Columbo (1971–2003)
21 user 4 critic

Ashes to Ashes 

After a much maligned Hollywood gossip columnist is murdered by her former lover, Columbo tries to find a way to prove he was responsible for the crime.


Patrick McGoohan


Richard Levinson (created by), William Link (created by) | 1 more credit »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Falk ... Columbo
Patrick McGoohan ... Eric Prince
Rue McClanahan ... Verity Chandler
Richard Riehle ... Sergeant Degarmo
Spencer Garrett ... Roger Gambles
Aubrey Morris ... Fred
Edie McClurg ... Mrs. Lerby
Richard Libertini ... Sheik Yarami
Ron Masak ... Eddie Fenelle (as Ron Másak)
Catherine McGoohan Catherine McGoohan ... Rita
Scott N. Stevens Scott N. Stevens ... Gerald
Sally Kellerman ... Liz Houston
Conrad Bachmann ... Henry Chalfont (as Conrad Bachman)
Ken Weiler ... Singer
Sid Burston ... Driver


Hollywood gossip reporter, Verity Chandler is planning her next expose. Which is to reveal how famed mortician, Eric Prince built his empire. When she reveals to Prince her plans he kills her. He then places her in the casket of a man scheduled to be cremated. And cremates her. He then goes to her house and changes the story she was working on to make it seem someone else wanted to get her. When no one hears from her, the police are called in and Lt. Columbo is on the job. Eentually he learns that she went to a funeral at Prince's and talks to him. And he finds his behavior odd. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

8 October 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Aschenpuzzle See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


One of the possible candidates for the initials "SB" mentioned by McGoohan's character is "Steven Bochco", who wrote the pilot episode of Columbo (directed by Steven Spielberg). See more »


A pager (also known as a beeper) is a wireless telecommunications device that receives and displays alphanumeric messages and/or receives and announces voice messages. One-way pagers can only receive messages, while response pagers and two-way pagers can also acknowledge, reply to, and originate messages using an internal transmitter. See more »


Columbo: So you undress the body, do whatever you gotta do with that stuff there, redress the body, and then what?
Eric Prince: Into the casket, into the box, into the coffin.
Columbo: That one there, sir?
Eric Prince: That's a very popular model.
Columbo: Could two people fit in there?
Eric Prince: Afraid not, why do you ask?
Columbo: Oh just a thought, the wife and I do everything together... eh, forget it.
See more »


References The Young and the Restless (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

Columbo fan gives nod for Ashes to Ashes
8 August 2000 | by Barry-44See all my reviews

I'm a great Columbo fan and Ashes to Ashes certainly didn't disappoint me in any way, shape or form. Peter Falk, as usual is splendid as Lt. Columbo. Patrick McGoohan, as stern and sometime wry undertaker Eric Prince, plays his role precisely and believably. He had played in previous Columbo movies. Rue McClanahan plays gossip columnist Verity Chandler with such magic and charm that we want to see much, much more of her. Sally Kellerman plays Liz Houston convincingly. Along with the rest of the actors in this wonderful movie, the viewer will not be disappointed at the end of the movie. If you adore mystery and Columbo, this movie is for you! It's to be noted that it's not just the main actors that make this movie work. All actors play their parts exceptionally.

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