Ellery Queen (1975–1976)
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The Adventure of Miss Aggie's Farewell Performance 

Beloved Vera Bethune stars as Miss Aggie in a radio soap opera, but is about to be written out. One day she drinks water from a jug and is poisoned in a murder attempt. She is taken to the hospital and survives, but the killer returns.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Olivia Burns
Mr. Pearl
Lawrence Denver / Jeff
Announcer Wendell Warren
Sgt. Thomas Velie
Anita Leslie / Cousin Jenny
Beatrice Colen ...
Mary Lou Gumm
Gerald Hiken ...
Alvin Burns
Gus Geropolis
Nina Roman ...


Miss Aggie is the central character on an immensely popular radio soap opera. The actress playing her collapses in the recording studio, and it's revealed that the water jug she drank from was poisoned. The actress survives and seems to be recovering. Her producers try to stifle the police investigation into the crime, claiming the actress poisoned herself to garner the sympathy vote from fans -- her contract was expiring, and she was about to be written out of the show ("Pow! Double pneumonia and she's off the air for a month and when she comes back nobody will remember what she sounded like."), Unfortunately, the killer comes back -- this time with a gun -- and Miss Aggie's departure is indeed permanent. When a hospital attendant is arrested for robbing the body of the actress's prize bracelet, it's revealed that she had left a dying clue for Ellery. Written by Peter Harris

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Crime | Drama | Family | Mystery





Release Date:

19 October 1975 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode was the first to air on Sundays, as a one-time special to see if the series would draw enough ratings to be renewed for the rest of the season (the show it replaced, "The Family Holvak," had finished production and ran off a few more episodes in December). NBC, facing a devastating drop in its overall ratings, wanted to keep "Ellery Queen" as "quality" programming if there was any way it could. See more »


When the page boy comes in the studio and speaks to Anita Leslie, she asks where the others are and he indicates that they have almost a minute to arrive. The studio clock confirms that fact since it is just at 8:59 AM. As the scene progresses, the second hand on the clock is still correct as 25 seconds elapse, leaving roughly 30-35 seconds to broadcast time. But when the others arrive, with what would seem like 15 seconds or less to go, the clock is back at 8:59 AM. See more »


Vera Bethune, Miss Aggie: Someone tried to kill me, you know!
Ellery Queen: Who tried to kill you?
Vera Bethune, Miss Aggie: Well, my word! If I knew that, wouldn't I have told that funny little inspector?
Ellery Queen: That's my father.
Vera Bethune, Miss Aggie: Oh. Well, I meant "funny" in a complimentary way. Such a wonderful sense of humor!
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User Reviews

If at first you don't succeed...
20 October 2009 | by (Youngstown,Ohio) – See all my reviews

Episode 6, "The Adventure of Miss Aggie's Farewell Performance," showcases Eve Arden (OUR MISS BROOKS) as actress Vera Bethune, best known for the role of Miss Aggie, leading character in a radio soap beloved by millions of listeners, who is making exorbitant salary demands that the sponsors are unwilling to meet. During the current broadcast, Vera collapses in the studio and is rushed to the hospital, a victim of poison. Within the hour she begins receiving the press, as well as the probing questions of Ellery and his father (whom she refers to as that 'funny little inspector'). Some time after midnight, an unseen assailant sneaks into Vera's room and shoots the defenseless actress dead, but not before the victim awakens and recognizes her killer. Both Queens blame themselves for the murder, even though the actress refused police protection, as well as the hospital. Everyone that was in the studio when Vera was poisoned falls under suspicion: fellow actor Lawrence Denver (Bert Parks), actress Anita Leslie (Penelope Windust), the newcomer being groomed to replace the temperamental star, announcer Wendell Warren (Paul Shenar), and organist Mary Lou Gumm (Beatrice Colen), who had a crush on Warren until he started dating Vera instead. Listening in the booth during the broadcast were Mr. Pearl (John McGiver), representative of the Vita-Cream sponsors, and Simon Brimmer (John Hillerman), unsuccessfully trying to make a new pitch for his own radio show, "The Casebook of Simon Brimmer." As usual, the overeager Brimmer fingers the wrong party during a special live broadcast of his own show. Betty White appears as Louise Demery, Vera's agent, who meets Ellery at the hospital, dismissing his profession with the words, "I thought you said he was an author!" Nan Martin and Gerald Hiken play the show's writers, planning to kill off Miss Aggie if she failed to cooperate with the powers-that-be. Nina Roman makes a brief return as Grace, Inspector Queen's secretary, while this would be the final performance of delightful veteran John McGiver, who died on Sept.9 1975, one month before this episode was broadcast on Oct.16.

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