List of Murder, She Wrote guest stars
Murder, She Wrote is an American television mystery series starring Angela Lansbury as mystery writer and amateur detective Jessica Fletcher.
The series aired for 12 seasons with 264 episodes from 1984–96 on the CBS network. It was followed by four TV films and a short-lived spin-off series was produced in 1987, The Law & Harry McGraw, starring Jerry Orbach and Barbara Babcock, both of whom made numerous appearances (the former as Harry McGraw; the latter in various episodes in different roles). It is one of the most successful and longest-running television shows in history, with close to 23 million viewers in its prime, and was a staple of the CBS Sunday night lineup for a decade. In syndication, the series is still successful throughout the world.
Academy Award winners Martin Balsam, Tony Bill, Ernest Borgnine, George Chakiris, José Ferrer, Kim Hunter, Shirley Jones, Patricia Neal, Mickey Rooney, Claire Trevor, Eli Wallach (Honorary Oscar winner) and Teresa Wright appeared, as did Lisa Blount, George Clooney, James Coburn, Grant Heslov, and Martin Landau who won Oscars after their appearances on the show.
Other notables (many appearing in different episodes as different characters) included Edie Adams, Eddie Albert, Norman Alden, June Allyson, Michael Ansara, Elizabeth Ashley, Carroll Baker, Diane Baker, Joanna Barnes, Patricia Barry, Bonnie Bartlett, Ned Beatty, Brian Bedford, Noah Beery, Jr., Robert Beltran, Marisa Berenson, Polly Bergen, Milton Berle, Richard Beymer, Theodore Bikel, Vivian Blaine, Janet Blair, Ann Blyth, Lloyd Bochner, Eileen Brennan, Georgia Brown, Capucine, Lynn Carlin, Joan Caulfield, Maxwell Caulfield, Chuck Connors, William Conrad, Michael Constantine, Bert Convy, Jackie Cooper, Robert Culp, Laraine Day, Yvonne De Carlo, Peter Donat, Brad Dourif, Nancy Dussault, Herb Edelman, Tom Ewell, Mel Ferrer, Fionnula Flanagan, Steve Forrest, Anne Francis, Betty Garrett, Dody Goodman, Elliott Gould, Robert Goulet, Stewart Granger, Jane Greer and Clu Gulager.
In addition, Buddy Hackett, June Havoc, Tippi Hedren, Florence Henderson, Arthur Hill, Earl Holliman, Ken Howard, Marsha Hunt, Richard Jaeckel, Anne Jeffreys, Richard Johnson, Elaine Joyce, Evelyn Keyes, Sally Kirkland, Dorothy Lamour, Piper Laurie, Carol Lawrence, Steve Lawrence, Michael Learned, Joan Leslie, Audra Lindley, Laurence Luckinbill, Gisele Mackenzie, Janet MacLachlan, Virginia Mayo, Roddy McDowall, John McMartin, Jean Marsh, Anne Meara, Audrey Meadows, Jayne Meadows, Marian Mercer, Dina Merrill, Vera Miles, Martin Milner, Ricardo Montalban, Terry Moore, Pat Morita, Anita Morris, Kate Mulgrew, Edward Mulhare, Rosemary Murphy, Lois Nettleton, Leslie Nielsen, James Noble, Lloyd Nolan, Sheree North, France Nuyen, Dan O'Herlihy, Dick O'Neill, Susan Oliver, Betsy Palmer, Eleanor Parker, Millie Perkins, Nehemiah Persoff, Jean Peters, Jane Powell, Mala Powers, Paula Prentiss, Lawrence Pressman, Juliet Prowse, Charlotte Rae, Lynn Redgrave, Robert Reed, Clive Revill, Beah Richards, Doris Roberts, Dale Robertson, Eugene Roche, Roxie Roker, Cesar Romero, Mickey Rooney, and Richard Roundtree, George Segal, Marian Seldes, Carolyn Seymour, Jean Simmons, Carrie Snodgress, Richard Stahl, Robert Sterling, Connie Stevens, Stella Stevens, David Ogden Stiers, Jerry Stiller, Gale Storm, Gloria Stuart, Loretta Swit, Audrey Totter, Lurene Tuttle, Brenda Vaccaro, Dick Van Patten, Shani Wallis, Ray Walston, Jessica Walter, David Wayne, Stuart Whitman, Mary Wickes, Cornel Wilde, Elizabeth Wilson, Marie Windsor, Jane Withers, and Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. all made appearances, some more than once.
Future Academy Award nominees Danielle Brisebois, Andy García, Jackie Earle Haley, and Joaquin Phoenix all appeared. Future television and/or soap opera stars, including Kristian Alfonso, Jane Badler, Jonathan Brandis, Amy Brenneman, Courteney Cox, Bryan Cranston, Marcia Cross, Stacy Edwards, Anthony Michael Hall, Neil Patrick Harris, Jane Leeves, Bill Maher, Julianna Margulies, Kathryn Morris, Megan Mullally, Cynthia Nixon, John O'Hurley, Jeri Ryan, and Raphael Sbarge, also appeared.
Tom Selleck and John Hillerman starring as their Magnum, P.I. characters, Thomas Magnum and Jonathan Higgins respectively, appeared in a crossover episode, "Magnum on Ice". (Hillerman and Lansbury both appeared in Little Gloria... Happy at Last). David McCallum and Robert Vaughn (who both starred in The Man from UNCLE) also made appearances, albeit in separate episodes.
A third-season episode titled "The Days Dwindle Down" featured Jeffrey Lynn, Harry Morgan and Martha Scott, playing the same characters they played in the 1949 feature film Strange Bargain. The episode used black-and-white footage from that film as flashback scenes.
Former film and stage co-stars
Lansbury's two Broadway Sweeney Todd co-stars, Len Cariou and George Hearn and her successor Dorothy Loudon, appeared. Cariou appeared in numerous episodes as British special agent Michael Haggerty.
Judy Garland's daughter, Lorna Luft, appeared in two episodes, including an early episode with Vivian Blaine as her mother. (Garland and Lansbury had appeared together in The Harvey Girls and Till the Clouds Roll By, though not sharing scenes in the latter.)
Film co-stars (some from many years earlier, and, in some cases not having shared any scenes) including Gene Barry (The Purple Mask), Barbara Baxley (All Fall Down), Cyd Charisse (The Harvey Girls and Till the Clouds Roll By), Hurd Hatfield (The Picture of Dorian Grey), Pat Hingle (All Fall Down), Olivia Hussey (Death on the Nile), Van Johnson (State of the Union and Remains to Be Seen), Glynis Johns (The Court Jester and Little Gloria... Happy at Last), Shirley Knight (The Dark at the Top of the Stairs), Janet Leigh (If Winter Comes, The Red Danube, and The Manchurian Candidate), Margaret O'Brien (Tenth Avenue Angel), Mildred Natwick (The Court Jester), and Phyllis Thaxter (Tenth Avenue Angel and The World of Henry Orient), among others, made guest appearances. Johnson and Knight made multiple appearances in different roles.
The following actors played featured or recurring roles, i.e.: Cabot Cove locals, sheriffs, and Jessica's friends and relatives: Julie Adams, Claude Akins, John Astin, Tom Bosley, Gloria De Haven, Kathryn Grayson, Louis Herthum, Michael Horton, Ron Masak, Keith Michell, Jerry Orbach, Richard Paul, Madlyn Rhue, Wayne Rogers, Ruth Roman, Hallie Todd, Genie Francis and William Windom.
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