McMillan & Wife (1971–1977)
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Have You Heard About Vanessa? 

The intrepid Mac is presented with a 70's version of the 1944 film noir "Laura" in his final episode. The play on names of the two detectives: McPherson and McMillan is the most clever part of this finale.



(created by) (as Leonard B. Stern),


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Trisha Noble ...
Beulah Harrington
Peter Donat ...
Murray Starr
Mrs. Roberts
Aaron Leacock
Roger Bowen ...
Ernie Hovey
Vanessa Vale
Francois Balmain (as Francois-Marie Benard)
Baayork Lee ...
Meg Worth
David Knapp ...
Guy Bragin


Vanessa Vale, a glamor model, apparently jumps from the balcony of her 15th-story apartment to her death. But Mac investigates and finds signs of a struggle -- she was pushed off. Then Vanessa herself walks into the apartment, having gone incognito on a brief vacation. The victim, it turned out, was a lady friend of hers who was using the apartment; nobody thought to look under the makeup mask she had on her face when she was killed. Was the killer after Vanessa (it looks that way when her private plane, on which Mac is riding, is rigged to go into a tailspin) -- or was Vanessa hiding something? Written by Peter Harris

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

24 April 1977 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Last show of the series. See more »

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User Reviews

And you see Vanessa
20 October 2015 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Rock Hudson made his farewell performance as Commissioner Stewart McMillan of San Francisco, the most hands on big city police commissioner in history with this story which was borrowed quite liberally from the classic Otto Preminger film Laura.

Joanna Cameron, TV's future Isis, plays Vanessa Vale a very much in demand celebrity model whose body with a pound of cold cream on her face is found at her apartment front door making the police think she jumped or had some help. Just like Dana Andrews in Laura obsessing over Gene Tierney, Rock Hudson now a widower starts obsessing over Cameron and is in her crime scene apartment when she walks in. Only then do we learn that the deceased is a travel writer who shared the apartment when she was in town, clothes, and occasionally men with Cameron.

Now if you were watching this and thought you knew where this was going because you recognized the Laura connection immediately, forget about it. The story goes off in a whole different direction, but of course Rock Hudson figures it all out.

What made McMillan&Wife was the good chemistry and banter between Rock Hudson and Susan St.James. When that was gone the show certainly lost something even though the widowed Hudson certainly was now paired with a bevy of beautiful women in the last season. None more so here with all the fashion industry types.

Still this is a pretty good story because it goes off Laura's beaten path.

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