"Columbo: Murder, Smoke and Shadows (#8.2)"
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The most likely model for Alex Brady is Steven Spielberg, whose early TV work includes directing Columbo: Murder by the Book (#1.1) (1971). Spielberg had already been spoofed in Columbo: Mind Over Mayhem (#3.6) (1974) as Steve Spelberg, the boy genius played by Lee Montgomery.

Another possibility is that he was based upon John Landis who was responsible for the 1982 deaths of Vic Morrow and the two children during filming of Twilight Zone: The Movie. Spielberg was the executive producer of that movie and was also considered responsible for their deaths.

Ruth: "'Exit pursued by a bear.' Shakespeare wrote that."

She's referring to the famous stage direction in A Winter's Tale.

Ruth: "So, are you ever going to find true love, Andy Hardy?"

She's referring to the juvenile character played by Mickey Rooney in a series of popular films in the 1930s and 40s, such as Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938).

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