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"Murder, She Wrote"
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"Murder, She Wrote" (1984) More at IMDbPro »TV series 1984-

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Murder, She Wrote: :  -- Mystery writer finds herself investigating murders that occur around her.
Murder, She Wrote: :  -- Mystery writer finds herself investigating murders that occur around her.
Murder, She Wrote: :  -- Mystery writer finds herself investigating murders that occur around her.

Overview

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6.8/10   10,036 votes »
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Seasons:
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12
Release Date:
30 September 1984 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Mystery writer finds herself investigating murders that occur around her. Full summary »
Awards:
Won 6 Golden Globes. Another 25 wins & 55 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(17 articles)
In Defense of the Offense of Remakes
 (From Variety - Film News. 18 November 2013, 10:22 AM, PST)

James MacArthur: 1937-2010
 (From IMDb News. 28 October 2010, 2:04 PM, PDT)

Gloria Stuart: 1910 - 2010
 (From IMDb News. 27 September 2010, 11:03 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
This cherished television series will forever be dearly missed... but will always live on in our hearts via syndicated re-runs! See more (50 total) »

Cast

 (Series Cast Summary - 1 of 686)

Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher / ... (264 episodes, 1984-1996)
(more)

Series Directed by
Anthony Pullen Shaw (68 episodes, 1987-1996)
Walter Grauman (53 episodes, 1984-1996)
Vincent McEveety (28 episodes, 1988-1996)
Seymour Robbie (21 episodes, 1984-1989)
Jerry Jameson (19 episodes, 1990-1995)
John Llewellyn Moxey (18 episodes, 1984-1991)
Peter Crane (9 episodes, 1985-1987)
Arthur Allan Seidelman (5 episodes, 1985-1986)
Allen Reisner (4 episodes, 1984-1989)
Kevin G. Cremin (4 episodes, 1987-1990)
Nick Havinga (4 episodes, 1987)
Peter Salim (3 episodes, 1992-1993)
Corey Allen (2 episodes, 1984)
Michael J. Lynch (2 episodes, 1987-1990)
Chuck Bowman (2 episodes, 1989-1991)
David Moessinger (2 episodes, 1991-1992)
Don Mischer (2 episodes, 1993-1994)
Robert M. Williams Jr. (2 episodes, 1993-1994)
Kevin Corcoran (2 episodes, 1996)
 
Series Writing credits
Peter S. Fischer (264 episodes, 1984-1996)
Richard Levinson (264 episodes, 1984-1996)
William Link (264 episodes, 1984-1996)
Robert E. Swanson (25 episodes, 1984-1992)
Robert Van Scoyk (24 episodes, 1984-1996)
Tom Sawyer (24 episodes, 1985-1996)
Donald Ross (16 episodes, 1987-1996)
Bruce Lansbury (15 episodes, 1991-1996)
Laurence Heath (10 episodes, 1992-1996)
Gerald K. Siegel (9 episodes, 1984-1990)
Philip Gerson (9 episodes, 1986-1989)
Chris Manheim (8 episodes, 1987-1993)
Mark A. Burley (8 episodes, 1992-1996)
Paul Savage (7 episodes, 1985-1989)
J. Michael Straczynski (7 episodes, 1991-1993)
Jerrold L. Ludwig (7 episodes, 1994-1996)
Mary Ann Kasica (6 episodes, 1985-1994)
Michael Scheff (6 episodes, 1985-1994)
Lynne Kelsey (4 episodes, 1989-1991)
J. Miyoko Hensley (3 episodes, 1984-1986)
Steven Hensley (3 episodes, 1984-1986)
Dick Nelson (3 episodes, 1985-1988)
Paul Schiffer (3 episodes, 1989-1995)
Paul W. Cooper (2 episodes, 1984-1985)
Mark Giles (2 episodes, 1984-1985)
Linda Shank (2 episodes, 1984-1985)
Jackson Gillis (2 episodes, 1985-1986)
Wendy Graf (2 episodes, 1987-1988)
R. Barker Price (2 episodes, 1987-1988)
Lisa Stotsky (2 episodes, 1987-1988)
Arthur Weingarten (2 episodes, 1987-1988)
Steven Long Mitchell (2 episodes, 1987)
Craig W. Van Sickle (2 episodes, 1987)
William Bigelow (2 episodes, 1990)
David Moessinger (2 episodes, 1991-1992)
Robert Hamner (2 episodes, 1992-1993)
James L. Novack (2 episodes, 1993-1996)
Rick Mittleman (2 episodes, 1993-1994)
Carlton Hollander (2 episodes, 1993)
Philip John Taylor (2 episodes, 1995-1996)

Series Produced by
Peter S. Fischer .... executive producer (154 episodes, 1984-1991)
Robert F. O'Neill .... producer / supervising producer (154 episodes, 1984-1991)
Mark A. Burley .... supervising producer (110 episodes, 1991-1996)
Al Kraus .... coordinating producer (110 episodes, 1991-1996)
Anthony Magro .... associate producer (97 episodes, 1987-1991)
Robert E. Swanson .... producer / supervising producer (89 episodes, 1988-1992)
Angela Lansbury .... executive producer (88 episodes, 1992-1996)
Bruce Lansbury .... supervising producer (88 episodes, 1992-1996)
Todd London .... co-producer (88 episodes, 1992-1996)
Tom Sawyer .... producer (79 episodes, 1993-1996)
Laurence Heath .... co-producer (66 episodes, 1993-1996)
Robert Van Scoyk .... producer (58 episodes, 1988-1991)
Mike Stevens .... associate producer / co-producer (57 episodes, 1984-1989)
J. Michael Straczynski .... co-producer / producer (30 episodes, 1991-1993)
David Shaw .... co-executive producer (26 episodes, 1995-1996)
Jerrold L. Ludwig .... co-producer (23 episodes, 1995-1996)
Walton Dornisch .... co-producer (22 episodes, 1991-1992)
David Moessinger .... executive producer (22 episodes, 1991-1992)
Stephen Swofford .... associate producer (2 episodes, 1996)

Kevin Corcoran .... assistant producer (unknown episodes)
Peter Shaw .... producer (unknown episodes)
 
Series Original Music by
David Bell (81 episodes, 1984-1991)
Richard Markowitz (71 episodes, 1984-1991)
Jeff Sturges (44 episodes, 1991-1996)
Bruce Babcock (32 episodes, 1992-1996)
Steve Dorff (25 episodes, 1992-1996)
Jonathan Tunick (4 episodes, 1992)
 
Series Cinematography by
Ron Vargas (69 episodes, 1992-1996)
John Elsenbach (62 episodes, 1988-1991)
Robert C. Moreno (44 episodes, 1986-1988)
Peter Salim (41 episodes, 1991-1993)
Dennis Dalzell (34 episodes, 1984-1986)
Mario DiLeo (7 episodes, 1984)
Emil Oster (3 episodes, 1986)
Howard Block (2 episodes, 1986-1987)
 
Series Film Editing by
Michael J. Lynch (58 episodes, 1984-1993)
Donald Douglas (53 episodes, 1984-1991)
Ellen Ring Jacobson (40 episodes, 1991-1996)
Bill Turro (25 episodes, 1993-1996)
Ed Guidotti (17 episodes, 1984-1986)
Bill Luciano (14 episodes, 1993-1995)
Buford F. Hayes (13 episodes, 1991-1993)
Jack Horger (11 episodes, 1986-1988)
Joe Morrisey (11 episodes, 1988-1991)
John C. Horger (11 episodes, 1989-1991)
Ray Daniels (7 episodes, 1991-1992)
Thomas Petersen (6 episodes, 1995-1996)
Michael Renaud (3 episodes, 1987)
 
Series Casting by
Ron Stephenson (174 episodes, 1984-1996)
 
Series Production Design by
Hub Braden (172 episodes, 1988-1996)
Leslie Parsons (39 episodes, 1986-1988)
 
Series Art Direction by
Mary Dodson (102 episodes, 1991-1996)
Peter Samish (44 episodes, 1985-1988)
Leslie Parsons (41 episodes, 1984-1988)
James H. Ellingwood (8 episodes, 1991-1992)
Russell J. Smith (2 episodes, 1984-1985)
William H. Tuntke (2 episodes, 1984)
Hub Braden (2 episodes, 1985)
Francis J. Pezza (2 episodes, 1985)
 
Series Set Decoration by
Robert Wingo (133 episodes, 1984-1991)
Bill Gregory (88 episodes, 1992-1996)
Lee Poll (88 episodes, 1992-1996)
Fred S. Winston (30 episodes, 1985-1992)
Frank Lombardo (6 episodes, 1984-1985)
Donald J. Remacle (3 episodes, 1988-1989)
Wally White (2 episodes, 1985-1986)
Richard B. Goddard (2 episodes, 1985)
Bill Webb (2 episodes, 1986-1987)
Hal Gausman (2 episodes, 1987)
 
Series Costume Design by
Al Lehman (70 episodes, 1985-1989)
J. Allen Highfill (13 episodes, 1984-1985)
Sharon Day (8 episodes, 1985)
 
Series Makeup Department
Susan Zietlow-Maust .... department head hair stylist / hair department head (42 episodes, 1984-1986)

Teresa M. Austin .... key makeup artist (unknown episodes)
Rita Bellissimo .... hair stylist (unknown episodes)
Lori Benson .... makeup artist (unknown episodes)
Dino Ganziano .... hair stylist (unknown episodes)
Ronald W. Smith .... hair stylist (unknown episodes)
Gerald Solomon .... hair stylist (unknown episodes)
Robert L. Stevenson .... hair department head (unknown episodes)
Ann Wadlington .... hair stylist (unknown episodes)
Vera Yurtchuk .... key makeup artist (unknown episodes)
 
Series Production Management
Al Kraus .... unit production manager (124 episodes, 1990-1996)
Ronald Martinez .... unit production manager (51 episodes, 1987-1989)
David Shaw .... executive in charge of production (40 episodes, 1993-1995)
John C. Chulay .... unit production manager (34 episodes, 1984-1986)
Mack Bing .... unit production manager (10 episodes, 1984-1985)
S. Michael Formica .... unit production manager (9 episodes, 1989-1990)
G. Warren Smith .... unit production manager (8 episodes, 1990)
Tony Bishop .... unit production manager (7 episodes, 1986-1987)
Larry Y. Albucher .... unit production manager (7 episodes, 1986)
Kevin G. Cremin .... unit production manager (7 episodes, 1989-1990)
Christopher N. Seiter .... unit production manager (5 episodes, 1990-1994)
Gary Law .... unit production manager (3 episodes, 1994)
Dodie Foster .... unit production manager (2 episodes, 1985-1986)

Stephen Swofford .... post-production supervisor (unknown episodes)
 
Series Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Robert M. Williams Jr. .... first assistant director / second assistant director (114 episodes, 1987-1996)
Allen DiGioia .... second assistant director / first assistant director / ... (85 episodes, 1984-1989)
Kelly Cantley .... second assistant director (79 episodes, 1993-1996)
Joseph A. Ingraffia .... first assistant director (60 episodes, 1986-1996)
Kevin Corcoran .... first assistant director (53 episodes, 1991-1996)
Gail Seely .... second assistant director (30 episodes, 1989-1991)
Mark Lyon .... second assistant director (21 episodes, 1991-1992)
Kevin G. Cremin .... first assistant director (20 episodes, 1985-1987)
Suzanne Geiger .... dga trainee (12 episodes, 1992-1993)
Alice West .... first assistant director (11 episodes, 1985-1986)
Michael Risner .... dga trainee (11 episodes, 1995)
Janet Davidson .... first assistant director (10 episodes, 1984-1985)
Rowe Wallerstein .... first assistant director (10 episodes, 1984-1985)
Brad Michaelson .... second assistant director (10 episodes, 1991-1992)
Richard J. Levin .... second assistant director (7 episodes, 1989-1990)
Tom Blank .... first assistant director (4 episodes, 1986-1987)
Richard Graves .... first assistant director (4 episodes, 1988-1993)
Ryan Gordon .... first assistant director / second assistant director (2 episodes, 1984-1996)
Rose Dolfi .... dga trainee (2 episodes, 1991)
Xochi Blymyer .... second second assistant director (2 episodes, 1993-1994)

Louis G. Friedman .... assistant director (unknown episodes)
Elena Santaballa .... dga trainee (unknown episodes)
Michael-McCloud Thompson .... dga trainee (unknown episodes)
 
Series Art Department
John Hathaway .... assistant art director (264 episodes, 1984-1996)
Deland 'Dee' Lyttle .... construction coordinator (264 episodes, 1984-1996)
Steve Purdy .... assistant art director (264 episodes, 1984-1996)
John P. Bruce .... set designer (176 episodes, 1988-1996)
Robert 'Bob' Jillson .... set designer (176 episodes, 1988-1996)
Doug Vlaming .... construction coordinator / prop maker foreman (155 episodes, 1988-1996)
John D. Jefferies Sr. .... set designer (88 episodes, 1992-1996)
Bryan Rodgers .... visual consultant (68 episodes, 1993-1996)
Tony Guastella .... leadman (56 episodes, 1994-1996)
Felisa Finn .... painter (22 episodes, 1992-1993)
Victor M. Shannon .... plasterer (22 episodes, 1994)
Ron Greenwood .... assistant property master (17 episodes, 1984-1985)
Jaroslav Gebr .... portraits (5 episodes, 1984-1990)
Joseph Musso .... production illustrator (2 episodes, 1995)

Tom Margozewitz .... assistant property master (unknown episodes)
Sebastian Milito .... construction coordinator (unknown episodes)
Ted Wilson .... carpenter (unknown episodes)
 
Series Sound Department
Don Sharpless .... sound mixer / sound (173 episodes, 1984-1996)
Tim Cooney .... sound / sound mixer (89 episodes, 1984-1988)
Dale Johnston .... supervising sound editor (88 episodes, 1987-1991)
Ed Fassl .... sound editor (64 episodes, 1984-1987)
Kevin Sorensen .... boom operator (64 episodes, 1984-1987)
Paul B. Clay .... supervising sound editor (58 episodes, 1992-1995)
Anthony Magro .... sound editor (56 episodes, 1984-1987)
Cindy Rabideau .... supervising sound editor (30 episodes, 1993-1996)
Al Gomez .... foley mixer (25 episodes, 1988-1989)
Charles R. Beith Jr. .... sound editor (22 episodes, 1991-1992)
Jerry Jacobson .... dialogue editor (21 episodes, 1994-1995)
Walt Jenevein .... sound editor (9 episodes, 1987)
Mike Szakmeister .... sound editor (4 episodes, 1993)
Phil Beeson .... sound / sound mixer (2 episodes, 1987-1988)

Susan Kurtz .... sound effects editor (unknown episodes, 1992-1994)
James L. Aicholtz .... sound mixer (unknown episodes)
Gregg Barbanell .... foley artist (unknown episodes)
Beau Biggart .... adr mixer (unknown episodes)
Barney Cabral .... adr editor (unknown episodes)
Joe Campana .... assistant sound editor (unknown episodes)
Richard Coleman .... sound recordist (unknown episodes)
Mark Kamps .... assistant sound editor (unknown episodes)
Richard LeGrand Jr. .... sound editor (unknown episodes)
Anthony Milch .... sound editor (unknown episodes)
Linda Moss .... sound editor (unknown episodes)
Peter Reale .... sound re-recording mixer (unknown episodes)
Dean St. John .... adr mixer (unknown episodes)
Clancy T. Troutman .... sound editor (unknown episodes)
 
Series Special Effects by
Johnny Borgese .... special effects technician (110 episodes, 1987-1991)
Wayne Rose .... special effects coordinator (21 episodes, 1984-1985)

George Zamora .... special effects coordinator (unknown episodes)
 
Series Visual Effects by
Jim Michaels .... visual effects producer (88 episodes, 1984-1988)
 
Series Stunts
Mary Albee .... stunt coordinator (107 episodes, 1991-1996)
Eddie Braun .... stunts (9 episodes, 1994-1996)
Kurt D. Lott .... stunts (5 episodes, 1989-1995)
Jim Stephan .... utility stunts (5 episodes, 1990-1994)
Rob King .... stunts (5 episodes, 1992-1996)
J. Mark Donaldson .... stunts (4 episodes, 1986-1995)
Gregory J. Barnett .... stunts (4 episodes, 1988-1994)
Marco Paul .... utility stunts (3 episodes, 1989-1994)
Carol Daniels .... stunts (3 episodes, 1995)
John Ashby .... stunt performer / stunts (2 episodes, 1984)
Steve Upton .... stunts (2 episodes, 1993-1994)

Steven Burnett .... stunts (unknown episodes)
Debbie Evans .... stunts (unknown episodes)
Larry Holt .... stunt performer (unknown episodes)
Terry James .... stunts (unknown episodes)
Steve Kelso .... stunts (unknown episodes)
Gene LeBell .... stunts (unknown episodes)
Khristian Lupo .... stunts (unknown episodes)
Buck McDancer .... stunt coordinator (unknown episodes)
Sherry Peterson .... stunts (unknown episodes)
Jimmy N. Roberts .... stunts (unknown episodes)
Michael M. Vendrell .... stunts (unknown episodes)
Greg Walker .... stunts (unknown episodes)
Dick Warlock .... stunts (unknown episodes)
 
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Lon Massey III .... chief lighting technician (122 episodes, 1991-1996)
Mike McEveety .... second assistant camera (66 episodes, 1993-1996)
Robert Kositchek .... director of photography: second unit (66 episodes, 1993-1995)
Earl C. Williman .... gaffer (64 episodes, 1984-1987)
Jeffrey Norvet .... first assistant camera (38 episodes, 1984-1986)
William Jay Gahret .... camera operator (37 episodes, 1984-1986)
Susan C. Ingram .... second assistant camera (37 episodes, 1984-1986)
Edward C. Peters .... b dolly grip (22 episodes, 1990-1991)
Jim Saldutti .... grip (21 episodes, 1984-1985)
Eugene Earle .... additional first assistant camera (14 episodes, 1985-1986)
Larry Markart .... video playback / video/computer playback (8 episodes, 1994-1996)
Paul Maibaum .... first assistant camera (7 episodes, 1984)
Richard N. Hannah .... additional camera operator (5 episodes, 1985)
Ron Newburn .... lighting technician (3 episodes, 1990)
Richard Kamins .... gaffer (2 episodes, 1988-1989)

Owen Marsh .... camera operator (unknown episodes, 1987)
Ben Beaird .... key grip (unknown episodes)
Stan McClain .... aerial camera operator (unknown episodes)
Keith H. Moore .... assistant camera (unknown episodes)
Serge Poupis .... first assistant camera (unknown episodes)
Matt Ramirez .... first assistant camera / photographer: second unit (unknown episodes)
 
Series Casting Department
Ron Stephenson .... casting (91 episodes, 1987-1996)
 
Series Costume and Wardrobe Department
Radford Polinsky .... set costumer (152 episodes, 1984-1991)
Lambert Marks .... costume supervisor (98 episodes, 1984-1989)
Eilish Zebrasky .... costume designer: Ms. Lansbury / costume supervisor: Ms. Lansbury / ... (88 episodes, 1992-1996)
Debi Orrico .... costume supervisor (85 episodes, 1988-1992)
Robert Eli Bodford Jr. .... costume supervisor (63 episodes, 1988-1991)
Nick Mezzanotti .... costume supervisor (55 episodes, 1988-1991)
Buffy Snyder .... costume supervisor (47 episodes, 1992-1994)
Don Vargas .... costume supervisor: men's (41 episodes, 1994-1996)
Shannon Litten .... costume supervisor: women's (40 episodes, 1994-1996)
Deanna Doran .... costume supervisor (31 episodes, 1985-1992)
Bettylee Balsam .... costume supervisor (25 episodes, 1987-1988)
Don Pike .... costume supervisor: men's / costume supervisor: men (25 episodes, 1993-1994)
Dorothy Baca .... costume supervisor (22 episodes, 1986-1987)
Karen Bellamy .... costume supervisor / key costumer (22 episodes, 1991-1992)
Dallas D. Dornan .... costume supervisor (21 episodes, 1991-1992)
Jay Kaplan .... costume supervisor (13 episodes, 1992-1993)
Julie Weiss .... costume consultant (12 episodes, 1984-1985)
Jay Caplan .... costume supervisor (10 episodes, 1992-1993)
Victoria Snow .... costume supervisor (9 episodes, 1984-1985)
Jim O'Daniel .... costume supervisor (9 episodes, 1993)
Arlene Zamiara .... costume supervisor (4 episodes, 1984)

Sandra Henderson .... head stylist (unknown episodes)
 
Series Editorial Department
Marc Wielage .... telecine colorist (44 episodes, 1987-1989)
Steve Johnson .... colorist (22 episodes, 1984-1985)

Ralph A. Riccoboni .... assistant editor (unknown episodes, 1994-1996)
Ken Latka .... film transfer colorist (unknown episodes)
 
Series Music Department
John Addison .... composer: theme / composer: theme music (262 episodes, 1984-1996)
Laurie Higgins Tobias .... music editor / supervising music editor (259 episodes, 1984-1996)
Ron S. Herbes .... first assistant music editor (54 episodes, 1984-1987)
George A. Martin .... music editor (3 episodes, 1992)

Tim Boyle .... score mixer (unknown episodes)
Joshua Winget .... music editor (unknown episodes)
 
Series Transportation Department
Robert 'Bob' Routhieaux .... driver: production designer (198 episodes, 1987-1996)
Linda Cipperley .... transportation (10 episodes, 1984)
Frank Khoury .... transportation captain (3 episodes, 1984-1985)
 
Series Other crew
Desi Scarpone .... production assistant (241 episodes, 1985-1996)
Pete Juliano .... location manager (154 episodes, 1985-1992)
Jim McClafferty .... location manager (132 episodes, 1990-1996)
Robert Van Scoyk .... executive story editor (95 episodes, 1984-1989)
Robert E. Swanson .... story editor / executive story editor / ... (73 episodes, 1984-1989)
Brian Brosnan .... location manager (42 episodes, 1984-1986)
Philip Gerson .... story editor / script editor (31 episodes, 1987-1988)
Donald Ross .... story editor (22 episodes, 1989-1990)
John Chester .... assistant to producer / production assistant (22 episodes, 1994)
Suzanne Waite .... script supervisor (21 episodes, 1993-1994)
Greg Knapp .... set medic (7 episodes, 1987-1988)
Chris Manheim .... story editor (5 episodes, 1988-1989)
Russell Clark .... choreography (3 episodes, 1993-1996)

Art Scholl .... pilot (unknown episodes, 1985)
Bundy Chanock .... set medic (unknown episodes, 1994)
Mary Kara .... technical consultant (unknown episodes, 1995-1996)
Fred Fein .... stand-in (unknown episodes)
Betty Green .... title designer (unknown episodes)
Carolyn Hayes .... production auditor (unknown episodes)
Beth Humphreys .... legal supervisor (unknown episodes)
Keith McNulty .... cue cards (unknown episodes)
Rod Ripley .... assistant to producers (unknown episodes)
Susan Vercelli .... production coordinator (unknown episodes)
Robert 'Bobby Z' Zajonc .... aerial coordinator (unknown episodes)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
48 min (262 episodes) | 73 min (1 Episode) | 93 min (1 Episode)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG (some episodes) | Australia:M (some episodes) | New Zealand:PG (seasons 1-2) | New Zealand:M (seasons 3 - 8) | Singapore:PG | Singapore:NC-16 (season 7)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
One of Producer Peter S. Fischer's favorite movie stars was Doris Day. The MSW crew usually pitched who they "wished" could be cast in a featured guest spot to the two Producers, Peter Fischer and Bob O'Neill. During the 1991-92 season, Doris Day was approached with an offer for a guest role. Interested, Day's response implied that she would spend two weeks away from Carmel Valley to film an episode. Then came Day's terms for her contract including her son receiving a "producer credit with pay" for her guest shot. Universal-MCA, CBS, and the producers had agreed upon her price to appear, but refused to agree with her contract clause for her son's credit/pay while she participated in the filming.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "Ideal: The Set-Up (#3.6)" (2007)See more »

FAQ

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82 out of 86 people found the following review useful.
This cherished television series will forever be dearly missed... but will always live on in our hearts via syndicated re-runs!, 10 October 2001
Author: Aussie Stud from Providence, Rhode Island

Angela Lansbury IS Jessica Fletcher, a colorful-minded imaginative geriatric author of best-selling mystery novels who always saves the day by helping friends and strangers discover who the 'real' killer is.

This show ran for twelve seasons, albeit the last season was pretty crook. Guest stars and friends of Angela Lansbury in the industry from the silver screen would often appear as victims, friends and even the killer throughout the 264 episodes that aired on CBS.

Angela Lansbury, a long time pin-up queen for Disney movies and the like, was the right choice to play television's leading lady of the endless 'who-done-it' mysteries. She plays a kind woman, an unlikely character who would find themselves in the countless situations she got herself into, and someone we didn't mind having in our living room at least once a week.

Funny as it sounds, this show was suitable for the whole family to watch. A show about 'murder' is suitable for the 'family' you ask? It was tasteful in the way it presented the various different deaths of its victims throughout its long run. People died in just about any and every imaginable manner you could think of on MURDER SHE WROTE. The most desirable choice was via a gunshot - but there were certainly plenty of more elaborate set-ups. The poisonings.. the hangings.. the stabbings.. yet, it was about as 'family' as you could get with the different shows that were on at the same time it was aired.

Early in its run, MURDER SHE WROTE had a smart ensemble cast including Tom Bosley who played Sheriff Amos Tupper. The setting was usually Cabot Cove of Maine, a quiet coastal fishing town - the ideal place to raise a family... or so you would think, every other week when a murder didn't take place there! When Tom Bosley left to portray a leading role in FATHER DOWLING MYSTERIES, Jessica Fletcher would often travel to different locations across America, and yes, the world. It is quite amusing to wonder why it never seemed funny to Jessica Fletcher that wherever she went, a murder would occur. Although in one episode, she does refer to herself as the 'Typhoid Mary of Murders', a joke within itself.

A great line-up of guest stars from both the film and television industry would play different characters in each episode. Nearly every episode had at least one 'known' celebrity. The most amazing thing was seeing past-Oscar winners playing various characters. From Martin Landau to Van Johnson. From June Allyson to Jose Ferrer. Stewart Granger, Cyd Charisse, Lurene Tuttle, Glynnis Johns, Claire Trevor, Cornel Wilde, Dorothy Lamour, Ann Blythe, Eleanor Parker, Ernest Borgnine... the list goes on. This show probably sported more famous guest stars than 'THE LOVE BOAT'.

Of course, for every Jean Simmons, June Havoc and James Coburn, there was Charlene Tilton, Barbie Benton and Michael McKean to tickle your fancy.

Unknown stars at the time such as Billy Zane, Courtney Cox, Paul Rudd, Megan Mullally and Bill Maher used this show as a stepping stone to get to where they are now.

Several stars and most likely close friends of Angela Lansbury such as David Ogden Stiers, Fritz Weaver, Pat Hingle, Vera Miles and Larry Wilcox appeared more than three or four times throughout the show's entire run, each time playing a different character.

As 'MURDER SHE WROTE' slowly grinded to a halt during its 12th season in 1996, you couldn't help but notice that the show had lost probably more than half of its original spark. Angela Lansbury herself never looked better, but the story lines were getting a bit tired, and seriously, just how many murders in the last season seemed a little bit 'familiar' to the other episodes earlier in the show's run? The guest actors that were being scraped together was pretty much 'bottom-of-the-barrel' selection - Gerald McRaney, Rosalind Chao and Bo Svenson were about the biggest names during the 12th season that could be scrounged up. On top of that, audiences across the world were getting hooked on newer fare such as 'E.R.', 'FRIENDS' and 'LAW & ORDER'. Who had time for 'MURDER SHE WROTE' anymore?

So when the axe finally fell, it came as no surprise, and Angela Lansbury, or should I say, Jessica Fletcher, made a graceful exit to re-appear in isolated MURDER SHE WROTE telemovie projects that would be produced on an almost yearly annual basis after the series was canceled. Although I do remember that she put up quite a fight to keep her show on the air for one more season, I think it came as a blessing in disguise when the show left the broadcast airwaves.

Angela Lansbury was what made this show work. Her character was inspirational. She wasn't some young attractive lady, or a hot-shot lawyer who was solving all the mysteries. She was a retired English teacher, now writing best-selling novels who was the heroine we came to adore. I used to love it when during the last 15 minutes of each episode, someone would mention a keyword like, "Creosote", or a clue-giving caption like "Hmm, my watch seems to have stopped" which would give her the final piece of the puzzle to solve the murder mystery and her eyes would light up as the pieces clicked together in her head.

It's been years since she left our television sets, but she will forever live on in syndicated re-runs, a blessing in disguise perhaps, but something for the younger generation to surely appreciate.

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