Angela Lansbury was officially made a dame of the British Empire today in a ceremony at Windsor Castle. Lansbury joins actresses Judi Dench and Maggie Smith as a recipient of the honor.
Lansbury currently shares the record for the most performance Tony Awards with Julie Harris and Audra McDonald. Her five wins were for her performances in Mame, Dear World, Gypsy, Sweeney Todd, and Blithe Spirit.
Lansbury is best known to American audiences for her television role as Jessica Fletcher in the detective series Murder, She Wrote. Among her many films are The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Manchurian Candidate, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and Beauty and the Beast. The actress has also engaged in philanthropic work, such as her support for arts-related philanthropies including Actors Fund of America, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and Career Transitions for Dancers.
Having already been awarded a CBE (Commander of the British Empire), Lansbury has now received her damehood (DBE) "for services to drama and to charitable work and philanthropy." Sculptor Antony Gormley was also honored at today's event, receiving a knighthood for services to the arts.