Angela Lansbury is the greatest. She is the greatest on stage, she is the greatest on screen, and she is the greatest citizen of the town of Cabot Cove. She can act, she can sing, she can dance, she can solve crimes, and she can move inanimate objects through the power of substitutiary locomotion. And over the course of her nearly 70-year career, she has done every single one of these things with style. I mean, the woman even looks amazing as a teapot, you know?
Her Eglantine Price in Bedknobs and Broomsticks was a witch-in-training who was smart enough to cast spells and sensible enough to wrap her hair in a floral scarf so that it wouldn’t be mussed as she flew through the air on her flying bed.
And then, of course, there’s Jessica Fletcher, the protagonist/hero of Murder, She Wrote. Whether she was wearing her typical sweater-and-blouse combo, a string of pearls, a dress that looked like some kind of pilgrim/acorn Thanksgiving costume, or whatever the hell is going on in that bottom-left box that is so incredible that I can barely sit still and type this, Jessica Fletcher was always impeccably put together. The thing that I love the most about Fletcher is her confidence, which shines almost as brightly as her enormous earrings and the flashlight she uses to snoop around and solve mysteries.
Angela Lansbury has been creating and performing for nearly 70 years, and each time she takes the stage she looks glamorous and confident. Here she is last year, performing “Liaisons” at the Olivier Awards:
She has always struck me as some sort of down-to-earth royalty; a queen who could tell you a dirty joke. It’s in the way she carries herself, and in the way her characters—even the ones as desperate and sad and twisted as Mrs. Lovett from Sweeney Todd—draw you in and demand your attention. She can take your grandma’s boring-ass and make it look like a badass uniform. She can perform magic in a simple tweed skirt. She can be glamorous, terrifying, hilarious, and brilliant, sometimes all at once.
She can do anything, because she is Angela Lansbury, and she is the greatest. ♦