Angela Lansbury has often projected an air of menace, as she does playing the near-sighted great-aunt of the newly motherless Brown children in Kirk Jones' family film. The tightwad meanie gets her comeuppance at a wedding featuring green-frosted cake.
9. "Death on the Nile" (1978)
In this successful adaptation of an Agatha Christie classic, Lansbury plays a romance novelist who might have based one of her characters a little too closely on the murder victim at the center of Hercule Poirot's (Peter Ustinov) investigation.
8. "Little Gloria ... Happy at Last" (1982)
In this NBC miniseries, based on Gloria Vanderbilt's best-selling memoir, Lansbury plays the teenage heiress' aunt who conspires to seize custody of the girl (and her fortune) from her mother. Lansbury earned her first Emmy nomination for the role.
7. "National Velvet" (1944)
In only her second film, Lansbury played the older sister of Elizabeth Taylor's horse-loving English girl who trains a gelding into a champion. The film became a major hit -- and cemented a long friendship with Taylor.
6. "The Picture of Dorian Gray" (1945)
Lansbury plays the singer who captures the attention of hedonist Dorian Gray (Hurd Hatfield) in this adaptation of Oscar Wilde's novel. The film earned Lansbury a Golden Globe and her second straight Oscar nomination.
5. "Murder She Wrote" (1984-96)
Over the course of 12 seasons, Lansbury earned 12 straight Emmy nominations -- but no wins -- for playing the mystery writer turned small-town sleuth Jessica Fletcher. She did earn four Golden Globes as Best Actress in a Drama Series.
4. "Gaslight" (1944)
George Cukor's thriller has entered the lexicon for its story about a devious man who deceives his wife (Ingrid Bergman) into thinking she's gone crazy -- with the assistance of their maid, played by Lansbury in her Oscar-nominated screen debut at age 17.
3. "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (1982)
PBS' "Great Performances" filmed Stephen Sondheim's classic musical featuring Lansbury's Tony-winning turn as the murderous meatpie shop owner Mrs. Lovett. (The show earned her the fourth of her five Tony Awards.)
2. "Beauty and the Beast" (1991)
By playing enchanted teapot Mrs. Potts, Lansbury earned a whole new generation of fans -- and sang the Oscar-winning title song from Disney's animated hit.
1. "The Manchurian Candidate" (1962)
John Frankenheimer's prescient political thriller features a riveting, Oscar-nominated turn by Lansbury as the mother of a captured Korean War soldier (Laurence Harvey) who's also steering the political career of her husband, a Joe McCarthy-like U.S. senator.