Friday, July 5, 2019

THE JANET LEIGH BLOGATHON: Columbo, Forgotten Lady (1975)


Michaela of Love Letters to Old Hollywood is hosting a blogathon tribute to lovely Janet Leigh. Click HERE to enjoy the contributions.


Forgotten Lady guest-starring Janet Leigh was the opening episode of the 5th season of Columbo airing on September 14, 1975. The episode was written by William Driskill and directed by Harvey Hart. Janet Leigh, movie star also had a healthy number of TV movies and episodic television guest spots beginning in the 1960s.


The role of Grace Wheeler in Forgotten Lady seems tailor-made for the versatile film actress who excelled at drama, comedy, adventure, and musicals. The woman who wrote There Really Was a Hollywood exuded the charm and talent of a star, and a star is what she plays here. Although in the case of Grace Wheeler, her stardom ended some 20 years previous when her onscreen partner Ned Diamond played by John Payne was in an alcohol-fueled car accident. Grace learned that she was only wanted as part of a team. Remaining friends, but going separate ways, Ned opened a dance studio and worked as a choreographer. Grace married an eminent diagnostician, Dr. Henry Willis played by Sam Jaffe.

Janet Leigh, John Payne

The premiere of the musical compilation film Song and Dance, an obvious nod to the success of MGM's That's Entertainment has once again put Wheeler and Diamond in the spotlight. Grace has visions of reviving her career with a Broadway production of the Kurt Weill, Ogden Nash and S.J. Perelman musical One Touch of Venus. The future looks incredibly bright with Grace once again a star, and her Ned directing a hit. All she needs is the backing and she expects to get it from her retired husband. However, Henry is unwilling, for many reasons, to support such an endeavour. After all, hadn't they been planning a trip around the world? Grace is driven to the extreme act of murder to reclaim her place as a star.

Sam Jaffe

Grace drugs her husband so he will not be aware that she has taken his pistol out of the car where it is kept, locked his bedroom door from the inside, placed medical records that indicate he was ill on the bed, placed his hand on the trigger and fired. Believing she has left no doubt as to Henry's suicide, she leaves the room via a balcony and a tree to complete her alibi.

Grace is known to spend many nights enjoying her own films in a projection room. The butler Raymond played by Maurice Evans can attest to Madam's whereabouts, as can his wife Alma played by Linda Scott. Dr. Willis' suicide is a true tragedy.

Clips from the Universal-International musical from 1953, Walking My Baby Back Home starring Janet Leigh and Donald O'Connor are interpolated perfectly into this episode which shows us that Grace Wheeler, indeed was every inch the cinema star.

Maurice Evans, Peter Falk

Lt. Columbo is called in on the case and immediately little facts start bothering him. Why would a man contemplating suicide take a sleeping pill? Why would a despondent man be reading a humourous novel? How did the gun get from the garage into the house? Henry had retired at 8 o'clock to enjoy dinner and his book. Why were there no marks of the outside on the soles of his slippers? So many questions. The byplay between the butler Raymond and Columbo is fascinating fun, but the Lt. has yet to meet the Forgotten Lady.

Janet Leigh

Returning to the mansion on the next day, Columbo is shocked and rather excited to see Ned Diamond in the flesh. John Payne as Ned puts up with the fawning fan and admonishes the police officer to be kind to Mrs. Willis, who is a dear friend of his. Columbo is then further flummoxed to see that Mrs. Willis is none other than Grace Wheeler. Grace Wheeler who is keeping busy in the face of tragedy by rehearsing her new show. Grace Wheeler treats Columbo and his stories of seeing her movies with his wife, with the graciousness one would hope to find in a star. Grace Wheeler who lapses into memory loss and irritability. Grace Wheeler whom Columbo suspects of murder.

John Payne, Janet Leigh

The episode is filled with movie mentions that will gladden the heart of the classic movie fan (Donald Meek!) and a sweet scene with Janet and John singing and dancing to Speak Low from One Touch of Venus. We are treated to Janet as Grace in rehearsal, showing she could still dance as if she were in Walking My Baby Back Home.

Janet Leigh
Grace is lost in one of her movies.

This episode of Columbo has a most touching ending proving that Grace Wheeler was not a Forgotten Lady, but was beloved by both her husband Henry and the man who wanted to marry her, Ned Diamond. I believe we can safely add Lt. Columbo to that list.












83 comments:

  1. So wait, what was her book about? You mentioned it like it was important.

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    1. It's an autobiography; very entertaining. I liked that she was a movie star, playing a movie star, and told us all about being a movie star.

      Janet also wrote fiction. Talented woman.

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    2. From the looks of this banner, she knew some kung fu too!

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  2. Wonderful post. I love Leigh in this one. When i first saw it, I only knew her from Psycho. I had no idea she'd been in musicals or that the clips were from her old movies. Maurice Evans I recognized from Bewitched. And of course, I had no idea who Sam Jaffe was. Seeing the episode the 2nd time was more enjoyable since I knew the back-history of the actors.

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    1. I have experienced that "now I know" feeling quite often. I loved the references to the character actors we old movie weirdos admire so much. Janet Leigh was really versatile and the more I see of her films, the more I appreciate it.

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  3. FORGOTTEN LADY is one of my favorite COLUMBO episodes. Janet was great as Grace. I really liked JOHN PAYNE in it too. (Janet looked beautiful and radiant in the last scene.) P.S. I think this was the only time Janet worked with John. She got to work with JOHN PAYNE and JOHN WAYNE!

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  4. Excellent article Paddy! This sounds like a great episode. I have to admit I have only seen one Columbo Episode (the one with Roddy McDowall) but I have a friend who loves that tv show so I'll have to ask her if she saw this episode!

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    1. I love Columbo. It is one of those shows where I have too many favourites. I'm sure your friend will have praise for Forgotten Lady.

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  5. Ive seen Janet in TWO TICKETS TO BROADWAY, THE NAKED SPUR, LITTLE WOMEN(1949),& THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE. Ive also seen HOLIDAY AFFAIR with BOB MITCHUM. Ive mentioned it before. I saw WIVES AND LOVERS. It was different. I do like the movie but I like the performances in it better than the story. Janet was paired up with VAN JOHNSON in that movie. It had SHELLEY WINTERS in a funny role. RAY WALSTON-I remember you said you liked MY FAVORITE MARTIAN. It had two other people-I like both of them. MARTHA HYER and JEREMY SLATE. Jeremy guest-starred on PERRY MASON, GUNSMOKE, BEWITCHED and BONANZA. I really like the Bonanza one where he played the son of DENVER PYLE. Jeremy played a character named.....Jeremy. He was in G.I. BLUES and GIRLS!GIRLS!GIRLS! both with ELVIS. By the way, Janet Leigh is another one who guest-starred on MURDER, SHE WROTE. Her character was married to a younger man played by JOHN CALLAHAN who had been on FALCON CREST as ERIC STAVROS, the son of PETER STAVROS(CESAR ROMERO). Peter was Angelas 3rd husband(out of 4). Eric was married to VICKI GIOBERTI(DANA SPARKS). I really liked the MSW ep that Dana did-the one with DINAH SHORE at Jessicas college. Remember-it goes back to MSW a lot!

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    1. I love the 1960s vibe, and the performers, in Wives and Lovers.

      I shall have to reacquaint myself with Dina on Murder, She Wrote. She is one of my favourite singers.

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  6. Thanks for the reminder about this great episode. Great to see Janet and John. I was lucky enough to meet Janet when she came to the Edinburgh Festival - and I got to ask her a question, - about working with Greer Garson on That Forsyte Woman. Janet was very gracious and said Greer had been kind to her.

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    1. It sounds like meeting Janet Leigh was a lovely moment. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. Great review, there's so many great stars in Columbo! Really looking forward to reading more on her film career, seems there's much more to this actress than I know already.

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    1. Janet was indeed a multi-talented lady who gave us much to enjoy.

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  8. Today WILLIAM SCHALLERT would have been 97. His passing was 3 years ago. He was born in 1922-the same year as BETTY WHITE and DORIS DAY. In fact he had a part in PILLOW TALK-as a desk clerk. He also had a small part in WRITTEN ON THE WIND as a reporter. Both movies starred ROCK HUDSON. WILLIAM never did an ep of MSW but he guest-starred on PERRY MASON, IRONSIDE and MATLOCK. He played the ideal dad-to PATTY DUKE(PATTY LANE), PAMELA SUE MARTIN(NANCY DREW) and CARYN RICHMAN(in the TV-Movie GIDGETS SUMMER REUNION and the series THE NEW GIDGET). He played a teacher on DOBIE GILLIS. He also guest-starred on LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE and THE WALTONS. He was a very talented-and busy-man!

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  9. P.S. WILLIAM SCHALLERT was married to LEAH WAGGNER from 1949 until her passing in 2015. 66 years!

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    1. William Schallert is one of my favourite actors. He could do it all. Of course, I am most familiar with his television work, but he had some interesting movie roles as in Man on Fire with Bing Crosby.

      Bill Schallert sang on stage (Gershwin, etc), however the only time I recall hearing him sing on TV was when he guest starred on The Partridge Family.

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  10. Not very long after I read your response about WILLIAM SCHALLERT I saw that SID RAMIN died. I didn't recognize the name and when I read the article it said he was a composer and one of the things he did was the theme song of THE PATTY DUKE SHOW-which of course had WILLIAM as Pattys dad! It also said he did the score of WEST SIDE STORY. Mr. Ramin died July 1, 2019 at the age of 100!

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    1. I hope he had a happy life. Anyone who gave us music and fun deserves one.

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  11. Columbo is a show that I know I need to watch, but I keep getting sidetracked by other classic shows (I'm currently binge-watching The Avengers and The Doris Day Show). So many cool shows, so little time! This episode in particular sounds amazing. Janet looks gorgeous, and the idea of her singing and dancing with John Payne makes me smile.

    Thanks so much for contributing this lovely post to my blogathon!

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    1. My pleasure.

      Columbo is indeed a must-see program. And one of these years it will be there waiting for you and the time you spend together will be grand.

      I've been thinking about The Avengers a lot lately, but I have to finish Honey West first!

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  12. Speaking of DORIS DAY I think she and JOHN PAYNE would have been good in a movie together. Also I think it would have been cool to see her and DEAN MARTIN as a movie couple. Doris was in MOVE OVER,DARLING and Dean was to be in SOMETHINGS GOT TO GIVE with MARILYN MONROE then it was done as Move Over, Darling. Also on THE DORIS DAY SHOW her name is DORIS MARTIN. HA HA!

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    1. Doris did some lovely duets with Buddy Clark, and I think she and Dean would have blended well. It is a shame it didn't happen.

      Our leading lady, Janet Leigh starred in what I think is a clever and cute comedy with Dean Martin and then hubby Tony Curtis. Who Was That Lady? from 1960 is a spy spoof with lots of familiar faces.

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  13. JANET LEIGH and VERA MILES were both in PSYCHO(as sisters). Also they both got to play a killer on COLUMBO! Vera played a cosmetics mogul who killed the character played by a young MARTIN SHEEN. It also had VINCENT PRICE. Vera did an uncredited role as a showgirl in TWO TICKETS TO BROADWAY which starred Janet. P.S. ALFRED HITCHCOCK wanted Vera to be the lead in VERTIGO(I think that was the movie) but she was expecting a baby. Hitchcock got mad-at her husband(he had played TARZAN, I think his name is GORDON SCOTT). Hitchcock told somebody she should have taken jungle pills! Did you see TWO TICKETS TO BROADWAY?

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    1. Two Tickets to Broadway is nice, light entertainment that certainly highlights Janet Leigh's musical talent alongside Gloria De Haven and Ann Miller. Nice rainy afternoon fun.

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  14. Besides WHO WAS THAT LADY? did you watch any of the other movies Janet did with TONY CURTIS? Have you seen Tony in very many movies? Regarding his TV-Movies he did at least two mysteries. An AGATHA CHRISTIE movie-I don't remember the name right now but it had EMMA SAMMS who later did a MSW ep SNOW WHITE, BLOOD RED. The other one is A PERRY MASON MYSTERY, THE CASE OF THE GRIMACING GOVERNOR. It had HAL HOLBROOK, KEN KERCHEVAL and JAMES BROLIN. I remember the opening credits had his name as TONY CURTIS IS JOHNNY STEELE.

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    1. I'll admit to having a bit of a crush on Tony Curtis when I was a teenager and I have seen every one of the movies he and Janet made together. The Vikings was a particular favourite, along with Houdini.

      I remember Emma Samms going back to her time on General Hospital. Tony Curtis was in The Mirror Crack'd with Angela Lansbury as Miss Marple, and a Poirot with Emma, but I don't recall the title. I recall that Perry Mason movie. I think the series did as good a job as possible in carrying on after Raymond Burr's passing.

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  15. I looked up the name of the title. It was MURDER IN THREE ACTS. It aired in 1986. I remember in the movie that Emmas character has the nickname EGG. Speaking of GH GENIE FRANCIS (LAURA) was in the last PERRY MASON movie with RAYMOND BURR. She played the defendant in THE CASE OF THE KILLER KISS which had soap stars playing soap stars. It had KRISTA TESREAU that I knew from GUIDING LIGHT as MINDY whose full name was MELINDA SUE LEWIS. I like GENIE on her 3 MSW eps as VICTORIA, the niece of JESSICA. GENIE is married to JONATHAN FRAKES. Im sure you know the work of her late father IVOR FRANCIS.

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    1. I was able to point Ivor Francis out to my daughter when I showed her Room 222 a couple of years ago, and a couple of weeks back when TCM opened the Disney Vault for The North Avenue Irregulars.

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  16. Wait a second...sweet Janet Leigh playing a murderer? Say it ain't so! So glad you reviewed this COLUMBO episode because it truly has a great guest cast in Ms. Leigh, Sam Jaffe, Maurice Evans, and John Payne.

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    1. Every one is perfect in their roles. Such a treat to watch.

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  17. Janet got to work with JOHN PAYNE on this COLUMBO ep and earlier we mentioned Janet in TWO TICKETS TO BROADWAY with GLORIA DEHAVEN. John and Gloria were married for six years(1945-51).

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  18. John Payne retired after this Columbo ep. He sure left on a high note! I remember you stated that you saw John in a play with ALICE FAYE. He got to do movies with ALICE FAYE, BETTY GRABLE & CLAUDETTE COLBERT. His most famous movie is probably MIRACLE ON 34th STREET with MAUREEN OHARA & NATALIE WOOD. I really liked him with BETTY. I also liked the movie WEEKEND IN HAVANA with ALICE FAYE. I remember Alice singing TROPICAL MAGIC. She had a orange scarf on her head. It was a good light-hearted movie.

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    1. 1. I remember a cute story shared by Gloria DeHaven on The Merv Griffin Show. Merv had a date with Gloria, but only one. He was too intimated by the babysitter. John Payne.

      2. I like all of John Payne's work from musicals to film-noir, but one of my all-time favourites is Remember the Day with Claudette Colbert.

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  19. Today SUE LYON is 73. She is best known for the title role in LOLITA with SHELLEY WINTERS and JAMES MASON. Sue won the GOLDEN GLOBE for MOST PROMISING NEWCOMER for that movie. (Like I stated earlier Shelley worked with JANET LEIGH in WIVES AND LOVERS.) Sue also was in THE FLIM-FLAM MAN and she was in TONY ROME with FRANK SINATRA and GENA ROWLANDS. Sue Lyon is like TUESDAY WELD in that they, at least partly, supported their families and played sexy roles at a young age. I believe they were both child models-imdb says Sue was for JC PENNEY catalogs.(SANDRA DEE also supported her mother and started out as a child model.)

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    1. During the studio era perhaps someone with Sue Lyon's looks and talents could have had a career similar to Janet Leigh's. I know Sue best from the 7 Women where she was part of a fine ensemble for John Ford.

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  20. As you mentioned one time THOMAS MITCHELL played COLUMBO on stage-before it was on TV with PETER FALK. Thomas was born JULY 11, 1892. His passing was in 1962 at the age of 70. Did you see him in THE SULLIVANS and THE OUTLAW? Interestingly, in THE ROMANCE OF ROSY RIDGE(I didn't see this movie) he played the dad to our leading lady on this page JANET LEIGH. It was her first movie. So he and Janet, former co-stars, have a COLUMBO connection!

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  21. Sadly DENISE NICKERSON died JULY 10, 2019. She is best known for WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY(that I remember you and your son are fans of). I didn't watch the show but she was on DARK SHADOWS from 1968 to 1970. She was on SEARCH FOR TOMORROW as LIZA WALTON, the daughter of JANET.(I think I only saw SHERRY MATHIS in the role.) I know you didn't watch THE BRADY BUNCH but she was in an episode the final season TWO PETES IN A POD where Peter(CHRISTOPHER KNIGHT) played a dual role. He also played a new student ARTHUR. The only difference is Arthur wore glasses. DENISE played a girl Peter is to go on a date with. Her name is PAMELA PHILLIPS, the niece of MIKES boss MR. PHILLIPS. It is a funny ep and CHRIS KNIGHT does a good job in his dual roles. Im sure Denise brought millions of people happiness through her work in WILLY WONKA and also her BRADY BUNCH ep. She was only 62 at the time of her passing.

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  22. P.S. I also wanted to say that DENISE NICKERSON played the daughter to LEE GRANT in the TV-Movie THE NEON CEILING. It aired in 1971 the same year Lee did a COLUMBO, RANSOM FOR A DEAD MAN where Lee is a lawyer that kills her husband. It goes back to COLUMBO!

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    1. Fun Columbo tie-in for Thomas Mitchell and Janet Leigh. Wish I'd thought of it.

      My sisters and I share a fondness for Dark Shadows and are sad today hearing of the Denise Nickerson's passing. She had a musical group as well and you can find a clip on YouTube of that talent.

      I missed (or don't remember) The Neon Ceiling. I shouldn't be surprised if I could find it online somewhere.

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  23. I didn't see THE NEON CEILING either(or don't remember it.) Interestingly, Lee Grant was nominated for COLUMBO and THE NEON CEILING in the same EMMY CATEGORY the same year. Her only competition was COLLEEN DEWHURST for THE PRICE which was a HALLMARK HALL OF FAME production. Lee won for The Neon Ceiling which also had GIG YOUNG who was also nominated but lost out to GEORGE C . SCOTT who was in The Price with Colleen Dewhurst. George C. was married to Colleen and then to TRISH VAN DEVERE who played the killer on COLUMBO with LAURENCE LUCKINBILL as the victim. Trish was good in that role and looked stunning. This was before Laurence married LUCIE ARNAZ. Did you know PETER FALK was a neighbor of LUCILLE BALL? It goes around!

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    1. It is indeed a small world, show business even smaller. I recall The Price. It was a most impressive production.

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  24. Did you see THOMAS MITCHELL in very many movies? I think you mentioned you saw STAGECOACH which starred JOHN WAYNE. Did you see THE SULLIVANS and THE OUTLAW? Also could you fresh my memory of GWTW? I cant recall if his character met RHETT BUTLER or if GERALD OHARA was already deceased.

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    1. You question made me curious so I checked the IMDb listing to find that I have seen Thomas Mitchell in 32 movies, but only one of his television appearances, an episode of Zane Grey Theatre. I have some catching up to do.

      I have seen The Sullivans, but not The Outlaw. Gerald O'Hara was at the part at Twelve Oaks where Rhett Butler made such a stir by not supporting the war.

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  25. I didn't realize Janet Leigh had written a memoir. I just did an online search and found Kirkus Reviews bemoaned the book saying it was "dull" and that Leigh didn't say anything unkind about anyone, even Tony Curtis. Well, that is my kind of memoir! Thanks for the heads up.

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    1. I believe Ann Miller's memoir received the same kind of knock. I think it is sad that people look for the nasty gossip not taking into account the personality of the writer. It seems Janet and Ann were kind people who looked for the good around them. Enjoy.

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  26. On the COLUMBO episode the name of JANETS character is GRACE. That is a good word to describe Janet. I was thinking that I read that Janet never said anything bad about anyone. She was a beautiful LADY. P.S. I wonder if she stayed friends with the LITTLE WOMEN actresses. Also DICK VAN DYKE. She and Dick did a movie together-one of your favorites(BYE BYE BIRDIE) and Dick is another co-star of hers that did Columbo. Of the Columbo eps Ive seen I felt sorry for two of the killers-the one played by Janet and the one played by RUTH GORDON.

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    1. The concept of Columbo gives the writers the opportunity to explore many sides of their villain. Some we come to understand and like, others - not so much.

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  27. JAMIE LEE CURTIS, the daughter of JANET LEIGH and TONY CURTIS, was also on a COLUMBO ep. It was the I.Q. one with THEODORE BIKEL(who was in at least one MSW ep titled INDIAN GIVER. Jamie Lee played a waitress. Columbo was sitting at a table talking to someone and she wouldn't let him keep the doughnut that he had brought in.

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  28. I knew JAMIE LEE CURTIS wrote books for children. According to Wiki she wrote 13 books including one last year. Again according to Wiki Janet wrote 4 books.

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    1. I haven't seen that episode of Columbo in many years. It will be fun to do so. Theodore Bikel is i one of my favourite movies, The Kidnappers, which I re-watched last week.

      Talent certainly runs in the Leigh/Curtis family. It must have been lovely for mother and daughter to share the bond of acting and writing.

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  29. According to imdb Mr. Bikel played a sheriff in THE DEFIANT ONES with TONY CURTIS and SIDNEY POITIER. He also was in THE AFRICAN QUEEN with BOGART & HEPBURN. I mostly remember Bikel from his two episodes of ALL IN THE FAMILY as a butcher who is sweet on EDITH. On his second ep JEAN STAPLETON plays a dual role-she also plays a German woman that the butcher is engaged to.

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    1. Theodore Bikel appeared in several Broadway shows. Dramas such as The Lark and musicals like The Sound of Music where he was the original Captain Von Trapp. Jean Stapleton, as well was a Broadway veteran in musicals and comedies.

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  30. Today BOB CRANE, best known as the star of HOGANS HEROES, would have been 91. He did an ep of ELLERY QUEEN, which I believe is one of your faves. It was created by LINK & LEVINSON who also created COLUMBO and MURDER, SHE WROTE. Bob did an ep of POLICE WOMAN with ANGIE DICKINSON. He did two DISNEY movies-SUPERDAD with KATHLEEN CODY and the elegant BARBARA RUSH and also GUS which had GARY GRIMES. BOB had an uncredited role in RETURN TO PEYTON PLACE where he interviews ALLISON(played by CAROL LYNLEY).

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    1. Hogan's Heroes alone is a nice legacy. As I recall, Crane's first big break came on The Donna Reed Show.

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  31. LYNN LORING is 75 today. She played Patty(the daughter of Jo) on SEARCH FOR TOMORROW for the first 10 years(1951-61). She was born in 1944 so she got to grow up on that soap. This was before my time. Other actresses played the part later but by the time I started watching the show Patty wasn't on the show anymore. Lynn was married to ROY THINNES from 1967 to 1984-for 17 years. According to imdb she was a guest-star on his show THE INVADERS which was a QUINN MARTIN production, I believe.

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    1. Interestingly enough, I have started watching The Invaders on YouTube and will look forward to Lynn Loring's guest spot. I don't remember her on Search for Tomorrow (age and timing being what they are), but that was one of my favourite shows.

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  32. LYNN LORING was a guest star on POLICE WOMAN, PERRY MASON and MY THREE SONS. She also did two eps of THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK HOUR including one as a newlywed whose husband is played by JAMES MACARTHUR and her mother by the legendary GLORIA SWANSON. Lynn did an ep of THE BIG VALLEY as a young woman named MAYBELLE WILLIAMS with an outlaw boyfriend. It is from the first season and is the only one set at CHRISTMAS.

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  33. Speaking of Gloria Swanson(SUNSET BLVD.) today is also the birthday of NANCY OLSON who is 91! She is an OSCAR nominee for that movie that starred WILLIAM HOLDEN and MISS SWANSON. Ten years later she was in the DISNEY movie POLLYANNA with HAYLEY MILLS. It aired in 1960. JAMES DRURY played the boyfriend of Nancy two years before his show THE VIRGINIAN. (In POLLYANNA Nancy played a housekeeper also named Nancy.) Nancy also did an ep of THE BIG VALLEY(like Lynn Loring did). She was in a story with Nick(PETER BRECK). She played an unwed mother whose son is played by RONNY HOWARD(who was already playing OPIE TAYLOR on THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW).

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    1. I remember well those guest spots of Lynn's, and Nancy's movies. I count them as favourite memories. Thanks for bringing them back.

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  34. Today WILLIE AAMES turns 59. He is best known for two TV series-EIGHT IS ENOUGH as the middle son to DICK VAN PATTEN(who was a mentor to Willie) and CHARLES IN CHARGE(with SCOTT BAIO). I remember him from a short-lived comedy WELL GET BY where his parents were played by PAUL SORVINO and MITZI HOAG. The show ran for 13 eps and aired in 1975. Willie was on two eps of GUNSMOKE including P.S. MURRY CHRISTMAS with JEANETTE NOLAN and JACK ELAM. I remember its a favorite of yours. Willie was nominated for a YOUNG ARTIST AWARD for EIGHT IS ENOUGH.

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    1. I didn't watch Eight is Enough or Charles in Charge. Nonetheless, A Quiet Day in Dodge, the other Gunsmoke episode featuring Aames is a fave. When my daughter was young she asked "Is this the episode where Matt kills Festus?" That still makes me laugh.

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  35. KIM ALEXIS also turns 59 today. Shes a blonde known for her days as a model. She played one of the ex-wives of DAVID MORRISON(ERIC BRAEDEN from THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) in A PERRY MASON MYSTERY, THE CASE OF THE WICKED WIVES. It was the first one without RAYMOND BURR and starred PAUL SORVINO. KATHY IRELAND played DEE, the wife of David. The other ex-wives were played by SHELLEY HACK, BEVERLY JOHNSON and MAUD ADAMS. Kim was on the cover of TV GUIDE twice, both times in the 80s. P.S. Paul Sorvino turned up on this post and also the one about WILLIE AAMES!

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    1. Nice to read about Paul Sorvino today. He was my favourite early Law and Order cop, and I love that he is a singer as well.

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  36. PAUL SORVINO did an ep of MURDER, SHE WROTE which also guest-starred VINCE EDWARDS who is best known for playing BEN CASEY on that medical show. DR. ZORBA was played by.....SAM JAFFE who is on this page as DR. HENRY WILLIS married to GRACE(JANET LEIGH). Sam was married to BETTYE ACKERMAN who was also on BEN CASEY. According to imdb she did a few eps of MEDICAL CENTER as a nurse. Medical Center is the doctor show I knew growing up.

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    1. Sam Jaffe was a most interesting actor. I recall seeing Bettye Ackerman on a talk show (perhaps Dinah Shore) and she told a story of seeing Gunga Din in her youth and somehow knowing she was going to marry the actor playing Din, not Cary Grant or Doug Fairbanks, but the skinny little fellow!

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  37. Speaking of SCOTT BAIO he was one of the top teen idols of his day. He is probably best known as CHACHI, the cousin of FONZIE and the boyfriend of JOANIE on HAPPY DAYS and the short-lived spin-off JOANIE LOVES CHACHI. I like Chachi but I also like Scott on DIAGNOSIS MURDER as DR. JACK STEWART. He was on the show for the first two seasons and according to imdb he did 41 eps. Scott also got to play an assistant D.A. on PERRY MASON, THE CASE OF THE FATAL FASHION. So he got to work with DICK VAN DYKE and earlier RAYMOND BURR. His cousin is JIMMY BAIO who did an ep of MATLOCK with GREG EVIGAN, TIMOTHY BUSFIELD and DESI ARNAZ, JR.

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    1. Perhaps it was my age, but I found Scott Baio rather annoying. I think Charlie Schlatter was the best thing to happen to Diagnosis Murder. I became a great fan once he came on board.

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  38. I really like Charlie as DR. JESSE TRAVIS. I remember in one episode Jesse was touching an item of Marks and he told Jesse to put it down. Mark had his back to Jesse. Jesse said how did you know? Mark said he saw the reflection in the toaster and then that helped Mark with his investigation. I liked all the relationships/friendships on the show. Regarding Jesse I especially liked Jesse and Mark being friends and also Jesse and Steve. ROBERT CULP played Jesses dad once, Jesse didn't know his dad was a spy. Also KATHLEEN NOONE played Jesses mom who was a doctor. Kathleen played Claudia, the sister of Greg(WILLIAM DEVANE) on KNOTS LANDING and before that she was on ALL MY CHILDREN for around 10 years. DIAGNOSIS MURDER was a great show!

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    1. When Lee Goldberg came on as producer of Diagnosis Murder he injected some grand humour which makes the show so watchable for me. He also wrote a series of Diagnosis Murder books after the show was canceled.

      Kathleen Noone is a lovely actress.

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  39. BARBARA STANWYCK was born on this date in 1907. She would have been good as a killer on COLUMBO. She had played bad people earlier in her career. Of course if she had been on Columbo some people wouldn't have wanted her to be the bad one because by then they would know her as VICTORIA BARKLEY from THE BIG VALLEY. She did 4 eps of WAGON TRAIN. I only know the color one where she becomes engaged to CHRIS HALE(JOHN MCINTIRE). By the way, JEANETTE NOLAN(MRS. MCINTIRE) did two eps of Columbo. I really like her in the one with MARTIN LANDAU where he plays identical twins. She plays their uncles housekeeper and she gets mad at Columbo two times.

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    1. Barbara Stanwyck and Jeanette Nolan are two of my favourite actresses. Thanks for reminding me of that Columbo episode. I think I might arrange a pizza night with my daughter and show it to her.

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  40. P.S. What are your favorite movies of Barbara Stanwyck? Have you seen MY REPUTATION and ROUSTABOUT(that one had ELVIS PRESLEY)? I remember you stating that you like movies that had working women and that isn't anything new to movies. I agree and that was true with TV too. VICTORIA BARKLEY was a strong woman and helped people. Also on GUNSMOKE there was MISS KITTY RUSSELL(AMANDA BLAKE) who was certainly no pushover. Also a lot of men in town would probably have wanted to be her fella but they knew she was true to MATT DILLON(JAMES ARNESS).

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    1. A while back I made lists of "ten favourite performances", and these were my favourites of Miss Barbara Stanwyck: Remember the Night, Double Indemnity, My Reputation, Ball of Fire, Meet John Doe, The Lady Eve, Sorry, Wrong Number, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, Clash by Night, and Baby Face.

      I have seen Roustabout. It's not great, but it's not terrible. Just okay.

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  41. This sounds like a very interesting episode - imagine, committing murder to become once again a star!
    I have to thank you for introducing me to the film I wrote about for the blogathon, Pete Kelly'1s Blues. It's so different from everything else, and at the same time so enjoyable. Jack Webb and Janet Leigh are amazing in it.
    Kisses!
    Le

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    1. Thanks for visiting.

      Pete Kelly's Blues is unique in its look and its sound. You are so right. There is nothing else like it. I'm so pleased that you are a fan.

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  42. Like you said JANET LEIGH was good at comedy and drama. I didn't see all of it but a year or two ago TCM showed THREE ON A COUCH with JANET and also JERRY LEWIS and three women as Janets patients. MARY ANN MOBLEY, LESLIE PARRISH(I believe) and I forget the other one. Also Jerry worked with TONY CURTIS in BOEING BOEING where I was surprised that Jerry was the subdued one in the movie. Jerry wasn't making his usual facial expressions and he was attractive in this movie!

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  43. I didn't see it but Janet did an ep of THE VIRGINIAN the last season but by then the name was THE MEN FROM SHILOH. STEWART GRANGER was on the show but he wasn't in that ep. He and Janet had done a movie together earlier. I really like these characters-THE VIRGINIAN, TRAMPAS and RANDY. Are you familiar with all the ranch owners on the show? Also I did see Janet in THE NAKED SPUR with JIMMY STEWART and ROBERT RYAN. Did you see that one?

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    1. Three on a Couch and Boeing Boeing are very funny movies. At least, that's how I remember them. It's been a long time.

      The Virginian is an old favourite of mine. I wasn't overly fond of the changes that brought about The Men from Shiloh, but I still watched and thought the quality was still outstanding. I think each owner brought something fine to the series. I do wish they had given John Dehner as Morgan Starr more of an opportunity to make his mark. I don't remember "Jenny", but with Janet Leigh, John Ireland and Charles Drake - not to mention James Drury, I'd like to see it today.

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  44. Did you see Janet in THE NAKED SPUR? What are some of your favorite JIMMY STEWART movies? What about ROBERT RYAN? I really like JIMMY(and the entire cast)in SHENENDOAH. ROBERT RYAN was good in TENDER COMRADE with GINGER ROGERS. Ive seen Jimmy in lots of movies but I haven't seen Robert in very many.

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    1. I am a very big western fan and there isn't one of Jimmy's I haven't seen. The Naked Spur is a very tough movie and I find Shenandoah very sad.

      My dad introduced me to Robert Ryan first in Bad Day at Black Rock and he immediately became a favourite actor. The scene where he and Ginger have that marital argument in Tender Comrade is so real, they make me feel like I am intruding.

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  45. I'm going to look for this--my husband's a big fan of Columbo.

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CMBA 2019 FALL BLOGATHON, ANNIVERSARIES: Stray Dog, 1949

The Classic Movie Blog Association ( CMBA ) celebrates its 10th anniversary with the Fall 2019 blogathon, a salute to film anniversaries...