Murder, She Wrote 6.11 “Town Father”

Jessica is in Cabot Cove for this episode and there are lots of things happening in town. There’s the majoral election, and incumbent Mayor Sam Booth for the first time has some opposition. The tourist industry is also booming and there are lots of city folk looking to buy property in town.

Just the facts:

Click on the text below to reveal spoilers.

Click to reveal the victim It was Annie May Chapman, who claimed to be Mayor Sam Booth’s wife!
Click to reveal the killer It was Winifred, the wife of a developer!
Click to reveal the weapon As is frequently the case, the murder method was glossed over.
Click to reveal the location She was killed in her hotel room!
Click to reveal the motive Her husband had been cheating on her with Annie May!

Cast of characters:

As this is a Cabot Cove episode, we get to see some series regulars:

  • William Windom plays Doctor Seth Hazlitt
  • Ron Masak plays Sheriff Mort Metzger
  • Richard Paul plays Mayor Sam Booth. This is Paul’s fifth of seven total appearances as the character on MSW.

We also get to see the beauty parlor ladies for the last time! They each previously appeared in: “If It’s Thursday, It Must Be Beverly” and “The Sins of Castle Cove“.

  • Julie Adams plays real estate agent Eve Simpson. This is Adams’ fourth of ten total appearances on MSW.
  • Ruth Roman plays hair dresser Loretta Spiegel. This episode marks Ruth Roman’s last ever on-screen role.
  • Gloria DeHaven plays travel agent Phyllis Grant.
  • Kathryn Grayson plays Ideal Molloy. This episode marks Kathryn Grayson’s last ever on-screen role.
  • Sally Klein plays beautician Corinne. This episode also marks the last ever on-screen role for Sally Klein.

There are also a couple other Cabot Cove locals:

  • Orson Bean plays Ebeneezer McEnery. This is Bean’s second and final appearance on MSW.
  • William Lanteau plays Howard
  • Phyllis Franklin plays Mabel. This is Franklin’s first of two total appearances on MSW.
  • Basil Hoffman plays Milton Overguard — Mayor Sam Booth’s opposition.

Visitors or new arrivals to the town include:

  • Lee Purcell as Annie Mae Chapman — the woman claiming to be Mayor Sam Booth’s wife. This is Purcell’s third of four total appearances in MSW stories.
  • John Considine as Horton Thayer — a man interested in buying up land for redevelopment. This is Considine’s first of three total appearances on MSW.
  • Holland Taylor as Winifred Thayer — Horton’s wife.
  • Barbara Perry as a party guest interested in buying Jessica Fletcher’s house.

Additional minor roles include Charles Woolf as “Fulton”, and Courtenay McWhinney and Sheila Pinkham credited as a couple of ladies.

Final thoughts and other trivia:

This episode is notable in the realm of Murder, She Wrote because it marks the final appearance on the beauty parlor ladies. Only Eve Simpson would go on to make further on-screen appearances on the show. It’s hard to believe that these women only appeared in a total of three episodes because they are so memorable and it seems like it’s not a Cabot Cove episode without them. However, I noticed that although they don’t appear on screen, Loretta’s beauty parlor continues to be mentioned in passing in future episodes.

Also interesting is the fact that for three of these actresses, this particular episode marks their very last on screen appearance ever.

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