THE legendary actress Angela Lansbury is 82 years young, believe it or not, and she's happily enjoying her semi-retirement at her full-time home just outside Ballycotton, Co. Cork.

Her role as super sleuth Jessica Fletcher in Murder She Wrote, among other roles, will forever live on in TV Land, but Ms. Lansbury is happy chilling out away from the hustle and bustle. She's been an Irish property owner since 1970, and in an interview with an Irish radio station last week says she likes walking the streets over there unrecognized.

Angela and her family first came to Cork all those years ago when their home in Malibu, California burned down. She welcomed the move, as her sons were dabbling in drugs at the time, and she felt a stint in the Irish countryside would put paid to that problem.

"We really needed to get away from California and the drug life and all of that," she said.

"Coming to Ireland was like beginning all over again and it afforded us that time to get back to basics really. We bought a house down in Cork and we gardened and I learned to cook, really cook for the first time and used all the produce from the garden and so on. We started a whole new life."

Why Cork instead of Dublin? Angela's mother and grandmother are Belfast natives - she herself was born in London - and the Rebel County was a favorite destination for somewhat more seasonable weather, she revealed.

The family eventually sold their first Irish home - her late British husband also loved Ireland - but they eventually returned, bought some property and built another home where she lives to this day.

"We loved living here and we never were able to give it up," she said.