Thursday, October 17, 2019

Favorites Starring Angela Lansbury

Updated post from January 2019, in honor of Angela Lansbury's 94th birthday yesterday (10/16/19):

These feel like distressing times, and during those times, I tend to turn to comforting entertainment (when I have a chance to). Murder, She Wrotestarring Angela Lansbury, is one of those entertainments.
Picture via IMDb

From 1984-1996 (and subsequent TV movies), Lansbury delighted as Jessica Fletcher, novelist and sleuth, whose grace and smarts brought her through her many fictional mysteries. Sometimes, I check out whatever season is available from the library and watch, or just have the show on as I go about my chores (seasons 1-5 are also currently available on Prime Video). (This article neatly sums up Murder, She Wrote; warning for my gentle readers: the article does contain one F-word.)

Lansbury's career stretches back to 1944, when she appeared in Gaslight, a superb film starring Ingrid Bergman. I also enjoy Lansbury in The Picture of Dorian Grey and The Harvey Girls.

Picture via IMDb
Later, Lansbury gives a chilling performance in The Manchurian Candidate, proving once again her talent and range. On the more comforting side are her TV movies like The Love She SoughtMrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris, and The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax.

Picture via IMDb
Many also know her as the voice of Mrs. Potts in the animated Beauty and the Beast, and a new generation can see her charm in Mary Poppins Returns. I also enjoyed Lansbury in the 2017 adaptation of Little Women (though the adaptation itself isn't a favorite). But it's as Jessica Fletcher that Lansbury captured my affection and admiration. I saw this quote attributed to her on Twitter: “Bringing humour and bringing happiness and joy to an audience is a wonderful opportunity in life, believe me.” She's taken full advantage of those opportunities and has been entertaining us for 75 years! What's your favorite Angela Lansbury film?

Picture via IMDb

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