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Angela Lansbury Returns to Broadway in Revival of 'The Chalk Garden'

By Philip Trapp on Jun 04, 2016 06:00 AM EDT
Angela Lansbury Actress Angela Lansbury attends the 25th Anniversary screening of 'Beauty and the Beast': A Marc Davis Celebration of Animation at Samuel Goldwyn Theater on May 9, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo : Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Revered stage and screen actress Angela Lansbury will return to Broadway for the 2017-18 season when she stars in the revival of the 1955 Enid Bagnold play, The Chalk Garden.

Lansbury is perhaps best known to television audiences as detective Jessica Fletcher from the long-running CBS drama series, Murder, She Wrote. The program ran for an unprecedented 12 seasons from 1984-1996.

Playbill reports that details of the production were only recently hatched, with 90-year-old Lansbury on the search for other actors to fill out the cast

"The play will be produced by Scott Rudin at a theatre to-be-announced. The project was finalized June 1, Lansbury told Playbill.com in an exclusive interview, so casting for the other roles has not yet begun. 'We need some really hot actors for it,' she said."

Lansbury, born in London, moved to the States in 1940 to pursue acting. After several film roles, she found acclaim performing the the lead role in 1966 Broadway musical Mame. Her most recent Broadway appearance was in a 2012 staging of Gore Vidal's The Best Man.

In a 2014 inteview with the Telegraph, Lansbury fondly recalled her role in Mame

"I loved it. I loved playing it for almost two years, but after that, I decided to take a rest because it really took a lot of out of me and that's when I went into TV, which I had previously avoided like the plague. It was a conscious decision because TV was a form of annuity for actors."

The actress' star power only further increased upon her entrance into television acting. Lansbury achieved worldwide fame in Murder, She Wrote, playing a retired teacher who begins writing detective novels after her husband's death.

Murder, She Wrote's lead role of protagonist Jessica Fletcher was initially offered to actress Jean Stapleton, who refused it. Lansbury went against the advice of her agent in accepting the part, who was aiming to place her in a comedic television role. 

Below, watch a two-hour loop of the Murder, She Wrote theme song.

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