Columbo: Season 5, Episode 1

Forgotten Lady (14 Sep. 1975)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 894 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 4 critic

A faded dance star of film and stage murders her husband and makes it look like a suicide; Lt. Columbo doubts her seemingly perfect alibi.



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Title: Forgotten Lady (14 Sep 1975)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Grace Wheeler Willis
Dr. Henry Willis
Ned Diamond
Linda Gaye Scott ...
Alma (as Linda Scott)
Robert F. Simon ...
Dr. Westrum
Sgt. Leftkowitz
Ross Elliott ...
Dr. Lansberg
Jerome Guardino ...
Danny Wells ...
Bookstore Clerk
Harvey Gold ...


Grace Wheeler Willis was a star, a very famous star. Every night in her house she sees one of her old movies. When she decides to set up a new show and her husband refuses to finance it, Grace coldly kills him, staging a suicide. Lt. Columbo is not deceived from her performance. But at the end, the murderer will escape her sentence, or perhaps not. Written by Baldinotto da Pistoia

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Release Date:

14 September 1975 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


John Payne's last role. See more »


The plot pivots on the running time of "Walking my Baby Back Home", which Columbo asserts to be one hour 45 minutes. The film actually runs for 95 minutes. See more »


Grace Wheeler Willis: Did you want to see me or do you just enjoy swinging from trees?
See more »


References Earthquake (1974) See more »


South Rampart Street Parade
Written by Bob Haggart and Ray Bauduc
Sung by Janet Leigh and The Modernaire
From the movie "Walkin' My Baby Back Home" (1953)
See more »

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User Reviews

Perhaps one of my favorite all time episodes of the series!
20 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Film star Janet Leigh plays an aging actress who wants to be in the limelight again. Sadly, she married a doctor who provides a comfortable and secure life but it's no love match but he does take care of her well. Even though, they are in separate bedrooms. There does seem to be some kind of relationship. He tries to reason with her and her foolish dream to star on the stage again playing the roles she loved to do. Anyway, I loved Janet Leigh's performance and she was truly an excellent actress in this episode. Columbo and her character have humorous and tender moments as well. When we get to the end of the episode, we feel sorry for the prime suspect because we had no idea of the truth behind the crime. I love the maid and butler/chauffeur who are devoted Johnny Carson fans. Unlike other Columbo episodes, this episode has a twist and surprise that others don't have.

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