Columbo: Season 9, Episode 1

Murder, a Self Portrait (25 Nov. 1989)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 698 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 5 critic

Columbo investigates the apparent drowning of a famous painters first wife.



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Title: Murder, a Self Portrait (25 Nov 1989)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Max Barsini
Vanessa Barsini
Isabel García Lorca ...
Julie (as Isabel Lorca)
Dr. Sydney Hammer
David Byrd ...
Don Bovingloh ...
Lenny Hicks ...
Morgue Attendant
Danny Hassel ...
Roger Etienne ...
Night Visitor
Frank L. Wiltse ...
Harold Harris ...
Harry Chudnow
Don Schneider ...
Bystander at Beach


Max Barsini is an artist who has a most unusual living arrangement with three women. He is married to Vanessa, and Julie is his live in model. Louise is his first wife who lives next door. Max takes delight in the way they fight for his attention, but also likes to control them. So when Louise starts seeing a psychologist, Max not only fears that she will break away but also that she will reveal a secret that Max will kill to keep hidden and he does. He makes it appear that she drowned but Columbo knows something is wrong. Written by <>

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Release Date:

25 November 1989 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


At 1:02:18, Columbo lifts Dog up at a railing to look at the ocean. The camera switches to face the dog, and Columbo sets Dog on something, and Dog stands there with his paws over the rail. But there is nothing to stand on. Columbo lifts the dog down, with the camera from behind, and again there's no platform where the dog could have stood. See more »


Vanessa Barsini: One, it's nice to live at the beach. Two, I can't cook cioppino worth a damn. And three, there are more important things in life than happiness.
See more »


Followed by Columbo: Columbo Cries Wolf (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

6 May 2002 | by (Parsippany, NJ) – See all my reviews

Patrick Bachau is wonderful as the tempermental artist who cannot accept the fact that his ex-wife has fallen in love with another man, a psychiatrist superbly played by George Coe. Falk's real-life wife, Shera Therese shines brilliantly as Bachau's current wife. And Vito Scotti and Isabella Garcia-Lorca are both superb in supporting roles. This is one of the 20 best Columbo movies ever made.

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