Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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Unauthorized Obituary 

A murdered writer leaves a devoted sister, a grieving husband, and a tangle of secrets for Jessica to sort.


Walter Grauman


Peter S. Fischer (created by), Richard Levinson (created by) | 2 more credits »

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Episode cast overview:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Barbara Bain ... Ellen Lombard
Sam Behrens ... Steve Lockner
Bradford Dillman ... Arthur Brent
Cathy Podewell ... Beth Dawson
David Spielberg ... Lt. Henry Girard
Andrea Thompson ... Kristy Parrish
Jessica Walter ... Jane Dawson
Andrew Johnson ... Ahmed Shankar (as Andrew Brye)
Edward Penn Edward Penn ... Mr. Stearns
Edward Bell Edward Bell ... Barry McAdams
Ron Recasner Ron Recasner ... Roger
Robert Frank Telfer ... Griswald (as Frank Telfer)
Mark C. Phelan Mark C. Phelan ... Policeman (as Mark Phelan)


Shortly after reputed scandal 'biographer' Jane Dawson announces the release of her book on Jessica's friend, movie actress Ellen Lombard, her husband, Arthur Brent, is seen running out of her house, where they her electrocuted in the bath. Jessica believes he found her already dead and tries to prove his innocence by piecing together the book research, family history and forensics. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

29 September 1991 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Literary murder
21 October 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Have always been quite fond of 'Murder She Wrote'. It is a fun and relaxing watch that makes you think as you try to unwind in the evening. If one wants more complex, twisty mysteries with lots of tension and suspense 'Murder She Wrote' may not be for you, but if you want something light-hearted and entertaining but still provide good mysteries 'Murder She Wrote' fits the bill just fine.

Season 8, generally one of the better and more consistent 'Murder She Wrote' seasons, started off strongly and the high standard continues with "Unauthorised Obituary". It is a fun ride and wildly entertaining, if not quite one of the season's or show's very best (though it is in the better half of the season). The thing that came off least is the ending, still a good one and neatly tied up but a little too easy to predict. Not one of the season's most surprising endings, which is somewhat disappointing considering that the season's first episode "Bite the Big Apple's" ending was one of the latter seasons' most shocking.

Angela Lansbury is terrific as always, and the supporting cast are wholly convincing in being perfect and suitably suspicious suspects. Bradford Dillman is reliably strong but the episode belongs to a truly fabulous Jessica Walter, of all the guest stars who appeared more than once Walter has to be one of the best and most consistently good.

"Unauthorised Obituary" may not end on a surprising note, but it is very lively and intriguing throughout and has enough to keep one guessing. That there are plenty of suspects with actual believable reasons to commit murder helps hugely.

Production values are slick and stylish as ever. The music has energy and has presence but also not making the mistake of over-scoring, while it is hard to forget or resist the theme tune. The writing is thoughtful, cosy and light-hearted while taking itself seriously as well.

Overall, great fun. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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