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Angela Lansbury's Little Women Role Would Be The Last One She Had On TV Before Her Death

Angela Lansbury's career spanned almost 80 years, being one of Hollywood's last living stars of its Golden Age. Whether she's bringing us on her crime-solving escapades as Jessica Fletcher in "Murder, She Wrote," soothing us through her tender melodies as Mrs. Potts in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," or making our stomachs turn with disgust and laughter as Nellie Lovett in the stage version of "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," it's almost impossible to find a generation that has not, at some point, been charmed by Lansbury's talents. Her life was full of great achievements, and we're not just talking about her numerous Tony and Golden Globe wins. Through her diversity of roles, Lansbury was able to avoid being typecast in roles typically given to actresses throughout the decades, becoming a role model to talented women everywhere to break out of the boxes that the entertainment industry has long put them in. 

Putting it all into perspective makes Lansbury's passing all the more painful. On October 11, 2022, the accomplished performer died peacefully in her sleep at the age of 96 (via NBC News), ending the career of one of the industry's most powerful and beloved talents. But with her passing, we should also recognize the strides Lansbury made over the decades. And if there is any project that seems most fitting for such a trailblazer, it would, without a doubt, be Lansbury's final television project based on similarly game-changing source material, "Little Women."

Angela Lansbury was Aunt March in BBC's Little Women

Angela Lansbury's final TV role would be in the three-part 2017 BBC miniseries "Little Women" as Aunt March. Based on the late 19th-century novel written by Louisa May Alcott, the show tells the story of the four March sisters as they navigate the world of love and loss against the backdrop of the American Civil War. Starring Emily Watson, Maya Hawke, Willa Fitzgerald, Kathryn Newton, and Annes Elwy, the series was created for the PBS Masterpiece series in association with the BBC. 

Lansbury's Aunt March embodies the stubborn and crotchety nature of the character while still clearly loving her nieces. In the process, she managed to endear herself to us as much as she does to her fictional family. In an interview with Masterpiece PBS, Lansbury explained what she hoped people will respond to from her character, saying, "It would be her due diligence and her absolute assurance that she's right about everything and those who don't respond ... she's going to go right past them."

For those who worked with Lansbury on the series, however, what they responded to was the actress' outstanding abilities as a knockout performer. "There is something about Angela, she has such star quality," said writer and executive producer Heidi Thomas. "You put her in a dress and it instantly looks as though it's made of silk. And you put words into her mouth and they come out as diamonds, she's just fantastic."