(Welcome to Role Call, where we examine two performances from an actor – their first defining role and their most recent/last – to get a sense of who they are.)
You’re gonna be thinking of Murder, She Wrote while reading this. That’s okay. It’s only natural. The grandmotherly Columbo dominated Dame Angela Lansbury‘s persona so strongly that a certain generation of viewers can’t imagine her as anything but a cardigan-wearing bicycle enthusiast whom death follows like a puppy. After more than a decade, the series ended when Lansbury hit the traditional retirement age, but she’s never quit working.
She’ll turn 100 in 2025. She’s worked through 8 decades. She’s a stone cold force of nature.
No one (except maybe Dick Van Dyke) has had that kind of flourishing longevity. And like your friend’s great-grandma who talks about her misspent youth as an arms dealer in South America, Lansbury is so much more than the kindly figure she’s become in popular culture. So much more than the quiet ex-teacher from small town Maine who solved 268 murders.
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Though you may not know Howard Ashman by name, you’re undoubtedly familiar with his work as one of the lyricists behind the original songs for Disney’s animated classics Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid and Aladdin. Unfortunately, Ashman passed away far too young at 40 after a battle with AIDS. But his legacy will live through the Disney movies he left his stamp on, and a new documentary wants to make sure everyone remembers him.
Simply titled Howard, the film hails from Beauty and the Beast producer Don Hahn and explores the life and career of the lyricist and playwright. A new clip has debuted to show how he worked behind the scenes during recording sessions at Disney during production on Beauty and the Beast. That means we get to see rare behind the scenes footage of Jerry Orbach and Angela Lansbury singing the tune “Be Our Guest” as Lumiere and Mrs. Potts respectively. Read More »
Sadly we don’t get to see the new live-action take on Beauty and the Beast until March 17, 2017. But it just so happens that this year marks the 25th anniversary of the animated adaptation of the classic tale, and in honor of that milestone, Disney just released a special edition Blu-ray with a special sneak peek of the new version starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens as the title couple. You can watch that featurette right here, but today we have a special treat calling back to the original animated classic.
A special 25th anniversary screening of Beauty and the Beast was just held at New York City’s Lincoln Center, and following the film, Angela Lansbury (who voiced Mrs. Potts) sang her rendition of the film’s beautiful theme song with composer Alan Menken accompanying her on the piano. At 90 years old, Lansbury proves that she still has impeccable singing chops, and she even added a lovely little tag at the end of the song as well.
Watch as Angela Lansbury sings Beauty and the Beast live after the jump. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, September 7th, 2016 by Angie Han
UPDATE: Entertainment Weekly has heard back from Angela Lansbury’s representatives, and the actress will not be appearing in season seven of Game of Thrones. Our original report of the rumor follows below.
Game of Thrones fans were none too pleased to learn that the next (and penultimate) season would return later than usual and run shorter than normal. On the bright side, though, it sure sounds like season seven will be worth the wait. Recently we heard Jim Broadbent was joining the next run of episodes for a “significant” role, and today a new rumor going around claims Angela Lansbury will pop up as well. Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, October 9th, 2012 by Angie Han
There are films that land a high-profile cast because they promise easy cash for little work (ahem, New Year’s Eve), and then there are pictures that attract major talent because they actually seem worthy of it. Wes Anderson‘s next project seems to fall in the latter category. The director has a pretty fantastic track record with A-list talent so far, so it’s no wonder he’s collecting an enviable roster for The Grand Budapest Hotel.
A couple of weeks back, Anderson squelched rumors that Johnny Depp had signed on to star, but with or without him, the film is continuing to rope in some interesting names. Angela Lansbury and (no surprise) Bill Murray were reported as part of the cast a not long ago, joining Owen Wilson and Jude Law. Now the latest addition is Ralph Fiennes, who’s a newcomer to Anderson’s genteel universe. More after the jump.
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Posted on Tuesday, September 25th, 2012 by Angie Han
Like most filmmakers, Wes Anderson has a few stars he likes to return to time and time again. But no one’s logged more time in Anderson’s genteel, impeccably art-directed universe than Bill Murray, who’s starred all but one (Bottle Rocket) of Anderson’s seven features to date. It should come as no surprise, then, that the pair are set to reunite once again, for Anderson’s upcoming The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Not that the film will be all Anderson regulars. In addition to his longtime pal Murray, the filmmaker has also just added Angela Lansbury to his lineup. The Grand Budapest Hotel marks the Murder, She Wrote legend’s first time featuring in one of Anderson’s movies. Lansbury and Murray join previously announced stars Owen Wilson, Johnny Depp, and Jude Law. More after the jump.
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When Wes Anderson was promoting Moonrise Kingdom, the writer/director told us his next film would “not be family friendly.” The same can’t be said for the cast. Twitchfilm is reporting Anderson has once again approached an impressive ensemble for the next project, including Johnny Depp, Owen Wilson, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Jude Law, Jeff Goldblum, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe and Angela Lansbury. It’s a great mix of new blood and the usual Wes Anderson Players. Oh, and the Murder, She Wrote star. Read more below. Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, August 16th, 2011 by Angie Han
Breakout star Melissa McCarthy has signed up for ID Theft, which will team her with the ubiquitous but charming Jason Bateman. As suggested by the title, the comedy follows a man who becomes the target of identity theft. Bateman will play the victim, and McCarthy the thief. McCarthy’s role was originally written for a man, but Bateman (who’s also producing) pushed to cast McCarthy in the part after seeing her inspired, scene-stealing performance in Bridesmaids.
Shooting for ID Theft will begin April 2012, at the start of McCarthy’s hiatus from Mike & Molly. The script was originally written by Steve Conrad (The Pursuit of Happyness), and is currently in rewrites with Craig Mazin (The Hangover Part II). [Deadline]
After the jump, new gigs for Natalie Portman and Parks & Recreation lovebirds Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally.
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Cool Posts From Around the Web:
20th Century Fox has released the first teaser trailer for the upcoming film adaptation of the Newbery-winning children’s book Mr. Popper’s Penguins. Directed by Mark Waters (Mean Girls, Freaky Friday, Ghost of Girlfriends Past), the the comedy stars Jim Carrey as a businessman whose “professional side starts to unravel after he inherits six penguins, and as he transforms his apartment into a winter wonderland.” The movie co-stars Carla Gugino, Ophelia Lovibond, Philip Baker Hall, Andrew Stewart-Jones, James Tupper, Clark Gregg, David Krumholtz and Angela Lansbury.
For me, Jim Carrey movies are begining to become a subgenre of wacky family comedies, and all of them feel the same. Mr. Popper’s Penguins seems no different. And yes, the trailer even includes a catchy pop song from pop culture past. Seems like the fulfilled the formula to the T. That said, I’ll probably still see the movie, if not in the theaters then on video, just for the penguins alone (even if they are partly CG). Hit the jump to watch the teaser trailer. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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Century Fox has released the first official photos from the upcoming film adaptation of the Newbery-winning children’s book Mr. Popper’s Penguins in today’s edition of USA Today. Directed by Mark Waters (Mean Girls, Freaky Friday, Ghost of Girlfriends Past), the the comedy stars Jim Carrey as a businessman whose “professional side starts to unravel after he inherits six penguins, and as he transforms his apartment into a winter wonderland.” The movie co-stars Carla Gugino, Ophelia Lovibond, Philip Baker Hall, Andrew Stewart-Jones, James Tupper, Clark Gregg, David Krumholtz and Angela Lansbury. Hit the jump to see the photos.
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