jessica Fletcher? So this is a ‘Murder, She Wrote’ reboot?

Yes, but actor Angela Lansbury, who isn’t starring in the new TV series, isn’t too happy about that. Despite no hints that she would like to reprise the role of Jessica Fletcher – the widowed English teacher turned crime-writer-cum-detective from the hit US TV series – Ms Lansbury called the reboot a “mistake” that shouldn’t be happening without her character.

So if she’s not going to be back on our screens what she up to then?

Ms Lansbury is going on to the West End stage for the first time in almost four decades. The 88-year-old will star in Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit at the Gielgud Theatre, opening in March next year. She will be playing Madame Arcati, a role she first took up in 2009 on Broadway and for which she won a Tony Award - her fifth.

Wow, 88  is quite the age for making a return to the stage…

Indeed. But she said she feels in “terrific shape” for the show, adding that she has “many more years left”.

So why has it taken her so long – and isn’t she British?

Technically, yes. Ms Lansbury was born in Poplar, East London, but moved to New York in her teens. There, she studied acting, before heading to Hollywood, signing to MGM as a contract actress and starring in a number of films.

And it’s been a hectic career ever since…

Indeed. After her MGM contract was up, Ms Lansbury concentrated on Broadway before being pitched the starring role in Murder, She Wrote. A surprisingly huge hit, the show ran for 12 years. Earlier this month she received an honorary Oscar for services to acting.

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