The episodic nature of the Baudelaire orphans' macabre adventures makes them perfect for streaming television. Plus, as they go from place to place, the three children meet increasingly unusual adults who can be played by major stars. Who plays Aunt Josephine in A Series Of Unfortunate Events? Her quirks are particularly memorable. There are minor spoilers ahead for A Series Of Unfortunate Events Season 1, a phrase which here means if you've read the books or seen the film, I'm not telling you anything that you don't already know about the character.
The role was played in the 2004 film by Meryl Streep, however, Alfre Woodard plays her in the Netflix series. Josephine Anwhistle is the Baudelaire Orphans' third guardian after their parents perish in a fire that consumes their home. Josephine used to be quite adventurous, until her husband was eaten by leeches. Grief drove her into her home and saddled her with both a plethora of phobias and a newfound love of grammar. While she is able to give Violet, Klaus, and Sunny some answers about their parents, her aversion to risk-taking makes for an uncomfortable living situation.
As for Woodard, she has been steadily working in Hollywood since the late '70s. She has four Emmy awards and a total of 18 Emmy nominations. She has been nominated for a Golden Globe three times and won once. Woodard was also nominated for an Oscar in 1984. Her credits include St. Elsewhere, the Steel Magnolias remake, Hill Street Blues, and True Blood. Here are a few more places you've seen the actor in film and television recently.
This is Woodard's second major Netflix role this year. She plays the villain Mariah Dillard in the superhero series. Woodard also appeared briefly in Captain America: Civil War, though the characters did not appear to be connected.
Who could forget this character, and the secret she kept in her basement?
12 Years A Slave
In Steve McQueen's gorgeous and affecting film, Woodard plays Mistress Shaw, the wife of a neighboring plantation owner who befriends and mentors Patsey.
Alfre Woodard is one of our most underrated and versatile actors. It's fun to see her in a role as different and sometimes silly as Aunt Josephine in A Series Of Unfortunate Events.