Over the course of her film and television career, she would be cast in secondary roles, usually playing middle-aged women and mothers, rather than being cast as the lead, most notably as the mesmerizingly sinister and scheming Mrs. Iselin in the 1962 Cold War thriller, The Manchurian Candidate. She found much more success on Broadway, finding more variety and starring roles. However, after her performances in Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile and as Miss Marple in The Mirror Crack’d, she would be offered a role that would make her a household name.
As the mystery writer and amateur detective Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote, which debuted on Sunday, September 30, 1984, she would go on to star in a total of 264 episodes, over 12 seasons until 1996, picking up numerous awards along the way. Landsbury would be no stranger to awards as in her nearly 80 year career. She would win five Tony Awards, six Golden Globes, and an Olivier Award, culminating with her receiving an honorary Academy Award for her contributions to cinema, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the BAFTA, and made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.