The news today was first reported over at Broadway World, and we were instantly reminded upon reading the news of just how influential she was. Think in terms of her as a musical performer (Bedknobs and Broomsticks is a film we have a number of memories of from our childhood), or even a voice actor who did such roles as in Beauty and the Beast. Yet, despite having a career that spanned for seven decades, her most iconic role remains Jessica Fletcher on the long-running CBS procedural, which ran for twelve years. She was nominated for an Emmy every single year of the show’s existence and yet, she never won — a travesty that looks even worse upon reflection.
For people of a certain era, Murder, She Wrote holds such sentimental value. It was a classic whodunnit show featuring a writer who managed to constantly outsmart everyone in solving cases, week after week. It was a reminder that anyone could be hero, and it also served as such a great vessel for comedy. Take, for example, that Cabot Cove had such a shockingly high murder rate for being a small town. Who would want to live there after a little while? Lansbury seemed to take the discourse around her show with a smile, as she knew that this was the most recognizable role of her career, despite coming across it decades after she first entered the TV industry.
Lansbury still actively worked in the entertainment industry up until a few years ago, appearing in Little Women while also doing voice-acting work across a number of other projects. She could have easily been someone who stopped after everything she did as Jessica Fletcher, but she opted to keep going and testing herself as a performer. It’s hard to have anything other than fond memories of what she brought to the table for so many years.
Our thoughts and condolences go out to Lansbury’s friends and loved ones during this difficult time. (Photo: CBS.)