Columbo (1971–2003)
22 user 6 critic

Lovely But Lethal 

The formula for a miracle wrinkle cream leads the founder of a cosmetics company to murder and Columbo is on this case.


Jeannot Szwarc


Jackson Gillis (teleplay by), Myrna Bercovici (story by) | 2 more credits »

On Disc

at Amazon




Episode complete credited cast:
Peter Falk ... Columbo
Vera Miles ... Viveca Scott
Martin Sheen ... Karl Lessing
Sian Barbara Allen ... Shirley Blaine
Vincent Price ... David Lang
Gino Conforti ... Ferdy
Colby Chester ... Jerry
Fred Draper ... Murcheson
Bruce Kirby ... Lab Attendant Doug
John Finnegan ... Sergeant
Richard Stahl Richard Stahl ... Burton (as Dick Stahl)
Marc Hannibal Marc Hannibal ... Fingerprint Man
David Toma David Toma ... Policeman
Layne Mathess Layne Mathess ... Fashion Moderator (as Layne Matthess)


Viveca Scott runs Beauty Mark, the cosmetics company whose products are in every woman's home. With sales dropping, she's counting on the miraculous new beauty cream created by her chief chemist to boost sales and overtake her rival, David Lang, but the chemist's assistant steals the formula. Scott attempts to negotiate with him but, in a rage, knocks him over the head with a heavy microscope, killing him. Her rival's secretary finds out and attempts to blackmail her, but the cosmetics queen's worst news is that the rumpled, redoubtable Lt. Columbo is on the case. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

23 September 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Adorable mais dangereuse See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Early on there are excerpts from a vintage Universal musical. Actually, these selections have been taken from When Willie Comes Marching Home (1950), in which Vera Miles made her first movie appearance. See more »


Near the end Columbo tells Viveca Scott she's under arrest but does not read her her rights, making anything of her confession inadmissible in court. See more »


Viveca Scott: You slimy little snake!
Karl Lessing: Oh, no, Vivi, I'm your hairy little teddy bear. Remember me?
See more »


The Girl from Ipamnema
("Garota de Ipanema") (uncredited)
Music by Antonio Carlos Jobim (1962)
Portugese lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes
English lyrics by Norman Gimbel
Toned down instrumental version played at fashion show
See more »

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User Reviews

a great Columbo
25 November 2017 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Peter Falk is "Columbo" in this episode "Lovely but Lethal," which stars Vera Miles, Vincent Price, Martin Sheen, and Sian Barbara Allen.

Vivika Scott (Miles) runs Beauty Mark, a once highly successful but now failing cosmetics company. She has her hopes pinned on a miracle cream that makes wrinkles disappear, but the formula disappears when her chief chemist (Sheen) steals it and wants to sell it to her competitor (Price).

Vivika attempts to seduce her chemist, thinking that's what he wants, but it turns out he's just after revenge. In a rage, she kills him by banging him over the head with a microscope. Price's secretary (Allen) attempts to blackmail Vivika, but that's the least of her worries - Columbo is investigating.

Entertaining episode with wonderful performances, with a good scene at a fat farm Vivika runs while Columbo follows her around talking to her. We could have used more of Price and a little more script development, but this episode is still good.

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