(born October 16
) is a British-born American actress
and the granddaughter of politician George Lansbury
She made her film debut in 1944
, and has since enjoyed a long and varied career, mainly as a film actress, appearing in everything from Samson and Delilah
's Bedknobs and Broomsticks
. Her performance in The Manchurian Candidate
as the evil, manipulative mother who turned her son into an assassin won much praise, as did her role as a similarly distant mother in the comedy, The World of Henry Orient
. She also played Miss Marple
in The Mirror Crack'd
As Jessica Fletcher in the long-running television series, Murder, She Wrote (1984), she found her biggest success and a worldwide following.
Lansbury received Kennedy Center Honors in 2000.