I was re-watching The Body In The Library this evening, and was thinking about this. Over the years I have seen these actresses in this role:
Margaret Rutherford - several movies in the early 60’s
Angela Lansbury - the movie The Mirror Crack’d with Elizabeth Taylor and Kim Novak
Joan Hickson - the long-running British TV series from the 80’s and 90’s, still seen on your local PBS station
Geraldine McEwan - the recently-finished British TV series, also seen on your local PBS station (apparently she stopped doing this role in 2007)
and one I haven’t seen yet
Julie McKenzie - the newest British TV series, she apparently started in 2008 and I haven’t seen this series in the U.S. yet.
Now, about Dame Margaret in this role, the less said the better ::shudder::
I always thought Joan Hickson was too vinegary looking, and also far too dithery (although that’s the way the adaptation was written, I presume).
Geraldine McEwan is closer, but she was too twinkly and self-satisfied for my taste. Still, very watchable (I didn’t think the story adaptations were as well written as the Hickson ones, though).
But I thought Angela Lansbury was spot on, physically and temperamentally. The snowy white hair, the height (I’m not sure why, but I always pictured Marple as rather tall and thin), no distracting mannerisms, just a nice ordinary English lady who paid careful attention to details, and was able to put two and two and another two together.
Any other actresses I have missed? Who’s your favorite?