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.



(as Bill Driskill), (created by) | 1 more credit »

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Episode complete credited cast:
Grace Wheeler Willis
Dr. Henry Willis
Ned Diamond
Linda Gaye Scott ...
Alma (as Linda Scott)
Dr. Westrum
Sgt. Leftkowitz
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?


Janet Leigh is a guest star of this episode. Leigh's daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis, later appeared as a waitress in the episode Columbo: The Bye-Bye Sky High I.Q. Murder Case (1977). See more »


When the butler flies the American flag in the garden, he raises it halfway up the pole, explaining to Columbo that this is because of a death in the family. In fact, a flag being flown at half-mast is always raised to the top of the pole for a moment then lowered to the halfway position as a mark of respect. See more »


Columbo: You see, if Henry already brought the gun in, if he was already thinking about suicide...
Pat: [heard in the background] Okay, let's go.
Columbo: ...before he went to bed, then I don't believe he would be reading this. It's a light, funny book - not the kind of thing that a man would be reading just before shooting himself.
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References The Poseidon Adventure (1972) See more »


Camptown Races
(1850) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Foster
Performed by Janet Leigh from movie Walking My Baby Back Home (1953)
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User Reviews

John Payne Steals The Movie
15 February 1999 | by (Stony Brook NY) – See all my reviews

Even though Janet Leigh plays perhaps the most sympathetic killer of any Columbo mystery (due to her health in story) the guest performance of John Payne is outstanding as her former song and dance movie partner. Peter Falk as always is excellent as Lt. Columbo and veterans Maurice Evans and Sam Jaffe turn in thier trademark performances as men of fine culture.

23 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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