How could I not love a character that sits at her kitchen table writing a novel?
By Claire Booth
Twelve seasons. Still in reruns. Still comfort food TV. And all because of Angela Lansbury. Lansbury died at age 96 last Tuesday, many years removed but forever connected to her role as writer/sleuth Jessica Fletcher.
Wrote ran from 1984 to 1996 and starred no one but Lansbury. Sure there was the
irascible sheriff and the goodhearted town doctor, but they were merely
recurring guest stars. It was Lansbury who owned the screen, taking what could’ve
been a stock role and turning it into something special.
There are still best-selling books being “written” by
Jessica Fletcher (actually by Terrie Farley Moran and previously Donald Bain and Jon Land). These were at my local Barnes and Noble yesterday.
She, in the ultimate fantasy for women everywhere, got to be all these things and successful, too.
So is it any wonder that the show lasted a dozen years? And that people, especially women, speak of it—and Lansbury—with such fondness. Not, I would argue, because she felt like a favorite aunt but because she created a feminist role model. Which made her one in real life, too."Jessica Fletcher was probably about as close, not to me, but to the sort of woman that I might have been, had I not been an actress." --Lansbury, in a 2010New York Times video interview done with the understanding it would not be published until her death.