London-born Murder, She Wrote actor Dame Angela Lansbury has died aged 96.

The Irish-British and American actress was best known for her portrayal of Jessica Fletcher in American drama series Murder, She Wrote.

According to a family statement, Dame Angela died “peacefully” in her sleep at her Los Angeles home five days before her 97th birthday.

Though she had strong family connections with the East End, in 2004 Lansbury told the BBC's Front Row that she was in fact born in Regent's Park.

But she fondly recalled visiting family in the east of London when she was young, including going to her grandfather's house in Bow Road and attending Labour meetings.

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

She was born in 1925 and moved to the US during the Second World War where she studied at the Feagin School of Dramatic Art in New York.

Dame Angela’s first film role was in George Cukor’s Gaslight (1944) for which she received an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress. She would be nominated twice more, for The Picture of Dorian Grey and The Manchurian Candidate.

With Murder, She Wrote, she made novelist and sleuth Jessica Fletcher a television icon across nine series from 1984.

Her voice will be family familiar to many from the theme tune to Disney's 1991 hit Beauty and the Beast.

In 2013, Dame Angela was given an honorary lifetime-achievement Academy Award, and the same at the 2002 Baftas.

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 actor and producer Peter Shaw in 1949 and they remained together until his death in 2003.

Ham & High: Angela Lansbury being made a Dame Commander by Queen Elizabeth II in 2014Angela Lansbury being made a Dame Commander by Queen Elizabeth II in 2014 (Image: PA Wire/PA Images)

Dame Angela was made a CBE in the Queen’s 1994 birthday honours and was made a DBE in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to drama, charitable work and philanthropy.

In addition to her success on screen, Dame Angela became a star on Broadway after her performance as the titular character in Mame, beginning in 1966.

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