Columbo (1971–2003)
18 user 6 critic

Murder, a Self Portrait 

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



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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
Officer (as 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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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The real painter of Columbo's portrait is Jaroslav Gebr's. Gebr was born in Eastern Europe and fled the Communists, arriving in Hollywood. He began in the art departments of Fox and MGM and eventually ended up at Universal's Television studios where he led their Art Department for years. See more »


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: You know your trouble, Max? All you want is all there is.
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User Reviews

Weird even for Columbo episode!
24 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

An artist with a wife and two female lovers. First, he's straight or too heterosexual if you ask me. Of course, Shera Danese who plays his wife is the real-life wife of COlumbo himself, Peter Falk. I like Fionnula Flanagan who has a supporting role. Yes, it's the same formula for Columbo. I am always amused by his embarrassment and his ignorance even in this episode. He always seems out of place and fascinated by the situation. Artists have been prime suspects before. He always has a wealthy, prominent, and celebrity prime suspects but he is always at the top of his game and he always catches his man or woman. I just love having him back but this is one of my personal favorites to watch again and again.

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