The Rockford Files: Season 1, Episode 14

Aura Lee, Farewell (3 Jan. 1975)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Jim's old friend Sara Butler hires him to find out the real reason her employee Aura Lee Benton died. The police believe it was a drug overdose but Sara is convinced she was murdered.



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Title: Aura Lee, Farewell (03 Jan 1975)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Joseph 'Rocky' Rockford (as Noah Beery) (credit only)
Dirk Schaffer
Sen. Evan Murdock
Kelly Lange ...
Melissa Greene ...
Aura Lee
Henry Slate ...
Tom Scott ...
Motel Clerk
Ellen Murdock
Ed Crick ...


Jim's old friend Sara Butler hires him to find out the real reason her employee Aura Lee Benton died. The police believe it was a drug overdose but Sara is convinced she was murdered.

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Release Date:

3 January 1975 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The message left on Jim's answering machine is: "Mr Rockford, you don't know me. I'd like to hire you. Could you call me at... My name is... Ah, forget it." See more »


Near the end, when Jim and Sara are being pursued by Dirk, the weather changes from shot to shot, alternating between shots of bright sunny weather and shots of dense dark fog. See more »


Trask: [Rockford goes back to the street artist for more information] Been waiting for you, man. Called you over two hours ago. Don't you ever check your service?
Jim Rockford: Oh, now and then.
[Rockford looks at one of the abstract paintings]
Jim Rockford: You need a permit to carry one of these things?
Trask: I told you I paint what I feel.
Jim Rockford: You must not feel well!
Trask: Yeah, well, it's yours for fifty bucks.
Jim Rockford: Why would I want to buy a piece of junk like this?
Trask: Gratitude. See, I got the license number of that dude you're looking for.
Jim Rockford: [...]
See more »

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User Reviews

Aura Lee, Farewell
29 August 2012 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

Aura Lee Benton was an employee at the boutique run by Rockford's friend Sara (Lindsay Wagner). After her mysterious death by heroin overdose Sara hires Rockford (James Garner) to look into it. The cops think it was accidental and so does Rockford until he finds tell-tale signs of malfeasance Sara tells Rockford that she hired Aura Lee in early June of that year (1974). The date becomes significant in the investigation into her death because of what she may have been doing on the 5th and the 6th of that month and whom she happened to be doing it with. She spent those days and nights with state senator Evan Murdoch (Robert Webber) - on one of which she witnessed him accidentally hit a homeless man who later died in hospital.

The Rockford Files was a very nearly Kafkaesque interpretation of a TV detective show. The main character had to lie, cheat and mooch favors just to tread water in his milieu. Even dogs hated Rockford - the poster boy for "Why me?".

Each task became increasingly more daunting as he matched wits with different factions including the government, the cops and the underworld. Rockford was beaten up quite regularly for his trouble. Series star James Garner did commercials for Polaroid in the 1970s. Given how mistreated his character was I have often thought it might have been more appropriate for him to have done ads for Timex.

Lindsay Wagner's appearance as Rockford's former client turned love interest Sara is notable given the fact that this is the 14th episode of season one and she had appeared as the same character in the first episode of season one. Her character would never be seen again and go down in history as one of the many clients who stiffed Rockford instead of as a recurring character along the lines of Gretchen Corbett.

Reprising her role it is thus surprising that Billy Mumy who portrayed her brother in the first episode of season one appears again here in an entirely different role. Robert Webber and countless other guest stars also appeared again in entirely different roles. My one major criticism of the show as its use of guest stars in entirely different roles in later episodes.

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