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Star of Murder She Wrote and Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Angela Lansbury, celebrates her 90th birthday today. We look back at her life in pictures.
She was born into one of England's most respected Socialist families. Her grandfather was George Lansbury (pictured), then the Labour Party leader. Her father, also a staunch Socialist, was Mayor of Poplar in the East End of London. Her mother was the actress Moyna MacGill.
Lansbury was born in London on October 16, 1925 and left England as a teenage evacuee to become a leading light in Hollywood and Broadway and one of the most successful women on television world-wide.
When war broke out Lansbury was evacuated to the United States with her mother. In New York she studied drama and then worked as a shop assistant and in a nightclub doing impressions of Wagnerian singers and Beatrice Lillie.
They moved to Hollywood where Moyna hoped to find work in films but it was her 17-year-old daughter who was spotted by the director George Cukor when she went along to watch a friend doing a screen test at MGM studios.
Hollywood mogul Louis B Mayer signed her to a seven-year contract in 1943 and in 1944 she appeared in her first role as Charles Boyer's cockney maid in Cukor's film Gaslight, which brought her an Oscar nomination.
The next year she played Elizabeth Taylor's older sister in National Velvet.
She then earned another Oscar nomination the same year for her role as a music hall singer in The Portrait of Dorian Gray.
Then there was a time when she seemed to be playing everyone's mother - Elvis Presley's in Blue Hawaii, Warren Beatty's in All Fall Down (pictured) and Laurence Harvey's in The Manchurian Candidate even though at the time he was 34 and only two years her junior.
In 1945, Lansbury married the American actor Richard Cromwell, when she was 19 and he was 35. Unknown to her, Cromwell was bisexual, and the marriage was dissolved after a year. Then, in 1949, she married British-born actor and businessman Shaw (pictured), a former boyfriend of Joan Crawford. He died in 2003.
Her prolific output has included more than 50 films - many of them classics - and a string of successes on Broadway and on television.
In 1972 two of her films were released, including Bedknobs and Broomsticks, which was made by the same team that made Mary Poppins.
In a return to Broadway she won further acclaim in The King and I and in Sweeney Todd which brought one of several Tony awards.
In 1980 she made the film The Mirror Crack'd in which she took on the role of Miss Marple and for the first time since National Velvet played alongside Elizabeth Taylor.
The film was a turning point for it alerted television makers to her possibilities for a new detective style series. At first she was doubtful about taking the role of Jessica Fletcher in Murder She Wrote as it meant returning to California but with her husband's encouragement she took the part.
She took television by storm in this super-sleuthing role in the hit series.
Viewers and TV moguls alike were unwilling to let her give up the role of a middle-aged writer who did some good-natured detective work on the side and she became an executive producer on the series as well as the star.
It turned into a role model for middle-aged women worldwide - so much so that she even brought out an exercise, diet and beauty video for the older woman.
The boost to her career which the television programme gave as she entered her 60s, also brought renewed vigour to her film and stage work.
But despite her seemingly unstoppable success, she is essentially a family person. It's this devotion to her family that saw both Lansbury and her husband Peter Shaw temporarily abandon successful careers in the 1970s to help two of her children overcome drug addiction.
She was made a Dame Commander by Queen Elizabeth II at an Investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle, Berkshire in 2014. Let us know if you're an Angela Lansbury fan in the Comments section below.