McMillan & Wife (1971–1977)
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Once Upon a Dead Man 

The wife of a San Francisco police commissioner drags him into a charity auction theft, which leads to a murder.


(as Leonard B. Stern)


(as Leonard B. Stern),

On Disc

at Amazon


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Chief Andrew Yeakel
Andre Stryker (as René Auberjonois)
Edmond Corday
Mr. Wortzel
Gregory Constantine
John Patterson
Lilyan Chauvin ...
Madame Jarnac
Linda Watkins ...
Emily Hull
Frank Orsatti ...
Stacy Keach Sr. ...
Dr. Hinton
Gretchen Kanne ...
Jerry Harper ...


The wife of a San Francisco police commissioner drags him into a charity auction theft, which leads to a murder.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

murder | tv series pilot | See All (2) »


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

17 September 1971 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The pilot episode was filmed at the home of Rock Hudson. In the following episode, the MacMillans moved into a townhouse in San Francisco. See more »


Featured in Rock Hudson: Dark and Handsome Stranger (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

Pilot for "McMillan and Wife"

With his film career beginning to sag, Rock Hudson decided the time was right to try his hand at TV. This NBC World Premiere Movie aired in September 1971, and served as the pilot for "McMillan and Wife," which would debut as one-third of the original NBC Mystery Movie later that month. Obviously inspired by MGM's "Thin Man" series, this tele-film cast Hudson as San Francisco's commissioner of police whose kooky wife, the always appealing Susan Saint James, sometimes made his cases more difficult through her unexpected involvement. Except for the presence of Hudson, "Once Upon A Dead Man" is pretty standard stuff for its day. It has that unmistakable look that all Universal movies and TV shows had at the time (which may now give it some nostalgic appeal), but the film is made memorable by the cast. Hudson was a truly gifted light comedian, and both the film and the series gave him a regular opportunity to demonstrate that talent in ways he had not been able to do since his successful pairing with Doris Day in "Pillow Talk," "Lover Come Back," and "Send Me No Flowers." Susan Saint James (who had just ended a three season run as the "girl Friday" on "The Name of the Game") was no Doris Day, but she complements him splendidly. Then there's a fine supporting cast headed by John Schuck whose Sergeant Enright would continue as a regular in the series. Recommended overall.

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