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Murder, she wrote : Synopsis, Pictures, Photos, Trivia, Filming Locations

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Murder, she wrote

Murder, she wrote Dates : 1984 - 1996
262 episodes of 45 min
First broadcasting : 28 février 1986
Creator(s) : William Link, Richard Levinson et Peter S. Fisher
Producer(s) : Charles F. Engel, Peter S. Fisher et Angela Lansbury
Music : Addison John, Sturges Jeff, Bell David et Babcock Bruce
Web surfers's rate : 8.5/10 for 77 rates - Rate

French Traduire


Former substitute English teacher and famed mystery writer Jessica Fletcher has a gift for solving mysteries. You see, it seems murder follows her around, whether it be to the houses of her seemingly endless number of friends, nieces, and nephews or right in her hometown of Cabot Cove, Maine. Jessica is sometimes assisted by her friend Dr. Seth Hazelet or the local sheriff, Amos Tupper (later Sheriff Metsger). Sometimes, early in the series, Jessica would only narrate the episode, which would be a dramatization of one of her novels. In later seasons, Jessica moved to New York City to be closer to her publisher and also closer to crime.

The Actors

Angela Lansbury - Jessica B. Fletcher

Angela Lansbury

(Jessica B. Fletcher)

Tom Bosley - Sheriff Amos Tupper

Tom Bosley

(Sheriff Amos Tupper)

William Windom - Docteur Seth Hazlett

William Windom

(Docteur Seth Hazlett)

Len Cariou - Michael Hagarty

Len Cariou

(Michael Hagarty)

Ron Masak - Sheriff Mort Metzger

Ron Masak

(Sheriff Mort Metzger)


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The flashbacks in "The Days Dwindle Down" (ep. #3.21) were taken from the movie Strange Bargain (1949). Jeffrey Lynn, Martha Scott and Harry Morgan reprised their roles from the original movie for this episode.

Angela Lansbury was the fourth choice to play Jessica Fletcher. Jean Stapleton was offered the part but turned it down, as did 'Doris Day' .

Angela Lansbury also appeared as Jessica Fletcher on a crossover two-part story: "Magnum, P.I." (1980), "Novel Connection" (episode 7.8), concluding with "Murder, She Wrote" (1984) episode "Magnum on Ice" (episdoe 3.8) The character was also mentioned on "Diagnosis Murder" (1993) but did not actually appear.

Jessica's maiden name was McGill, taken from Lansbury's real-life mother, Moyna McGill.

Angela Lansbury also played Jessica's look-alike cousin Emma, who was a performer on the London stage.

On several episodes, Angela Lansbury, as Jessica, would just appear briefly at the beginning to introduce that week's episode and many of those episodes would feature Keith Michell as Jessica's friend Dennis Stanton.

The episode "The Grand Old Lady" was actually intended as an "Ellery Queen" (1975) episode but was shelved after the series was cancelled. It was filmed as a "Murder, She Wrote" (1984) episode using entirely new names for the characters, and Jessica was given the prologue and epilogue that originally belonged to the Jim Hutton character Ellery Queen. The role of the radio reported was intended for the Simon Brimmer character, who was played by John Hillerman. The role of the inspector, who's the "Ellery" character's father, was intended for David Wayne.

William Windom who played Dr. Seth Hazlett in most of the series, and was in more episodes than any other person, appeared first as a guest star in "Funeral at Fifty-Mile" Episode: #1.21, as Sam Breen, a small town lawyer.

Besides Dennis Stanton, other recurring characters that helped Jessica solve the various murders she encountered were private investigators Harry McGraw and Charlie Garrett (played by Jerry Orbach and Wayne Rodgers respectively), British intelligence agent Michael Haggerty (played by Len Cariou) and N.Y.P.D detective Lt. Artie Gelber (played by Herb Edelman). However, the only one of these characters to be spun off onto his own series was Harry McGraw in the short lived series titled, appropriately enough, "The Law and Harry McGraw".

Ron Masak, who played Cabot Cove's Sheriff Mort Metzger from 1988 until the end of the series, first appeared in Episode: # 1.17."Footnote to Murder" as Lt. Meyer, and also #3.19, "No Accounting for Murder", as a sleazy NYC business owner, Marty Giles.

Jessica Fletcher lived at 698 Candelwood, Cabot Cove, Maine.

Jessica's late husband Frank was a bomber pilot in Korea.

Before she met and married her late husband, Frank, Jessica was studying to become a journalist.

Another recurring character was Michael Hagarty (as played by Len Cariou), who was an undercover agent, who met up with Jessica at many different locales all over the world. Len Cariou also starred with Ms Lansbury on Broadway as part of the original cast in "Sweeney Todd".

When Tom Bosley left the series, his absence was explained by having Sheriff Tupper retire from the position and move to Kentucky to live near his family.

There are many in-jokes in "The Committee" (episode 8.9). The last names of characters Edward Dunsany, Gerald Innsmouth, and Philip Arkham all refer to works by H.P. Lovecraft. The name of Harcourt Fenton is an obvious reference to "Star Trek" (1966) rogue Harcourt Fenton Mudd, and the names of Lieutenant Tartarus and the Avernus Club both refer to mythological hells. This is no surprise, given that prolific SF author J. Michael Straczynski wrote this episode.

In "Incident in Lot 7" (episode 8.13), the novel of Jessica's being made into a movie is called "Messengers of Midnight." Jessica says that it's based on a true story, a car going over a cliff is mentioned, and a particular character is named as the killer. All of this means that the "true story" Jessica wrote into the novel was her investigation in the episode "The Committee," another episode written by J. Michael Straczynski.

The name of Jessica's first novel was "The Corpse Danced at Midnight".

The show's title is a reference to the Miss Marple mystery Murder She Said (1961), which was based on a novel by Agatha Christie.

The episodes "Jack and Bill" and "Whatever Happened to Mary Margaret" are apparently pilot episodes for other shows that were broadcast as "Murder She Wrote" episodes, apparently in an attempt to create a spin-off. The only successful spinoff of this series was Harry McGraw's show.

Jessica never drove a car. She always rode her bicycle or took a cab wherever as her means of transportation.

In "The Committee", the car runs over the side of the cliff, falls over the edge, and lands - unseen - on the ground. This is the only car crash in the entire series where the final impact is not shown.


Filming locations:

  • Bronson Canyon, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, California, USA
  • Castle Green Apartments - 99 S. Raymond, Pasadena, California, USA
  • City Hall - 455 N. Rexford Dr., Beverly Hills, California, USA
  • Golden Oak Ranch - 19802 Placerita Canyon Road, Newhall, California, USA
  • Greystone Park & Mansion - 905 Loma Vista Dr., Beverly Hills, California, USA
  • Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center - 1200 N. State Street, Los Angeles, California, USA
  • Mendocino, California, USA (Cabot Cove scenes)
  • Parker Center Police Headquarters - 150 N. Los Angeles St., Downtown, Los Angeles, California, USA
  • Queen Mary - 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach, California, USA
  • Santa Clarita, California, USA
  • Universal Studios, Universal City, California, USA


Authors of the card

  • Creation date: 2003/07/01 by donovan
  • Last Update: 2007/05/01 by tiger08

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