Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
4 user

Stage Struck 

The murder of the leading lady's understudy disrupts a play starring two previously married actors.


John Astin


Peter S. Fischer (created by), Richard Levinson (created by) | 4 more credits »


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Episode complete credited cast:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Shea Farrell ... Larry Matthews
Bob Hastings ... Eddie Bender
Don Most ... T.J. Holt (as Donald Most)
Edward Mulhare ... Julian Lord
Christopher Norris ... Pru Mattson
Dan O'Herlihy ... Alexander Preston
Eleanor Parker ... Maggie Tarrow
John Pleshette ... Nicky Saperstein
John Schuck ... Chief Merton P. Drock
Ann Turkel ... Barbara Bennington
Richard Hoyt-Miller Richard Hoyt-Miller ... Young Reporter
Weldon Bleiler Weldon Bleiler ... Doctor
Annie Gagen Annie Gagen ... 2nd Reporter
Jeffrey Lippa Jeffrey Lippa ... 1st Reporter


Jessica visits a rural revival of a play she was a part of with her late husband Frank and present stars Julian Lord and Maggie Tarrow. On opening night, something scares Maggie out of performing, and her understudy, Barbara Bennington, is killed by cyanide poisoning on stage. Local Chief of Police Merton P. Drock, who plays the butler, never solved a real murder but trusts Jessica will provide him with the 'script', yet keeps on making precipitous conclusions and accusations as the links appear with the breaking off of a production 30 years ago, when Maggie took a year off by ruse, as now appears to have given birth in secret. Julian prevents a second cyanide killing which would murder Maggie. Who knew and resented what exactly? Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

14 December 1986 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


[first lines]
1st Reporter: Why'd you pick this play.
2nd Reporter: Are you planning on taking it to Broadway?
1st Reporter: Is there anything going on between you two?
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Murder She Wrote Theme
Written by John Addison
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User Reviews

Those old days in community theater
25 July 2017 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Former big name stage stars Edward Mulhare and Eleanor Parker are appearing in a play near Cabot Cove that Jessica Fletcher and her late husband did in community theater many years ago. Of course the cosmopolitan Jessica knows these two and also knows that they've been on the rocks so to speak as a couple. Kind of like Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford back in the day.

So when soap star Ann Turkel goes on in Parker's place after a quarrel and Turkel is found dead later of cyanide poisoning it's Parker looking good for it.

Stealing this particular episode is John Schuck who is the police chief and part of the community theater. Amos Tupper apparently has a lot more to do in Cabot Cove than Schuck ever did. In his first murder case the frustrated ham morphs into Hercule Poirot. Schuck really is funny in the part, more like Clouseau than Poirot.

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