Actress-singer-dancer, the original multi-hyphenate, Angela Lansbury dominated the silver screen, center stage, and prime time television. Over her illustrious 80-year career, she also dominated our hearts.
Videos by American Songwriter
She soundtracked much of our childhoods as her sing-song way of speaking paired with her matter-of-fact way of singing gave life to Disney characters such as Miss Eglantine Price in Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast, and Marie Romanov in Anastasia. Her onstage performances have forever immortalized characters like Anna Leonowens in the King and I, Mame Dennis in Mame, and Mrs. Nellie Lovett in Sweeney Todd.
Join us as we remember the songs gifted to us by the late Angela Lansbury, who passed away Tuesday (Oct.11) at the age of 96.
“The Age of Not Believing” from Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)
When you rush around in hopeless circles / Searching everywhere for something true / You’re at the age of not believing / When all the make-believe is through
Lansbury’s character Eglantine is singing some hard truths, expressing how as children, we grow up and lose our belief in the magic around us. A true Disney sentiment, Lansbury delivers it with profound wisdom.
“The Worst Pies in London” from Sweeney Todd (1979)
The sweet, seemingly docile Lansbury delivers the erratic role of Nellie Lovett perfectly in her Broadway performance of Sweeney Todd. She gave the iconic song “The Worst Pies in London” a whimsical edge with her cockney way of singing and shifty stage presence.
When she was asked if she would be interested in taking on the coveted role, Lansbury recalls responding to the show’s producer “Who is Nellie Lovett?”
“Tale As Old As Time” from Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Out from behind the guise of a teapot, Lansbury still delivers the same musical magic in this live performance for a 25th-anniversary screening of Beauty and the Beast.
Her delicate vocals, with no signs of being 25 years older, are vibrant, captivating, and just as heartwarming as they were in 1991.
(Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)