Singing
Angela Lansbury’s 25th-anniversary performance of her classic song has everyone in tears
A legend and an unmistakable voice that crossed and entertained generations.
Elijah Chan
10.24.22

Iconic is when you say a line of a song and everyone knows the rest by heart.

Disney has produced melodies such as these with lines being “I can show you the world,” or the memorable opening of a song heralded by Zulu lines saying “Here comes a lion, father.”

YouTube Screenshot - Disney Movies
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YouTube Screenshot - Disney Movies

Joining the ranks of these songs is a fan favorite that no one will ever forget, and we are pretty sure that when we start with “A tale as old as time,” you know exactly the lines that follow.

Back in 2016, Disney fans were given a rare treat.

To mark the film’s 25th anniversary, the film had a special screening at the Lincoln Center to celebrate its undying legacy.

At the tail end of the event, fans cheered when the opening notes of “A Tale As Old As Time” began.

But what made the event memorable was when Mrs. Potts, no other than Dame Angela Lansbury, graced the stage to sing the song.

Dame Angela Lansbury was born on October 16, 1925.

She is well-known for her role as the motherly and caring Mrs. Potts, the cook of the Beast’s estate.

However, she was already a successful actress both on screen and on stage before the 1991 film.

Wikicommons
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Wikicommons

Her first nomination for best-supporting actress came from her role in her debut movie “Gaslight” in 1944.

She also won another nomination for her supporting role in “The Picture of Dorian Gray”.

YouTube Screenshot - Disney Movies
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Disney Movies

Her biggest claim to fame, despite her numerous accolades and roles, was when she landed the leading role in the 1984 television series “Murder, She Wrote” which ran for 12 seasons.

She also lent her voice to other animated films.

Some of which were “Fantasia 2000” and “The Grinch”.

It was her role as Mrs. Potts, however, that made her a household name in animation.

YouTube Screenshot - Disney Movies
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Disney Movies

In the 2016 event for “Beauty and the Beast”, the original cast and crew reminisced about their experiences with the film.

Paige O’Hara, who played Belle in the 1991 classic, shared her memorable experience during filming.

She said they were recording with amazing Broadway singers who formed the background chorus and with the New York Philharmonic orchestra playing the music.

YouTube Screenshot - Disney Movies
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Disney Movies

Dame Lansbury came in exhausted from the stresses of her flight but showed up in good spirits.

O’Hara shared in awe that Lansbury did the movie version of the song in one take.

YouTube Screenshot - Disney Movies
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Disney Movies

Lansbury then said that she was exhausted from her flight because she was running late. The plane she was on received a bomb scare and was forced to be grounded.

Dame Lansbury passed away last October 11 of this year, just a few days short of her 97th birthday.

Actor Josh Gad who played Le Fou in the live-action adaption of Beauty and the Beast said on Twitter that “it is rare that one person can touch multiple generations, creating a breadth of work that defines decade after decade. Angela Lansbury was that artist.”

YouTube Screenshot - Disney Movies
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Disney Movies

Actress Viola Davis, meanwhile, said that she thought she would live forever and that she left a beautiful legacy and has influenced generations of actors to aspire to excellence.

She is survived by three children and her brother, together with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She may be gone but she truly has left a tale as old as time.

Watch Dame Lansbury’s surprise performance below.

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By Elijah Chan
[email protected]
Elijah Chan is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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