Hollywood gossip reporter, Verity Chandler is planning her next expose. Which is to reveal how famed mortician, Eric Prince built his empire. When she reveals to Prince her plans he kills her. He then places her in the casket of a man scheduled to be cremated. And cremates her. He then goes to her house and changes the story she was working on to make it seem someone else wanted to get her. When no one hears from her, the police are called in and Lt. Columbo is on the job. Eentually he learns that she went to a funeral at Prince's and talks to him. And he finds his behavior odd. Written by
Did You Know?
While filming a "Colombo - 'Ashes to Ashes' " (Movie of the Week in the Spring of 1998) at Universal-MCA Film City-Studios, Rue McClanahan performed in a guest role, as 'Verity Chandler' - a nasty devious miserably wicked evil tongued Hollywood gossip columnist - on Peter Falk's "Columbo" MOW prime-time-network special. The film was written by, directed, and featured actor Patrick McGoohan - as Eric Prince, seething with resentment of his ex-lover Verity, murderous and bloodthirsty for revenge. During breaks in filming, Rue McClanahan related to Falk's production designer Hub Braden's question when asked - "In 'The Golden Girls' series - how much did each of the featured performers contribute, ad-lib, improvise in their first Monday sit-down read of their dialogue for their character's role?" McClanahan's response was a matter-of-fact statement to his inquiry! "Not much! Bea Arthur arrived in the rehearsal hall, just sat at the conference table and read her lines. Ditto for Estelle Getty. Betty White and myself would interject comments, and usually, our ad-lib/improv dialogue ideas were noted, accepted by Susan Harris, with our spontaneous line idea interjected into our current script. Bea Arthur performed, reading exactly, what she had been given to say; the same, as well - with Estelle. Betty and myself were usually animated in our dialogue readings, bouncing off with an ad-lib or other flippant dialogue. We all delivered our lines exactly as scripted in our final live television performances. We never improvised in filming. Bea and Estelle were full-filling their acting-job during rehearsals and performances! We were all very professional!". See more
During the first 5 minutes of the film, Verity (played by Rue McClanahan) attends a funeral. She kisses the deceased who is lying in an open casket and leaves a red lipstick mark on his face. The mortician's female assistant is immediately instructed to remove the mark. When she does, the deceased's face visibly flinches as the stain is rubbed off his face with a tissue. See more