Quincy M.E.: Season 1, Episode 3

A Star Is Dead (28 Nov. 1976)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Crime
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Clara Rhodes finds her daughter, movie star Roberta Rhodes, dead in her bedroom, apparently of an overdose. Quincy remains unconvinced. Then Paul Reardon, a journalist, tells Quincy he can ... See full summary »


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Title: A Star Is Dead (28 Nov 1976)

A Star Is Dead (28 Nov 1976) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Lynette Mettey ...
Garry Walberg ...
John S. Ragin ...
Joseph Roman ...
Paul Reardon
Roberta Rhodes
Mrs. Clara Rhodes
Phillip R. Allen ...
Floyd Baker
Kario Salem ...
Freddie Voss
Frank Marth ...
Roy Keefer
Congressman Charles Sinclair
Peter Palmer ...
Lance Tucker


Clara Rhodes finds her daughter, movie star Roberta Rhodes, dead in her bedroom, apparently of an overdose. Quincy remains unconvinced. Then Paul Reardon, a journalist, tells Quincy he can prove Congressman Charles Sinclair was with Roberta the night she died. Sinclair is an old friend of Quincy's, so Quincy must face the unpleasant possibility that his old friend may be linked to a murder. Quincy must sort through a maze of lies and half-truths to discover what really happened. Written by CommanderBalok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Mystery | Crime




Release Date:

28 November 1976 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The establishing shot before the coroner's inquest begins shows a building with the emblem "United States Court House." As the statements read by Dr. Astin immediately establish, however, the coroner's inquest is a proceeding under the jurisdiction of the City of Los Angeles, which would never be held in a federal building. See more »


References A Star Is Born (1937) See more »

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User Reviews

The cut down 45 minutes version.

Quincy M.E.: A Star is Dead starts late one night as LA coroner Quincy (Jack Klugman) is rudely interrupted on his boat by his lab assistant Sam (Robert Ito) who says that famous Hollywwod actress Roberta Rhodes (Donna Mills) has been found dead at her home, the county want their best man on the case so Quincy gets the job. At first sight Roberta's death looks like a suicide, a simple case of barbiturate overdose but there are a few unanswered questions. The next morning & Roberta's mother (June Lockhart) accuses congressman Charles Sinclair (Robert Foxworth) of her daughter's murder, Quincy knows Sinclair personally & happens to be a close friend & is convinced he is innocent. However Lt. Monahan (Garry Walberg) files charges of murder & it's up to Quincy to discover the truth & clear a friends name...

Episode 3 from season 1 this Quincy story was directed by Noel Black & is another top episode from a top series. At this point I should say I will be basing my comments on the edited 45 minute version rather than the full feature length version which ran 75 minutes & is the one found on the DVD set currently available, I assume the shorter version was made to bring it into line with the more standard Quincy episodes when it got it's own series proper. Anyway, this is a good solid Quincy mystery which is different from the average murder mystery as this time Quincy is fighting to prove a death isn't murder for a change, he doesn't get to use his medical knowledge that much in this episode & comes across more like a lawyer as he fights his case in court. I'm not sure what was cut out of this shorter version but some scenes definitely look choppy & the story moves along at a somewhat erratic pace, I mean you can't really cut 30 minutes of material out of a film & expect it to have no impact. This is a good episode mainly because of the story because there's a lack of humour in this one & feels a bit routine in other areas like if your going to edit a tape recording why leave the original where it can be so easily found? I still liked it though.

Like any TV show from the late 70's this looks somewhat dated but it's not too bad considering. It's reasonably well made but there does seem to be a lot of dubbing going on in this one which means the soundtrack is quite jarring at times. The acting is alright although Klugman steals every scene he's in. the final impassioned speech at the end is pure gold & I reckon he could make Mother Teresa feel guilty if he wanted!

A Star is Dead is a good solid mystery for Quincy to solve & is a good episode, I think the shorter edit probably suffers from the huge cuts more than some of the other edited 90 minute episodes but it seems it's only the annoying TV channel over here in the UK which plays them.

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