Thursday night's Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration was marked with an emotional moment as the special paid tribute to the original Mrs. Potts, the late Angela Lansbury. Lansbury, who voiced the head housekeeper who was transformed into an enchanted teapot in the original 1991 animated film, passed away in October at the age of 96, and as Shania Twain stepped into the role alongside a star-studded cast that included Josh Groban as the Beast, H.E.R. as Belle, and Leo Abelo Perry as Chip, the tribute production took a moment to honor Lansbury.
The emotional tribute to Lansbury came as Twain took the stage at the Disney Animation Studios lot for a performance of "Beauty and the Beast." The Oscar-winning song was initially sung by Lansbury in the original Disney film. Towards the end of the song, which was accompanied by original composer Alan Menken on the piano, an In Memoriam photo of Lansbury next to Mrs. Potts was displayed on the stage's screen.
Bravo, @Disney. Angela Lansbury was very much a part of tonight’s production. Spliced in animated portions, behind the scenes footage along with a touching in-memorium, she was well represented. Mrs. Potts would be proud. #BeautyAndTheBeast30th #BeautyAndTheBeast pic.twitter.com/f32IYOtjM1— Amy Paige (@OnAirAsAmy) December 16, 2022
The moment proved to be emotional for viewers watching the broadcast, which was paired with scenes from the animated film. Taking to Twitter as Lansbury's photo was shown on the screen, one person wrote that the "tribute to Angela Lansbury at the end was so fitting." As another person called the moment "beautiful," somebody else tweeted, "nothing could have prepared me for this heartfelt tribute to Angela Lansbury." Another viewer wrote that there were "literal tears in my eyes when they showed Angela Lansbury at the end of Shania Twain singing Beauty and the Beast. Beautiful sentiment."
In addition to voicing Mrs. Potts, Lansbury was well-known for her role as mystery author and amateur detective Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote from 1984 to 1996, a role that earned her our Golden Globes. Throughout her decades-long career, Lansbury added dozens of credits to her name, including The Manchurian Candidate, The Blackwater Lightship, Mamie, Dear World, Gypsy, Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and Blithe Spirit, among many others.
Lansbury passed away on the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 11 "peacefully in her sleep" at her home in Los Angeles, her family confirmed in a statement. Lansbury is survived by her three children, Anthony, Deirdre, and David; three grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. Her husband of 53 years, Peter Shaw, died in 2003 at age 84.