Angela Lansbury Once Received A Special Honor From The Queen

Stage and screen icon Angela Lansbury has died at age 96, leaving behind a tremendous legacy of work and accolades. Reportedly passing peacefully at home on October 11, per People, Lansbury was a recent recipient of the Tony Lifetime Achievement Award in June. 

Equally accomplished as a thespian and screen performer, Lansbury is best known for the long-running CBS whodunit, "Murder, She Wrote." Her acting career, however, stems all the way back to her English-born roots. Her mother, Belfast-born actor Moyna MacGill, took Lansbury to London's historic Old Vic regularly as a child, even enrolling her in a performing arts school. After her father died when she was 9, however, Lansbury and family moved to the States, eventually settling in Los Angeles in 1940. After Lansbury's mom helped her score a screen test with MGM Studios, she was well on the path to her film debut and her first Oscar-nominated role in the Ingrid Bergman classic, "Gaslight."

Also starring in notable films such as "The Manchurian Candidate" and "Blue Hawaii" with Elvis Presley, Lansbury was a three-time Oscar nominee, not including her 2021 honorary Oscar. For all her acting honors, however, another — given to her by Queen Elizabeth II — stands out for a very special reason.

Angela Lansbury received a rare honor from the queen

Alongside the likes of Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, Angela Lansbury was an actor-slash-Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Bestowed the title by Queen Elizabeth II in 2014, Lansbury said fondly of the honor at the time (via BBC), "To meet the queen under these circumstances is a rare and lovely occasion." A triple citizen in Great Britain, Ireland, and America, Lansbury saw damehood as a special acknowledgement of her work across the pond. After decades filming small and big screen productions in America, Lansbury returned to London's West End in 2014, reprising her Tony Award-winning Broadway role in "Blithe Spirit."  

Additionally, Lansbury received the royal honor for her longtime dedication to charity work, especially as a prominent AIDS activist throughout the 1980s and 1990s, per the UK's iNews. "I've lost so many friends to AIDS that it's very, very close to me," Lansbury once said on the subject. 

Much like her plethora of other accolades, Lansbury's royal title was well-deserved, indeed.