After a much maligned Hollywood gossip columnist is murdered by her former lover, Columbo tries to find a way to prove he was responsible for the crime.



(created by), (created by) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Sheik Yarami
Eddie Fenelle (as Ron Másak)
Scott N. Stevens ...
Henry Chalfont (as Conrad Bachman)


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


See all certifications »




Release Date:

8 October 1998 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


During "Ashes to Ashes" filming, on an early morning at Universal City's studio stage, director Patrick McGoohan blocked and rehearsed the vitriolic murder scene in the stage set's funeral home mortuary complex; in the embalming mortuary laboratory crematorium suite. The scene is between 'Patrick Prince' (Patrick McGoohan) as he strangles his former lover 'Verity Chandler' (Rue McClanahan). The scene's action and motivation involves 'Verity Chandler' - a nasty devious miserably wicked evil tongued Hollywood gossip columnist and the funeral home's owner/mortician 'Patrick Prince' who is seething with resentment, controlled anger with murderous blood thirsty revenge to kill; like two fascinating characters composed of Shaw, Chekov and Shakespeare. The scene's action begins in the funeral home's foyer/viewing chapel when Prince invites his manipulated butterfly Verity into his inner-sanctum preparation laboratory lair. Once inside the lab, Prince locks the entry-door, closing in on his beautiful unprepared victim Verity Chandler like a spider spinning his web. The murder scene (as scripted) had specific dialogue but no staged motivation. Observing the two actors initially block their motivation and movement, after entering the lab, with director/actor Patrick's basic plan, was like observing two actors choreographing their pas de deux outcome of a complex sequence of the eventful scene! Interestingly, the lab had a sink wall with a mirror above the sink tub crib. Patrick with McClanahan, together, blocked the scene entirely focused on the camera's point of view, using the mirror as a second camera capturing their facial reactions during their pas de deux denouement. Rehearsing the scene together, with the entire crew standing on the side-line, was fascinating observing the two actors create and develop their confrontation for the scene's climax. See more »


Columbo says that diamonds can't burn, that is not true, diamonds burns at 850 degrees Celsius. See more »


Followed by Columbo: Columbo Likes the Nightlife (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A great favourite
30 June 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I am a huge Columbo fan and Ashes to Ashes is without a doubt one of my favourite episodes for many reasons. The plot is quite complex, but is explained well, has many interesting scenes, and the motive is a good one. The script is top notch, particularly in any exchange between Columbo and Eric and Verity's bitchy dialogue is a joy. As always the photography and scenery are striking, and the music is rich and haunting. Then there are the performances, Peter Falk is exceptional once again as Columbo, no surprise really he is always brilliant as the character, while Patrick McGoohan is brilliant as Eric. In fact, McGoohan is one of my favourite Columbo guest stars, and he works really well with Falk. Rue McClanahan has to work with a very strong minded and seemingly hateful character, and McClanahan conveys her with the charm she always had, not to mention her presence which is quite entrancing. The episode is also very well directed, and I was gripped right up to the final solution. Overall, first class, quintessential Columbo I'd say. 10/10 Bethany Cox

12 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Did Columbo really solve the murder in "A Stitch in Crime"? lawkel
Columbo's methods erikbeale
Camera in Negative Reaction cameron-whyte
Favorite multi-killer (actor)? MaggieMarlowe
Was getting divorced THAT big a deal? lorraine1232
Who did not deserve to be murdered? dinandwoesthof
Discuss Ashes to Ashes (1998) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: