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?


After four complete seasons, Columbo dons a tuxedo and looks "unusually elegant," as the butler remarks. See more »


One of the reasons Columbo used to accuse Grace Wheeler of committing the crime was the time she took to watch "Walking the baby", 2+ hours instead of 1 hr 45 min, the length of the movie. It can take more than N minutes to watch a movie/video of N minutes, even back in the days before VCR and DVD.

There are many reasons that people take a break when watching a film, thus it takes a longer time to complete the viewing. Pause the film to go to the bathroom is a very good reason. Furthermore, Columbo couldn't account for the possible 11 minutes (after the tape broke) that the screen went blank, and used that as the reason that Grace stepped out to kill her husband. It's after mid-night. People can doze off while watching a film. Just because the viewing time is greater than the length of the movie, it does not mean that the viewer must have stepped out and committed a murder. See more »


Ned Diamond: Anyway, what difference does it make? It doesn't mean anything.
Columbo: Oh, it means a great deal, sir. It goes to the very heart of the matter.
See more »


Features Walking My Baby Back Home (1953) 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

Cast of Great Veteran Actors Made This a Great TV FILM!
2 March 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Decided to watch a "Columbo" TV series and was quite surprised to see John Payne(Ned Diamond),"Footlight Serenade",'42, who was a super star in the 30's and 40's, appearing in many pictures and mostly Musicals. It was great to see Janet Leigh(Grace Wheeler Willis),"Two Tickets to Broadway",'51, who appeared with John Payne in "Footlight Serenade",42 along with Betty Grable. The entire plot kept me spellbound and I was happy to see Grace & Ned dancing together and John Payne doing a good job of singing briefly. Grace looked great for her age at the time and still kept a great figure, which enabled her to climb out a window and down a tree! Maurice Evans(Raymond),"Rosemary's Baby",'68, played the role of a great butler who was constantly trying to pick up cigar ashes from Lt. Columbo(Peter Falk),"Too Many Thieves",'66. Lt. Columbo had a funny scene giving his dog companion a nice ICE CREAM CONE! and telling him to "clean himself up!." Sam Jaffe(Dr. Henry Willis),"The Dunwich Horror",'70 played the husband to Grace and wanted to travel around the world with her! This particular Columbo series is very special because this was the last picture that John Payne performed in and it was nice seeing Janet Leigh as his true love to the very END!

9 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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