Thursday, July 24, 2014

I'm On a "Columbo" Kick

I have been on a kick of watching old episodes of "Columbo" lately, and today I watched on called "Étude in Black" that first aired in September 1972.  The guest star, ie, the killer, in this episode was John Cassavetes, who pretty much over-acted his way through this one, but there were several other interesting things about this episode.

  • Another guest star was Blythe Danner, who was 29 years old at the time.  Of you think her daughter Gwyneth Paltrow looks like her mother, you should see how much she looks like her when they were the same age (although Miss Paltrow is now 41 years old).
  • The episode was directed by Nicholas Colasanto, who later played Coach on "Cheers".
  • The episode was written by Steven Bocchco, who would later write and produce the great "Hill Street Blues".
But most amazingly, another guest in this episode was the great Myrna Loy.  

Now Myrna Loy is one of those actress way before my time, but for whom I have developed a great appreciation, thanks in large part to Turner Classic Movies.  Her roles as Nora Charles in the Thin Man Movies, as well as numerous other movies with William Powell, as Mrs. Blandings picking out paint colors, as the wife in "Best Years of Our Lives", she was wonderful.  IMDB lists 139 acting credits for Miss Loy, dating back to the silent era, but by 1972, she was 67 years old and pretty much reduced to guest spots on TV shows, like "Columbo".

She was fine in her role in"Columbo", but I wish I could tell you that it was like seeing Nora Charles sparring with Lt. Columbo, but, alas, it was not.  Oh, well.

One thing that did surprise me was that she had red hair.  I think that this was the forts time I had ever seen Myrna Loy in other than black and white!

Anyway, this is what's fun about watching forty year old TV shows.  You never know who you might see in a guest role or a bit part.

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