British stage and screen actress Angela Lansbury has been made a Dame by the Queen.
The star, who is still on stage in the West End at the age of 88, received the honour at Windsor Castle on Tuesday in recognition of a lifetime in acting and for charity work.
Lansbury, who left the UK for the United States as a child during World War II, said: “It is a very proud day for me to be recognised by the country of my birth, and to meet the Queen under these circumstances is a rare and lovely occasion.”
She joins a select group of leading lady Dames, including Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and most recently Good Life star Penelope Keith.
Lansbury is known to millions as crimewriter and sleuth Jessica Fletcher in the television series Murder, She Wrote, and her career includes countless film roles including appearances in Bedknobs And Broomsticks, The Manchurian Candidate and alongside Elvis Presley in Blue Hawaii.
She has been nominated three times for an Academy Award, including for her debut in the 1944 thriller Gaslight, but failed to win. She was finally presented last year with an honorary Oscar, but said this honour was completely different.
“One (the Oscar) is for my work in motion pictures and this is for the overall accomplishments of my life as an actress,” she said.
“It has afforded me the joy of working in America and also in England a great deal.”
Lansbury’s son and his wife flew over from the US to be at the castle, and her niece, who lives in England, was also present.
Dame Angela, who was previously awarded a CBE, was born in London, but moved to the US during the war after the death of her father Edgar, who was a politician.
In the US she followed in the footsteps of her mother, actress Moyna MacGill.
She returned to her roots last month when she took to the stage at the Gielgud Theatre in London’s West End for a production of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit.
It is the first time in almost 40 years that she has been on the London stage, reprising the role which won her a Tony award on Broadway.
Her award is for services to drama and to charitable work and philanthropy.