Little Women on PBS: meet the just-announced cast

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LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 30: (L-R) Executive producer Gigi Pritzker, actress Emily Watson and director and executive producer Ron Howard on stage during a Q

Emily Watson as Marmee

Where you’ve seen her before: The Oscar-nominated actress was most recently in Genius, the History Channel’s Einstein bio-series. Her other credits include The Theory of Everything, Belle, War Horse, and Punch-Drunk Love.

Her Little Women character: Marmee is the March family’s matriarch and resident peacekeeper. She teaches her girls to be kind, generous, humble, and self-sufficient. Marmee might be the typical Angel of the House, but she also sets an example for her daughters and shows them that it is hard—but possible—to make a life without a husband.

Predecessors: Susan Sarandon (1994), Mary Astor (1949), and Spring Byington (1933). Switched at Birth‘s Lea Thompson has also signed on to play Marmee in Clare Niederpruem’s upcoming film adaptation of Little Women.